Sunday, March 18, 2007

Shahrukh: I am an ambassador of Islam

شاح رخ خاں کہتے ہیں کہ وہ خود کو اسلام کا سفیر سمجھتے ہیں، خوشی کی بات ہے میاں جیتے رہو

Tehelka: Is being Islamic an important part of your identity? Have recent events forced you to think more about it?

Shahrukh Khan: I’m not an atheist, I am a believer in God, and I don’t think it is great fashion to be an atheist. I am Islamic by birth, so I know that a bit better, though I’ve been brought up by Hindus most of my life, and I was fascinated by Ram Lila and things. All that hasn’t changed, but as I’ve grown older, and I see what’s happening to Islam around the world, I think it’s important that even without full knowledge of Islam, I need to be very clearly standing for the goodness of Islam. AR Rahman sent me a message once saying you are an ambassador for Islam. I think I truly am. I follow the tenets of Islam — peace, goodness, kindness to mankind. And I’m a normal guy. I think that is what Islam tells you to be.

Tehelka: Are there things about it that worry you?

Shahrukh Khan: Of course, there are actions by people who think they are Islamic, or are Islamic, that are very disturbing. But I think we are too quick to classify. She’s a Bengali? That is why she is like this. We like classification because it makes us more secure, the fear goes out. I stand for what a modern Muslim should be. I am married to a Hindu, my children are being brought up with both religions, I read namaz when I feel like. But I would not like to believe in four marriages even if my religion allows it. Lots of other things too have lost relevance, but that doesn’t mean I’m questioning the Quran. I’d like people to know that Islam is not only about being a fanatic, or radically different, angered person, or one who only does jehad. I’d like people to know that the actual meaning of jehad is to overcome one’s own violence and weakness. If need be, overcome it violently.

It is a very comprehensive interview in which Khan speaks about his family, his sister who is ill for a long time, and lot of other things. The interview appeared in Tehelka recently. And don't think it is just a single page, see the links in the bottom, it is spread over three long sheets of Tehelka. Link

(Pix from Asoka movie where Shah Rukh played the role of Great King Ashok