Saturday, November 21, 2015

Why liberal secular Muslims can never tell you what ISIS really wants and why liberal Christians will never understand this

Graeme Wood, "What ISIS Really Wants" (Atlantic: March 2015): 
 Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on the group’s theology, told me, “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.” Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an “interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.”
The Atlantic article contains a good video interview with Graeme Wood.
[Hat tip to JM]


Anonymous said...

Like a spouse who abandons their vows but comes up with a rationalized set of circumstances that works for them, even as they see the destruction cast upon their children and the abandoned spouse, so it is with many of us who must find a way to live with ourselves. Why should other humans, who are muslim, be any different.

Personally, I find it impossible to reconcile God having passed on Islam through Mohammed, when, as I understand it, the earliest know fragments of the Koran have been demonstrated, with reasonable certainty, to predate Mohammed. I hope the dating was done accurately and not by some careless pseudo-scientist with an agenda or a careless streak. The "evidence" seems to be more consistent with the anciently held Catholic presumption that what Mohammed "synthesized" was more accurately, a heresy. But I am not a scholar. Nor am I trying to create heartache or anger. This is just stating how things look to me based upon what I think I know of the facts. But, I may be wrong.

Just as in a broken marriage, honest, careful thought is really the only way to seek truth to address all the issues.

But, when our lives and the choices we have made are too heavily invested, the vast majority of humans will rationalize to defend their already established positions and long standing behaviors. It is too much effort and it takes, often, character long abandoned to chart a different course, which by necessity entails serious obligations to change and to undo what one has been about for a long time.

It is a lost cause. There are far too few people with the necessary character to do the "right thing". From this perspective, there is little difference between Catholics and Muslims, low in the religious food chain or high in it.

Most people of all religions are committed losers, or are dedicated, knowing, sinners I think, more accurately, when it come to WHAT THEY WANT.

My two cents.


Bluto said...

As applied to the current topic, moderation = cowardice, lack of commitment, "eyes on the door"

If such things as "moderate muslims" exist, they are cowards, and thus are nondescript, null values. I would be content to ignore them, were it not for the fact that people are not mannequins. They are alive, dynamic, and quite capable of changing their minds -- of becoming "radicalized." They also have kids by the gross, and kids are rebellious by nature. Thus I say, build the damn physical wall on the border, and build a legal wall to throw them out and keep them out.

"Moderate Catholics" on the other hand, certainly do exist, although they are fond of calling themselves "conservative." Non-traditional establishmentarians, a term which makes no particular sense, but which describes them best. The nearest analogue I can think of for "moderate Catholics" is the "republican establishment." A church full of Mitt Romneys and fill-in-the-blank Bushes. Thus I say, build a damn physical wall and a legal wall to throw them out and keep them out.