Two weeks I got the chance to review Tariq Ramadan’s lecture on the topic of equal rights and equal dignity of human beings at LSE. Recently the university launched the Religion and Public Sphere blog which seeks to explore the place and role of religion in British public life today. As part of this general theme they’ve planned a series of lectures including the lecture by Tariq Ramadan.
I am a huge fan of Tariq Ramadan, I think he’s a great thinker, philosopher and an asset for the Muslim community. I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture and throughout he made really great points about the importance of religious literacy, interfaith dialogue and projects in our society.
The best part for me without a doubt was when he ‘dropped the mic’ by saying,
“To tolerate each other is not enough. Saying we have to live together is not enough for me. There’s no way to live together if we don’t do together, work together and be involved together. The real way of living is to be active together.”
I was quite nervous writing the review for the lecture. I have such a huge respect and admiration for Tariq Ramadan that I didn’t want to misquote him or state anything incorrectly. Also, while I obviously write for this blog and I’m a guest writer at The Umm Fariha Network and the LSE ISoc blog, I don’t really have much experience writing for other outlets and that played on my mind. The format of the post was also different to what I’m familiar with because I was essentially covering the event and I wanted to have a balance between reporting and inserting my own opinions and thoughts.
Anyway this was one of those moments where my inferiority complex played on my mind. Before I started writing, I read some of the posts on the blog and it included articles from the Director of LSE, the Chaplain and Michael Livesey a masters student that I knew from the LSE Faith and Leadership programme this year. The first thing that came to my mind after reading their posts, was “Oh my god I can’t do this!”. I kept telling myself that my piece would sound unintelligent and unsophisticated in comparison to theirs. That train of thought obviously got me no where fast because when I started writing, I had writer’s block. I had watched the lecture again on Youtube so the content was there but the structure was all over the place. I just could not piece it together to sound coherent. Add that to the fact that my deadline was looming I somehow managed to worked myself into a frenzy. So how did I deal with this situation?
- Self belief is important for everything. My article and writing style might be different but it’s authentic to me and I chose to revel in it and appreciate it.
- I stopped comparing myself to others and I set my own standards and expectations and that really helped.
- In dealing with the writer’s block I decided to change my environment and went to uni instead. While I was travelling on the Tube, voila the outline for the article just popped into my head out of no where and within five minutes of getting to uni, I had it down. I spent an entire day fussing over it and when I got the inspiration I got it done within 5 minutes. It’s magical how things work.
If you’re interested in reading the full article you can read it here on the LSE blog. I’m going to end with a poem from Nayyirah Waheed’s ‘Salt’ which I started reading yesterday and I absolutely love!. Expect the review soon.