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Reader comment on item: Sudden Jihad Syndrome (in North Carolina)
in response to reader comment: Moderate Buddhists, Moderate Jews...

Submitted by Peter J. Herz (United States), Mar 19, 2006 at 15:12

Fanatic, if you were a Hindu Tamil in Sri Lanka or Christian Karen or Kachin in Burma, you would not find the idea of Theravada Buddhists as dangerous fanatics all that laughable. Further, in 1900, the Boxers in China turned their swords on far more Chinese Christians than they did on Westerners, and all in the name of preserving Mahayana Buddhism in China. In the 1930's, a number of Buddhist leaders in China also supported Japanese invasion as a means of saving the land from Communism.

And, given the frightful history of political terrorism practiced by anarchist and socialist parties of various stripes during the 19th and 20th centuries, and especially the horrors of China's cultural revolution and Pol Pot, you cannot convince me that a "science has all the answers" atheism is necessarily free from the fanatic taint--especially since the victims of "scientific" social experiments racked up in the 20th century alone outnumber all who suffered for the wrong kind of Christianity or none at all in the 1500 years between the conversion of Constantine and Ruggles versus New York. Add to that the smug self-righteousness of the atheists who blame it all on Stalin's education in an Eastern Orthodox Seminary (as well as there insistence that I am a racist, even though they go on to blame everything that went wrong with "scientific socilaism" on the poor, stupid, Slavic Uentermensch).

While I hold no candle for Islam (I am a Trinitarian Christian), I can recognize as well that the horrifying passages of the Qu'ran and Hadith can be put on hold by Muslim exegetes who remind us that there is no Caliph to call a jihad.

FInally, I don't put much faith in Sufi as "moderate" Islam. Sufis were at the forefront of a number of Muslim risings in various parts of the world, including the Moro jurementados on Mindanao who gave the Americans such a rough time in 1902. By the same token, a Quaker pacifist is, too often, nothing but a fire-breathing, sword-brandishing Leveller or Ranter who had an unhappy run-in with Cromwell's Ironsides.

Perhaps we could say that ugly fanaticism is a human thing, rather than something especially "fundamentalist"? (Dr. Pipes, you may raz me, since I used "fundamentalist" in an overbroad and inaccurate context, a sin for which I once berated you).
Submitting....

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