There is not a problem with Islam. For those of us who have studied it, there is no doubt about its true and peaceful nature.
Blair's with versus within sophistry gives him the bow toward political correctness that allows him to feel safe enough at least bring up one of the core problems with Islam: it is a religion that defines a political system.
But there is a problem within Islam, and we have to put it on the table and be honest about it. There are, of course, Christian extremists and Jewish, Buddhist, and Hindu ones. But I am afraid that the problematic strain within Islam is not the province of a few extremists. It has at its heart a view of religion – and of the relationship between religion and politics – that is not compatible with pluralistic, liberal, open-minded societies. At the extreme end of the spectrum are terrorists, but the worldview goes deeper and wider than it is comfortable for us to admit. So, by and large, we don’t admit it.
Islam is at its core incompatible with Western societies. The Muslims who accept values like freedom and separation of religion and state are Muslims who are just not embracing their full religion. Sure, such Muslims exist. But Islam's set of religious beliefs extend far further into the realm of politics and government than Christianity's core beliefs. Jesus was not a ruler. Mohammed was.
In what sense is “true” Islam peaceful? I don’t doubt that most Muslims are peaceful, but that’s not the same thing as saying that the doctrines and teachings of the religion are peaceful, in the sense of being non-violent and tending towards living in harmony with others.
Dreher thinks maybe Islam can be made more apolitical. I do not believe this. The best we can hope for is for fewer people to believe the religion. But secularization seems less likely to occur in Muslim societies.
It can be done, in theory. The Roman Catholic Church was bitterly opposed to liberal democracy (including one of its key values, religious liberty) in the 19th century, but became reconciled to it in the 20th. The Church traveled a long way in a relatively short time. The trick is to change without making it look like you’re changing. Can Islam pull that off? I don’t know. For one thing, unlike in Catholicism, there is no centralized institution for determining Islamic orthodoxy. More importantly, Catholicism could make the adjustment because Christianity is intrinsically apolitical, at least by comparison to Islam.
I remain a Separationist: They live in their countries. We live in ours. We do not involve ourselves in the politics of their countries. However, such an approach goes against what America's globalizing elites want to do with the world.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2013 June 15 09:33 PM|