February 2006

sidgau-tm.jpg The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbours as one living a pure life. A beautiful Japanese girl, whose parents owned a food store, lived near him.

One day, her parents discovered she was with child. This made her parents angry. She would not confess who the man was but after much harassment, named Hakuin. In great anger the parent went to the master. “Is that so?” was all he said.

After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbours and everything else he needed.

A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth – the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fish market. The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask forgiveness, to apologise at length, and to get the child back.

In yielding the child, all he said was, “Is that so?”

from: Zen Koan


“Yaw, I am amazed at the restraint to retaliate exercised by the Arab world in spite of being falsely accused, having their religion smeared and their culture trampled upon. The Western world on the other hand are quick to go to war, exact sanctions and embargoes. The Iraqi population is being decimated, Iran and Syria are threatened, the North Africans in France are treated like trash… from what well of patience and endurance do the Arabs derive this power from?”

“Mog, the Western world have military might. You cannot negotiate nor discuss with someone holding a gun to your head. When the Arab world will be equally armed, all the pain, the suppressed feelings of vengeance and retaliation will come out.

“Arab extremists have been used by the Western world for propaganda means to achieve capitalist ends. The West have conveniently generalised what a few have done to refer to the whole. Attacking the whole serves no positive purpose. This has only alienated the whole and pushed them to join the few.

“One day, this will all come to a head. When they will be sufficiently armed, their wrath upon the West will be merciless.”

“Do you know something I don’t, Yaw?”

“Do you remember when Algeria fought for their independence from France? Their vengeance was horrible. Thousands were maimed and killed. In many instances, the Arabs cut the balls off the French and stuffed them in their mouths.

“Do you remember the mandate of the New People’s Army in the Philippines? Theirs was to return the land to the farmers and take back from the capitalist West what rightly belong to the people. The Americans conducted a smear campaign against them, branding them a terrorist organisation.

“In the end, justice will be sought by those who have been wronged and the West will get what they deserve.”

freedom.jpg “Freedom must be a very difficult word to define, Yaw.”

“Freedom is an easily misunderstood concept, Mog. There are limits to freedom and there are responsibilities that come with freedom. You are free to smoke, but not in my face. You are free to eat, but not from my plate. You are free to be happy, but not at my expense. You have to know what you can and cannot do with freedom.

“Freedom does not mean that you can do anything you want.”

Why ‘freedom of expression’ defence is questionable in the Muslim dispute with a Danish publication