December 17, 2008

Michael Palin on "Has the World Changed?"

This webpage was brought up on a conversation over at Street Prophets, and even though it's old (originally published October 11, 2001), this particular quotation by Michael Palin (of Monty Python and travel documentary fame) is still very much relevant today, especially on the need for people not to be so Islamophobic and xenophobic. Sadly, a lot of people haven't listened to Palin's advice.

It's certainly widened our horizons and forced a lot of people to find out more about in the hope of understanding a part of the world they know very little about. What I've read and heard since 11 September does encourage me in one way - the idea of the monolithic and slightly obscure Muslim world has been broken down and people are having to learn more and understand more about Islam, and the Muslims and that's a good thing because it is ignorance that causes problems. As someone who has traveled a lot, I'm only beginning to learn about the differences in cultures and religions - there's a tendency to forget that there are many different opinions and views across the worlds. We can't be an island, however much we want to and we need to not see different religions as a threat and not dismiss foreign countries as somewhere else.

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