Posted by Tom Cole on February 02, 1999 at 08:30:52:
I hesitate to interpret the teachings of the Koran as I have never read it nor a translation of it. I also hesitate to accept, literally, the interpretation of the holy book by Moslems themselves who are not students of the Koran. I do know that many of the tribal weavers of the rugs which are being discussed here still share a memory of a pre-Islamic past and the animist/shamanist belief systems which pervaded the steppe cultures. I am familiar with a Salor chuval, circa 1800, which depicts shamanistic entities in the elem, figures which may well represent human shamans. It is published in the Atlantic Collections book, property of Kurt Munkacsi. All too often, we as westerners project our perception of the religions/customs of others through OUR western oriented and conditioned minds and eyes. I know from personal experience that there is much that we do not understand about Islam and that the supposed precepts of Islam are misinterpreted not only by us, but by Moslems themselves, ie. the Taleban in Afghanistan.
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