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763 pages, Mass Market Paperback
First published June 3, 2002
… With this division of labor the subjugation of farmers by warriors and priests was institutionalized … This was the first inequality … the second and the third inequalities (were) of men over women and children … (and finally) added to the subjugation of farmers, women and the family was this fourth inequality, of race or group, leading to the subjugation of the most powerless peoples to slavery. And the unequal accumulation of wealth by the elites continued.In fact this quote brings out a major theme of the book, and a major concern of many of the characters – that of the subjugation of women throughout history.
Versus“Every sura of the Quran reminds us by its opening words—Bismallah, in the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful. Compassion, mercy—how do we express that? These are ideas that the Chinese do not have. The Buddhists tried to introduce them there, and they were treated like beggars and thieves. But they are crucial ideas, and they are central to Islam. Ours is a vision of all people as one family, in the rule of compassion and mercy. This is what drove Muhammad, driven by Allah or by his own sense of justice, the Allah inside us. This is Islam to me! That's what I fought for in the war. These are the qualities we have to offer the world that the Chinese do not have. Love, to put it simply. Love.”
"This is the world we want you to help us make," he said. "We will go out into the world and plant gardens and orchards to the horizons, we will build roads through the mountains and across the deserts, and terrace the mountains and irrigate the deserts until there will be garden everywhere, and plenty for all, and there will be no more empires or kingdoms, no more caliphs, sultans, emirs, khans, or zamindars, no more kings or queens or princes, no more qadis or mullas or ulema, no more slavery and no more ursury, no more property and no more taxes, no more rich and no more poor, no killing or maiming or torture or execution, no more jailers and no more prisoners, no more generals, soldiers, arms, armies, or navies, no more patriarchy, no more clans, no more caste, no more hunger, no more suffering than what life brings us for being born and having to die, and then we will see for the first time what kind of creatures we really are."