Sunday, December 30, 2007

COMMENT: The clash within?

Are we seeing a clash of civilisations in the world? Is there a battle going on between a monolithic Christian (or Judeo-Christian if you're in a somewhat more ecumenical mood) West and an equally monolithic Islamic East? If so, where do Europe's Muslims and India's Christians fit in? Where do South America's Catholics fit in? And where do millions of Hindus, Buddhists etc fit?

Toward the end of his 2006 work On The Road To Kandahar: Travels Through Conflict In The Islamic World, Bourke wonders ...

How anyone, particularly a Western author, could have the temerity to generalize in entirely unqualified terms about 1.3 billion people across half the planet of a dozen different racial and several score different national backgrounds in a way that would have been entirely laughable, and indeed quite offensive, if they had been referring to 'Christians' or even the world's relatively small Jewish population ...

Of course, we in the West take for granted that our own civilisation is hardly a monolith. Hence, we dismiss as ignorant the rants of bin-Ladin and others who claim we are all a bunch of Zionist Crusaders plotting to destroy the Islamic world.

We might dismiss the bin-Ladins of the Islamic world. But do we dismiss our own bin-Ladins? We know what damage their bin-Ladins have done in London and New York and Madrid. But what about the damage our bin-Ladins have done in Iraq?

Or should we be even making such comparisons?

Words © 2007 Irfan Yusuf

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

You must denounce genital mutilation, male and female, to be accepted as an authentic Australian.

Augustus said...

NO, we shouldn't be making such comparisons as there is no comparison.

In verbum nostrum veritas.

Augustus

Anonymous said...

2 points:

It seems to me that it is usually Muslims who make the Muslim-West dichotomy, completely ignoring the fact they they would be having exactly the same problems if (when) India and /or China becomes the dominant force.

I agree that there is a tendency to see Muslims as part of a monothith, but that is at least partly excused by the fact that Islam sees Muslims as a monolithic force. Islam's stated goal is to have a world in which everyone is either a Muslim or submits to Muslims. Do any Muslims deny that? If they have, I haven't heard them.

Yep, capitalism probably wants the same, but it won't get it, and doesn't claim that you'll suffer eternal torture in hell if you argue against it.

Islam IS a totalitarian religion and it DOES want to rule the world. It must be resisted.

mo said...

anon@201, do you seriously reckon capitalists don't wanna rule the world? have you just arived from another galaxy? are you suggesting colonialism was conducted in the name of irish catholicism?

which islam claims muslims are a monolithic force? salafi islam? deobandi islam? barelwi islam? ithna ashariyya islam? nusayri islam? bohra islam? ismaili islam? the only thing more divided and fractured than islam (and indeed christianity) is your personality.

so how'd you resist islam? using the nuclear power of the holy spirit?

what would you replace islam with? pedophile priests? imbecilic former texan governors? fox news presenters?

Irfan Yusuf said...

Why shouldnt we be making these comparisons, Augustus?

The Happy Revolutionary said...

It seems to me that it is usually Muslims who make the Muslim-West dichotomy, completely ignoring the fact they they would be having exactly the same problems if (when) India and /or China becomes the dominant force.

Don't know about that, anon. When was the last time China or India invaded Iraq or Afghanistan, or installed the Shah, or propped up a vicious monarchy in Saudi Arabia, or sold arms to an Indonesian military junta to help the government suppress the locals, etc...

Anonymous said...

happy rev, ignoring the fact that Teh Evul West didn't do any of the things you mention against Muslims per se, China is dealing very harshly with its domestic jihadis (and probably with Muslims in general in affected areas). Until 9/11 Kashmir was probably the #2 cause celebre on the Muslim extremist list.