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Halfway measures

Reader comment on item: Bush Declares War on Radical Islam

Submitted by Charles Fortner (United States), Oct 11, 2005 at 15:24

A war on Radical Islam is not enough.

The current Administration appears to lack competence to deal with Radicalism of any stripe-when what is needed is an even-handed war against fundamentalism on three fronts-Christian, Jewish and Islamist. Censorship of exhortations to violence in all the Abrahamic faiths is absolutely necessary and long overdue. The hijacking of religions has been the leading cause of endless political massacres, pogroms, crusades, inquisitions, genocides, greed and arrogance-why have we endured this hoax for so long and at the expense of so many suffering innocents?

The whole kit and kaboodle must be revised permanantly and absolutely. Not only Koran, but Tanach, Torah, mishna, gimmera, Talmud and the whole body of Jewish tradition must be mercilessly expunged of the "chosen people" and "god of battle" heritage. The Calvinistic doctrines of the "elect of god" in the New Testament must be just as mercilessly sanitized. The koran and the hadiths and even historic documentation of jihad must be reduced by an equally objective process. Where to begin? Happily a good deal of the work has been done for us in the hateful writings of Myer Kahane. They are still available online including the piece on the Seder supper that caught my attention straight away.

Can all of fundamentalism be confronted and reformed? Well, why not? If we expect the Islamists to submit to rational modification can we notconsent to the rest of us to submitting as well?

That may be a rhetorical question. Censoring Islamists without pruning back Jewish and Christian scriptures and traditions will be only one more injustice and inequality in a long litany of abuse and negative attention and will have its proper reaction.

Nobody can be spared, everyone will benefit-so why not get on with it? What exactly prevents us from taking this earth-shaking and well-considered step? It has been necessary for centuries. Meddling in secular affairs by radically-inspired fundamentalists has set us on a course of mutual ahnillation that must be resisted.

In this, as well as other venues, you will often find significant prejudice against Islamic radicals. Coveting self-criticism is a rare virtue. May I suggest that you adopot my hobby: Abandoning strongly-held opinions. For an example of intellectual honesty in American religion I refer you to T. Jefferson and J. Madison, these are not comfortable places for 20th century Americans. They are at the antipodes to the performance of GW Bush and company and deserve to be. The Virginia Statutes and George Washington's farewell address.

Once more Bush & company are way behind the intellectual and practical conventions of even basic humanism.


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