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Good reply, Rashid...

Reader comment on item: White House Nonchalance toward the Middle East
in response to reader comment: CHALLEGE 6W: Answering Lisa and more

Submitted by William (United States), Apr 13, 2006 at 19:33

Good reply. I was going to jump in myself and reply along the same lines in your defense, but didn't have time. Here are some more thoughts.

In sociology (a subject I studied for a few years), we have the concept of "social construction". Generally, a field of human endeavor is "socially constructed" when its concepts, core beliefs, facts, and methods of argumentation are a matter of social convention and (loose) consensus, rather than being rooted in some indisputable reality. Religion is the epitome of social construction -- it discusses unseen Gods and unknowable events in an environment in which those who doubt or disagree are systematically persecuted into conforming. Science is the antithesis of social construction, though some social scientists (e.g., Bruno Latour) have tried to argue science is as highly socially constructed as anything else. (I completely disagree with Latour.)

Taj's response clearly demonstrates that he's 100% bought into the socially constructed (read: illusory) "reality" of Islam. He seems to think that what a particular hadith or sura actually says or what Mohammad the Murderer actually did matters a whole lot in the modern world. I don't think so. Practically everything in religion is deeply ambiguous and therefore subject to "interpretation" by established religious "scholars", who are nothing more than a vessel by which an oppressive mindset is passed from one generation to the next. What really matters is how Muslims respond to their beliefs, how they behave, and what the overall message of Islam is to those who practice it.

Tariq realizes even less than Taj that religion is completely socially constructed. He walks around saying, "That's not real Islam" or "Islam does not allow that", as if there is no disagreement about such things. It is as if he points at a banana in front of him and says, "That's not an apple". I expect that level of cognitive functioning from my four-year old son, but it's downright depressing to see it in someone old enough to type a sentence like "If shariah were implemented properly, you would want it imposed on you." (A near exact quote of Tariq. Care to dispute your own words, Tariq?)

I'm sorry, but I see the overall message of Islam as being false virtue imposed by threat of violence, oppression of dissenters, and conquest of the supposedly inferior infidel.
Islam means SUBMISSION. What a thoroughly deplorable message.

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