Thursday, November 14, 2002

Liberalizing Islam?-Good Luck, You'll Need It-Josh Claybourn was writing on the exact thing the guest of a local news-talker was talking about; the concept that there are enough violent make-war-with-the-infidel passages in the Koran to make a uniformly peaceful Islam unlikely. There will always be people who want to take their faith at face value rather than conform it to the mores of the day and a literal reading of the Koran will produce a few bin Ladens from time to time, willing to more into jihad mode. It will thus be hard to totally eradicate the jihadist wing of Islam as long as there are people who revere the Koran as God's word. It might lessen or go underground, but it will be hard to wipe out in entirely. As much as our Constitution is set up to protect religious liberties, Muslims will be "picked on" for decades and centuries to come to make sure that they aren't ready to act out those satanic verses1. Other religions will get less scrutiny, for their scriptures contain less actionable violent imagery. Some people will overstate the case, as I've covered before. Mohammad was a warrior but not a terrorist in a tight definition of the word. Robertson’s declaring Islam worse to Jews than the Nazis is factually challenged. If you look at Jewish treatment in Islamic lands over the centuries, you've seen a lot more tolerance of Jews that we saw in the Third Reich and nothing close to a mapped-out Final Solution complete with death camps. It wasn't all that friendly with frequent persecutions, but there were also eras that Jewish treatment was almost on a par with the modern-day US. Especially today, there is a hatred of Jews by many Arabs, but it still is not quite to the level of Hitler and his henchmen. That's not to say that Ariel Sharon's going to be invited over to the next big post-Ramadan feast, but the Third Reich still is the leader in the clubhouse in distilling down Jewish hatred into its most concentrated form. 1Sorry, straight lines don't get out alive.

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