Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Separating the sacred from the profane has never been acceptable in Islam the way it has been in Christianity

Blind Faiths By AYAAN HIRSI ALI The New York Times: January 6, 2008
The expansion of Islam is perhaps more potent than the expansion of the Christian empires (including Rome after Constantine) because the concept of separating the sacred from the profane has never been acceptable in Islam the way it has been in Christianity. The Romans, the British and the French went about annexing large parts of the world more for earthly or material gain than for spiritual dominance. Under these empires, the clergy was allowed to propagate its faith as long as it did not jeopardize imperial interests.
Harris goes on to argue that the Muslim world, since it is governed by the law of the jungle, makes group survival paramount. This explains in part the willingness of Muslims to become martyrs for the larger community, the umma — uniting peoples separated by geographical boundaries, with different cultures, heritages and languages. According to Harris, this sense of solidarity is sustainable only with the weapon of fanaticism, which obligates each member of the umma to convert infidels and to threaten those who attempt to leave with death. That is, the aim of Muslim culture, so different from that of the West, is both to preserve and to convert, and this is what enables it to spread across the globe.
The second fanaticism that Harris identifies is one he views as infecting Western societies; he calls it a “fanaticism of reason.” Reason, he says, contains within itself a potential fatality because it blinds Western leaders to the true nature of Islamic-influenced cultures. Westerners see these cultures merely as different versions of the world they know, with dominant values similar to those espoused in their own culture. But this, Harris argues, is a fatal mistake. It implies that the West fails to appreciate both its history and the true nature of its opposition.
Nor, he points out, is the failure linked to a particular political outlook. Liberals and conservatives alike share this misperception. Noam Chomsky and Paul Wolfowitz agreed, Harris writes, “that you couldn’t really blame the terrorists, since they were merely the victims of an evil system — for Chomsky, American imperialism, for Wolfowitz, the corrupt and despotic regimes of the Middle East.” That is to say, while left and right may disagree on the causes and the remedies, they both overlook the fanaticism inherent in Islam itself. Driven by their blind faith in reason, they interpret the problem in a way that is familiar to them, in order to find a solution that fits within their doctrine of reason. The same is true for such prominent intellectuals as Samuel Huntington and Francis Fukuyama.
Harris does not regard Islamic fanaticism as a deviancy or a madness that affects a few Muslims and terrifies many. Instead he argues that fanaticism is the basic principle in Islam. “The Muslims are, from an early age, indoctrinated into a shaming code that demands a fanatical rejection of anything that threatens to subvert the supremacy of Islam,” he writes. During the years that this shaming code is instilled into children, the collective is emphasized above the individual and his freedoms. A good Muslim must forsake all: his property, family, children, even life for the sake of Islam. Boys in particular are taught to be dominating and merciless, which has the effect of creating a society of holy warriors.
By contrast, the West has cultivated an ethos of individualism, reason and tolerance, and an elaborate system in which every actor, from the individual to the nation-state, seeks to resolve conflict through words. The entire system is built on the idea of self-interest. This ethos rejects fanaticism. The alpha male is pacified and groomed to study hard, find a good job and plan prudently for retirement: “While we in America are drugging our alpha boys with Ritalin,” Harris writes, “the Muslims are doing everything in their power to encourage their alpha boys to be tough, aggressive and ruthless.”
1 2 3 Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, is the author of “Infidel.” 8:47 AM

1 comment:

  1. Western Civilization has always been profoundly hostile to anything genuinely sacred. Look at its attitude to its Illuminated Saints. Prison, persecution, execution.

    And via the rise of one-dimensional Protestant religiosity and a "culture" created in the image of scientism it threw what there was of the sacred away with both hands.

    And besides which the fundamental root motive and drive of Western "civilzation" has always been to gain total power and control over everyone and everything.

    Hence we end up with think tanks such as the AEI totally infested with one-dimensional robotic androids who pretend (in their infinitely dead heartedness) that they represent an "advanced" form of human culture and hold the keys to the future of humanity on this planet.

    Their benighted pestilence is now being dramatised all over the planet.

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