Recovery, not prevention, is what sustains
Posted by aogSunday, 30 October 2005 at 11:06 TrackBack Ping URL

My “previous post”: reminded me of another facet of the compatibility of Islam and liberal democracy. One of the properties of Islam that makes its reformation to compatiblity is not such much that Islam encourages fanaticism more than other belief systems, but that it is lacking in corrective mechanisms. In other words, Islam has a weak immunie system to resist the inevitable loonies that occur in any belief system. If we look at the oher two great monothesistic religions, Judiasm doesn’t value conversion which strongly limits the impact of Jewish fanatis on other faiths. Chistianity has a number of limiters, such as “turn the other cheek” and “render unto Caeser”. In contrast, I’ve seen little evidence of any similar counter arguments to aggression in Islam. The personal examples of the founders of Christianity and Islam demonstrate this clearly — Jesus sacrificed self in the face of conflict with external faiths, while Muhammed sacrificed other in the same situation. Even most of the instances in which Jesus is agressive he is so against his co-religionists, not those of other faiths.

This is one reason while pointing out aggessive passages of the Bible (Old or New Testament) to how parallels to equivalent passages in the Quran paints a misleading equivalence. It is the lack of countervaling passages that is the problem, that makes it possible for the Caliphascists to “hijack” the faith in to violent intolerance. This, to me, indicates that any Reformation of Islam to render it compatible with liberal democracy will have to take the form of providing these defence mechanims against fanaticism rather than (say) toning down or discarding the agressive elements of Islam.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
cjm Monday, 31 October 2005 at 18:53

i predict islam will fade away as a world religion for the very reason that it can’t adapt. there have been articles detailing how much fanaticism by westernized moslems (in eu) is driven by the sense of islam dying on the vine. sucks to be betamax.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 01 November 2005 at 07:24

Yes, that’s what I think as well. While Islam will never disappear, a fate like that of Zoroastrism seems more likely than not to me. Agnostic that I am, I tend to look at faiths from a systems design point of view more than a theological one and, as you note, Islam just doesn’t seem well structured to adapt to liberal democracy.

cjm Tuesday, 01 November 2005 at 12:17

everything is a system, in the noosphere (sp?) :)

Jeff Guinn Sunday, 06 November 2005 at 08:44

I am glad you put scare quotes around “hijacked.” Caliphascists are true believers, they are acting precisely the way their revealed text directs them.

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