I know personally that many Muslims are feeling under siege, both mentally and physically, and believe they are getting a bad press. Relations between our two cultures seem to be deteriorating, so I hope I’m not trivialising events when I discuss this Quranic clock gadget: I’m trying to clear up a few myths and find some common ground.
The Taliban banned television, video and satellite shortly after seizing power in Afghanistan in 1996. The ban was probably academic as not many people had electricity after years of fighting between Afghan warlords, but it did perhaps reinforce for many who didn’t know better that Islam was a backward-looking religion – myself included at that time I have to say.
These days I think judging Islam as a religion by the behaviour of a fanatical cult like the Taliban is like trying to judge Christianity by people who don’t let their children have blood transfusions.
The Muslims I know are crazy about gadgets, buying mobiles with alarms to tell them when it’s time for prayers, and adding Quranic ring tones for example. Recently, when an Indian cleric reportedly called the use verses from the Quran as ring tones un-Islamic they were horrified that the view of another crank cleric was reported in the Western media as somehow being representative of mainstream Muslim opinion.
Anyway, I’m sure my friends would love this gadget. It’s a Quranic wristwatch with flash memory and an MP3 player. It comes with a USB port for transferring files and for re-charging. You can install the Quran as an MP3 file, taking up 70 MB of the available 256 MB memory. In fact, thinking about it I wouldn’t mind one myself.
The Quranic clock was found via PC Magazine.