09 May 2010

the gift that keeps on giving

Islamic edition

If there are two forces that are locked in cosmic struggle, it's vital to choose a side, presumably the side you feel is "good". People who are alienated from the Western world, well-educated and otherwise quite capable people, may find that world to be "evil". Someone who tells them that will quite easily have an audience for filling their heads with all sorts of nonsense. A "mainstream" position is not going to engage in such things, in large because it is designed to have appeal to people who have things going well for them as much as those who are suffering grave indignities. But an extreme one will find the people who find the most purpose and meaning in their suffering, or, more precisely, in the appearance of connection between their own troubles and those of far off others with whom there will be a designed kinship along a single thread. This single thread then must have a cause, usually the perception of Western (American) aggressions and dominance of affairs toward Muslim nations, with the common thread being that of hostility toward Islam itself and the necessity of war on defence of the faithful the natural consequence. I have seen some push back from mainstream theologians. But Islam has the vitality of a younger religion, still growing within its own institutions and power alongside and sometimes instead of central governments, and has few of the centralising features of Christendom (no Pope for example). A few well-studied and vocal clerics and critics of the policies that endorse the House of Islam in schism with the House of War are not enough to tell people what to think. Islam will have to sort this mess out itself as a result.

It would help, some, if we reduced the pressure.
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