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Thursday, 22 November 2012


I have many problems with Islam; but I respect many of its adherents. There are many aspects of Islamic culture which cause me disquiet – and worse. But here is something I admire. When you ask a pious Muslim how he is, he is likely to reply, “Alhamdulillah”: Thanks be to God. Arabic discourse is suffused with references to the Almighty. Any reference to the future is accompanied by a pious, “Inshallah”, “If God wills it”. This used to be common enough in English discourse: “DV”, “Deo Volente” or “God willing”. In Portuguese, Si Deus quiser (future subjunctive).

Daniel Hannan, lamenting Europeans’ lack of enthusiasm for having babies, describes how in Turkey adults of either sex, encountering a young child, are likely to pick it up and exclaim, “Alhamdulillah!”. Wonderful, pious and life-affirming!

Well, I have every reason to be exclaiming “Alhamdulillah!” repeatedly. I spoke yesterday evening to my youngest, the first time since his ghastly experience (see Evil Predators post). He suffered no more than a chemical assault and is recovering from the shock. What is more his bank has recognised that the withdrawals from his account were a form of fraud and have agreed to indemnify him. Alhamdulillah!

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