bruce b. lawrence

Can poetry be an antidote to poison?

Can poetry be an antidote to poison? Can it provide an alternative to the jihad of Pamela Geller?

A life without His love is nothing but slow death.

The sum total of love is but three words:

I-burn, I-burn, I-burn.

These verses come from the 13th-century whirling dervish, Rumi. The fire that burns also gives life in the logic of love-induced immolation that Muslims call Sufism. Its opposite is the fire that comes from the end of a gun barrel or a detonated bomb that takes a life; such is the logic of hate-induced terror that some Muslims call jihad. For true Sufis, the first fire is the only fire, since it requires the greater struggle, also known as jihad (jihad al-akbar): to conquer one’s self.

Read the OpEd in the Washington Post