Monday, March 22, 2010

Common Virtues

Auditors normally measure business and financial processes.  But recently, at Regis University’s Evergreen Room, I heard a controversial talk by Dr. Tawfik Hamid, billed in the Highlander, the Regis paper as an Islamic reformer and ex-Jihadist.  After his talk I introduced myself and told him he is a lot like an auditor, he is trying to tell truth to power and the powerful do not want to hear it. Auditors tell truth to the powerful in an organization.  If the powerful are not happy with the message, they are not happy with the auditor.

To an audience of about 125 people, mostly Regis community, neighbors, Hamid related how his first encounters in a mosque in his Egyptian medical school encouraged him to hate, suppress his own conscience and critical thinking.  For a while, Dr. Hamid bought the hard line.  But he confessed to us that in the end, his own conscience would not allow his to follow violent attacks on others.

He went through and alphabetic prescription for reform of Islam which he has been preaching for over 20 years, and admittedly without much success.  He wants all mosques to announce on their websites and on their buildings what he calls his A, B, and C’s of reform.  He wants believers to say “no” to the A, B, and C’s on his list.  A) say “no” to killing of converts from Islam to another religion;  B), say “no” to beating and stoning of women; C),  say ‘no” to calling Jewish people monkeys and pigs. D), say “no” to declaring war on people of other faiths; E), say “no” to enslaving people; F), say “no” to fighting Jewish people; G), saying “no” to hanging people of different sexual preferences.

Dr. Hamid said that if folks won’t say “no” to these A through G, you can bet they are not being accountable to civilized society. Some folks at the end of his talk said we needed more dialogue and they would hold a meeting to talk about the Hamid talk and principles.  I wish him well in his mission.  Others told me his life has been threatened many times because his is trying to hold religious folks accountable and they don’t like the basic truths he espouses in his alphabetic list.  

 And auditors are all about holding people accountable to their actions, financial and organization processes.  

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