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Some measure of prudence

Reader comment on item: Twenty Years of Illusion about Islamism

Submitted by Peter Herz (United States), Jun 4, 2012 at 21:27

While I fault Deredjian's carless use of "fundamentalist" to describe certain groups in Islam as misleading (I vehemently limit the term fundamentalist to those Christians who accept it), his speech reflects a frank recognition that it would be a very tall order to "fundamentally" (?) remake the entire Islamic world in America's image, a recognition which, by the way, gives the lie to the Marxist-Leninist tirade about the USA as "imperialistic".

But I also believe that his speech also reflects elite America's "tin ear" when it comes to understanding the political influence of any religion. Our American system of limited, constitutional government based on consent historically owes far more to the followers of John Calvin than any modern educator or jurist would comfortably allow. The Islamic countries, however, to not have the Swiss Reformation in their spiritual and cultural DNA. This "tin ear" may well be why there is so much illusion about Islamism among American elites.

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