69 million page views

Ultimately, we are all dead

Reader comment on item: Will Europe Resist Islamization?

Submitted by Gary Josephson (United States), Apr 7, 2008 at 00:54

I paraphrase Keynes on economics to make the point that future speculation has value, but the real question is what are those actions which we the living individuals can take which can make a real difference in our world at this time?

In that vein, I propose the following:

1. A convocation of fundamentalists scholars Christian, Islam, and Jewish to resolve the legal issues of their respective scriptures and practice that conflict with the concepts of living in states where their religious edicts have no automatic force of law. They each must work their legal decisions so that peace becomes practical. Regrettably proposing that the reformists and moderates meet will not alter a single interpretation. (note, I am not advocating changing the documents considered "holy") This would be truly "holy" work since each religion has proposed "peace" as their "fundamental" purpose. As a matter of full disclosure I am a practicing Jew who particularly enjoys studying the traditional texts and methods as being more nuanced and enlightening than most modernized and moderated versions. As a matter of suggested method, these meetings should be closed and involve only respected recognized scholars.

2. In Christianity and Judaism, I understand, this experience has been evolving and still evolves, but the end result, I believe, is that each adherent can live a practicing life, but the laws of the land prevail and the religious adherent cannot impose on others and must lead by example. I don't know enough about Islam, but in Turkey they historically imposed secular rule, but I don't know if their fundamentalists adapted a similar legal response that most Christian and Jews have adopted in Europe and the West. My point is that we've been there and done this, we have largely defeated the fascists mentality, why should this cause freedom loving people to now to despair, break ranks and run. To the secularists who attempt to impose secularism that is not my intent, because much, law, ethics, and even personal relations seems to originate in religious theories and practice. Secularists nor the ultra-religious should be permitted to run amok.

3. Compensation. The Talmud and Islamic Law spend a great deal of their intellectual efforts in support of methods and theories of torts and compensation for injuries. When it comes to land, eminent domain, displaced people, trade relations, labor rights, these are issues ripe for compensation schemes whereby settlements are arrived at and where the injured in their complaints can never be fully satisfied, but receiving even a token through a legal procedure does lessen the litigants likely recourse to violence. And no I am not suggesting we compensate the violent or those who threaten violence, but those who curse and wail still like to go to the store and shop and a small check can go a long way. There are injustices that need solutions that should not wait for changes in leadership which may never happen.

4. It is largely a waste of time finding capable leadership to work with in some parts of the world where it doesn't exist, or if it exists is powerless to deliver due to tribal, traditional, or corrupt environments. This means that we must build a variety of people to people systems that can endure. Can youth from these areas be given rewards of a guided two week trip to the States, Australia, Europe, or even Japan as a reward for good grades in English or other studies. No proselyting permitted, but a healthy dose of Jeffersonian democracy in practice is a cure for many maladies. This worked when travelers came from the Soviet Territories.

5. If we are to be a Global culture, we have to make it work in practice, youth always desire freedom to work and develop without imposition. If we don't act to bring them on board to the cause of freedom and belong to that global freedom, then their local Nazi will pull them in to false causes. They are being propagandized in their hopes and dreams of a worthwhile life as being attacked by the west. Nothing can be further from the truth, but this propaganda needs a dose of exposure to us to see that we want peace and that their mis-leaders are just that. We have experience with these types in our history (some are current advocates of this siege mentality) The practical approach I advocate here is also nothing new. It is a clearer vision of the world we advocate and the types of, programs, propaganda and endorsements necessary to make it clear. My own preference is the four freedoms which my fathers generation went off to fight for and those were:

Freedom of speech and expression
Freedom of religion
Freedom from want
Freedom from fear

6. Young people everywhere will go to war for these goals, ask them. These also should be the goals of our politicians, generals, business, and labor leaders and if a "fundamentalist" religious person is worth their salt they will go along too before "we are all dead"


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)