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Religion on the brain

Reader comment on item: Will Europe Resist Islamization?
in response to reader comment: K.H. Ahmed: Buddhists did not kill innocents like Muslims in defence of their culture/religion

Submitted by K.H. Ahmed (United States), May 5, 2008 at 16:18

Plato my friend -

You seem stuck on the whole religious thing. I can yank out statements from the Bible promoting death and war, but that is not my point. My point is to try to move away from the religious debate - it is a debate anchored in absolutes -

Even raised as a muslim I don't believe in this concept of Allah any more than I believe in the Christian God or the veda gods but to debate the superiority of one over the other is a huge waste of time. My disagreement with Mr. Pipes is he somehow believes an imposed infusion of western values will somehow alleviate the situation in the middle east - you on the other hand seem to believe the death of Islam will alleviate the situation.

I do not believe either of these would make a bit of difference - the death of Islam would lead to a profound sense of loss in the region far greater than the sense of loss already felt by these people as the faith of their fathers is ricdiculed as backward, barbaric and violent. Look at the rants posted on this site when Christianity is attacked there is foaming at the mouth - whether these beliefs are true or not - they remain important and cannot be ignored when attempting to relate to the "other" culture involved.

Just as in the old Holy Roman Empire christianity was the state, was the culture, for gods sake here in the US our own christian fundamentalists think christianity should be the state and we should all bow down. Islam and politics are locked together in an eternal dance the question is what tune do we want to hear played.

Religion as an absolute is irrational so it is impossible to have a rationale conversation. I am not here defending any one portion of Islam or any one persons right to kill another - but I am saying that rational conversations, a mitagation of the problems between the muslim world and the west is not even slightly conceivable unless the cultural imperatives of these people are respected-whether they respect ours or not is irrelavent - for want of a better analogy "we are suppose to be the grownups here" we need to start acting it. These people are no different than you or I - Islam does not reach out for them - Islam is a thing an idea - they reach out for Islam as a means to fight back - the west is richer, more powerful, a greater military, the arab has been as Lawrence of Arabia was quoted as saying, reduced to a "little people, a barbaric people". When you are that you turn to the thing that says you are a "chosen people".

I know the history of my religion - you should study its underpinnings more- before the prophet the arab was a little people in the desert worsipping gods long ago rejected by their cousins the jews, pressured by the new christian faith - these historical truths still echo in the arab world and we ignore that culture at our own peril.


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