Tag Archives: extremism

Why we shouldn’t fear the (Muslim) fanatic (in the Muslim world)

Harris, L. 2007. Why we fear ‘fanatic’: The lesson of the red mosque. TCS Daily. July 12, 2007. Available online: http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=071207A (emailed in my Michael DeWitt of Spooky Action).

Joseph Goebbels was proud of being a fanatic. To him, fanaticism was a term of praise, and not abuse. The Hebrew Zealots looked with contempt on those who were unwilling either to die or to slaughter their own families. In the culture of the modern West, however, to call someone a fanatic is to insult, and not commend, him. Yet, as the incident at the Red Mosque makes clear, our own attitude toward fanaticism is simply an example of ethnocentricism. By refusing to use the word fanatic to describe Ghazi and his followers, we are approaching them through the standards and practices that are observed in our culture, but not in theirs.

Indeed. “Extremism in defense of liberty….

At the Boyd Conference, William Lind made the good point that the Arab world has been in a cycle of corruption-internal reform movement-revolutionary-corruption. By supporting corrupt states such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, we interrupted this cycle, between the generation of the internal reform movement (primarily the Muslim Brothers) and the revolution which would bring on either their corruption… or possibly a way out of the cycle. Assuming the old governments of the Middle East have our, or their own people’s, best interest at heart is foolish.

As I’ve said before, Islam is the answer. The governments of the Muslim world are the problem.

Of course, not all of Lind’s points were so flattering or helpful

We’re fighting more than just bigotry

Ralph Peter’s June 25, 2007 article, “Faith’s civil wars,” has already drawn criticism from Curtis. Let me pile on.

Peters writes:

The great religious civil war of this century afflicts not only Islam but also Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism. It’s the conflict between those in every faith who promote a punitive, disciplinary deity and those who worship a merciful, loving god. Not all confrontations will be violent, but many will be venomous.

No, it’s not.

There are few Christians are bigoted against my faith as the Jack Chick organization, for instance:

Indeed there are many Roman Catholics who, in spite of their beliefs, looks past it all and reach out by faith to the living Saviour. Oh yes, such accept Christ as their personal Saviour, are born again and leave the old life behind. Such we call “converted former Roman Catholics.”

But the question here is are there any saved Roman Catholics? That is, being a saved person and remaining in Roman Catholicism.

Just as you cannot mix fire and water, neither can one be a saved person and remain a faithful Roman Catholic.

But here’s the thing. Jack Chick is not trying to kill me. And he does not apologize for those that do.

There is a real global insurgency, essentially Arabist and Islamist. Conflating that with bigotry is a big mistake, and one Ralph Peters makes all too easily.