Muslim fundamentalists should drink wine to become more tolerant, says Roger Vernon Scruton-philosopher and current scholar at the American Enterprise Institute-in Decanter magazine this month.
In the piece, Scruton reminds us of, in his opinion, a long-gone ‘laughing, tolerant’ era of Islam past; like that captured in classics like One Thousand and One Nights, and by historic ‘wine-loving’ Muslims such as 11th century philosopher Avicenna.
He goes onto predict that without a revival of such ‘traditions’ in Muslim cultures, the Koran will ‘continue’ to be misunderstood along with other potential detriments:
‘Without the benefit of wine it’s hard to seize this truth; harder still to recognise the obligation that it imposes, to be gentle with others, and to allow them their own space.’
Meanwhile, in the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia, there seems to be a way to enjoy a grape-derived beverage that may not be so.controversial. According to a recent article in the Jakarta Post, a small town in East Java is using leftover grapes from juice-making to create a coffee beverage.
Locals there call it ‘grape coffee,’ and the waste-reducing drink is made from dried and ground-up red, green and black grape remnants. The powder is described as having ‘a pleasant smell like the aroma of coffee beans roasted using a firewood stove,’ and is made like instant coffee.
One fan also points out the potential health benefits of the caffeine-free grape coffee, attesting that drinking the grape coffee made him feel ‘fresh because grapes are rich with antioxidants.’
I find that a good quality wine does have a relaxing and rejuvenating effect on my mood-although I’ve not tested it for tolerance. And there’s little chance I’d find a cup of non-caffeinated coffee as satisfying, no matter how healthy it is.