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response to Sidda

Reader comment on item: Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism
in response to reader comment: To all conservatives

Submitted by a Filipino liberal (Philippines), Feb 15, 2006 at 04:21

All right, so I misjudged you back there. I thought you'd be another one of those name-calling, all-insults-and-noreason-type-people, but you're not. However, I still don't fully agree.

I'm "obsessed" with Western conservatives because I'm against many of the things they believe in. And I know that it's possible for people who call themselves "conservative" to agree with the other side on some points. But conservative ideology is what I'm against. And while people from all over the political spectrum post on this forum, Daniel Pipes is an avowed conservative, and much of what he says is from a conservative viewpoint, and you'll agree that most people who post here are conservatives. (Western ones, not Islamic ones).

"You seem to be laboring under the misconception that to be anti-jihad, or anti radical Islam, you must be a conservative"

You're right, that is a misconception, and I am not laboring under it. I also oppose Islamic fundamentalists and conservatives, just as I oppose Western ones. I'm a Filipino Catholic myself, and I know that there are some people among the Islamist groups who want to kill or forcibly convert all people of different faiths and turn the entire world into an Islamic state, so why would I want to support them? However, are Western conservatives any different? To my view, both sides are the same, they want to their culture and religion to become predominant in the world - through force, if necessary. As the way of thinking of the two groups is so similar, they'd actually get along pretty well together if they didn't belong to diametrically opposed (in their view) religions. That's why Islamic and Western conservatives dislike each other so much. They're both aggressive, and they're on opposite sides. And to me, Western conservativism presents just as significant a threat to my country as does Islamic conservativism.

I'm not a Muslim, so it would be offensive for me to suggest anything to them on how they should "improve" their religion (and I would tell this to other people who presume to tell Muslims how to "improve", too). However, you're right, Islam may have to undergo a Reformation, but one started by them, not by the West. That way they can preserve their dignity. The only reason why I'm suggesting this is because Christianity isn't so perfect itself. Christianity also limited, and in fact, continues to limit, women's rights (by not allowing women to be ordained). Conservative Christianity also ostracized, and continues to ostracize gays - they probably wouldn't execute them now, but what about during the darkest days of the Inquisition? Atheists and agnostics, too, are targeted by Christians. They wouldn't kill them, unlike what Muslims might do, but the intolerance is there. Christianity used to be the same, but they changed, several times (or every Vatican Council that was held). Others didn't change them. The process took a long time, and isn't complete yet. And judging by the continuing existence of far right-wing groups such as the KKK in America, we might even be regressing.

By saying "a struggle between 21st century civilisation and a 7th century totalitarian belief system", you are referring to the West versus Islam, aren't you? That's buying into the whole "the West is the superior culture/civilisation in this world" thing. I could elaborate more on this, but not now. Suffice it to say that as I'm non-Westerner, I'm offended by that way of thinking. I'm neither a Westerner nor a Muslim, so I'm "caught in between". However, if the West says they're superior to Islam, a non-Western culture, that could also mean they're saying that they're superior to other non-Western cultures - the Indians, the Africans, the Japanese, the Chinese, etc. And I find that extremely insulting.

And yes, I know how Filipino OCW's (Overseas Contract Workers) in Saudi Arabia and the other oil nations are being mistreated. As a patriot, I don't like it, but the same thing used to happen, and continues to happen, to Filipino workers in the States or other Western nations. Like I said, this is another case where Islamic conservatives and Western conservatives agree. And the matter of Filipinos being abused in Saudi Arabia is for the Philippine government to deal with, not the West, because they do the same thing.
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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".

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