Wednesday, May 25, 2016

shake hands with the devil

Is there any cultural or spiritual persuasion that does not partake in defining what is "forbidden?" I doubt it and from this deduce that such limitations are a sine qua non even in cases where the objective of the persuasion may be deemed limitless.

Further still, is there any cultural of spiritual persuasion -- assuming it really is nourishing -- that does not put its adherents in a position where they must meet what is forbidden, and un-forbid it? And at this point a curious knot is tied: To enjoy the fruits of a persuasion, you must-not do one thing or another; simultaneously, in order to enjoy the fruits of the persuasion, you must indeed do or embrace what is forbidden. Relaxing into an Ayn Rand amorality won't quite cut it. What will?

Shake hands with the devil.

I guess what brought this munchy to mind was the tale of two Muslim brothers who refused to shake their teacher's hand in Switzerland, a country in which shaking the teacher's hand is a tradition of respect. The boys, whose father is an imam, said that shaking hands with a woman teacher crossed into a forbidden zone: You don't touch women who are not part of your family. [Other Muslim groups disagreed with the interpretation.]

Muslim students in Switzerland must shake their teacher's hand at the beginning and end of lessons, a regional authority has ruled.
A controversial exemption from the tradition had been granted for two teenage brothers whose interpretation of the Koran meant they were unwilling to touch a member of the opposite sex.

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