This is going to be an interesting and in some ways even fascinating set of blogposts. I have thoroughly enjoyed researching it and playing around with the latest and greates Neo4j tools while doing so, but I must say that it's also one of the first blogposts that I can remember where I am a bit uneasy about the content. Why? Because it's about, or at least in some ways touches, religion.
First let's start with some background here. Some things that you should know about me:
- I was born and raised in Belgium, which is - or at least was - a predominantly Catholic Christian country. There's churches and chapels on every corner of the street here.
- My parents were/are far from religious, never took me to church, but did give me many of the Catholic Christian values - and these were engrained in me even more clearly because of my 13 ears in Jesuit schools in Antwerp and Turnhout.
- as an adult, I became increasingly distantiated from all religious beliefs. In my twenties and thirties I was still a "cultural Christian", I guess, as exemplified by the fact that we got married in church, and baptised all of our 3 children. In my late thirties and forties, ie. now, I becaome convinced that not much good can come of religion - in general. I read Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and similar authors that have a very sceptic, atheist view on religion. And I like it that way, for me, personally.
- that personal choice does not mean that I have something against people that still have a faith. I am totally fine with anyone believing what they want to believe - as longs as they don't hurt others or impose on others during the process.
But, and here's the sensitive bit: this blogpost will be about Islam - and Moslim holy books and texts very specifically. There's no reason for me choosing to write about this specific religion - other than the fact that it came across my path and I thought some of the material was absolutely fascinating.