Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Parliament was united against a common enemy yesterday, an enemy that will stop at nothing, that has only contempt for our way of life, and is utterly indifferent to our loathing. But as well as attacking George Galloway, MPs also had harsh words for the London bombers
Simon Hoggart

....It may be relevant to remember that only quite recently western foreign policy envisaged thermonuclear destruction of the entire human race rather than risk the spread of communism. Having quite happily countenanced that MAD idea myself - better dead than red - I feel bound in conscience at least to give today's extremists the benefit of the doubt.
Peregrine Worsthorne


Charles Filson said...

Peregrine; Good to see somebody else has as bad taste in names for their child as I do.

It's a good point he makes. Makes me stop and ask why one is different than the other.

I'd really like to hear some ideas. Perhaps it is nothing more than the idea that Communists and Islamists wanted to change the way I live, and my leaders wanted to preserve the way that I live. This is possible. I hope that there is more to it.

I think it might be wrapped up in Liberty. Both the Communists (of the Soviet variety) and the Islamists retain their power only by supressing the Liberties of their own people. They strip their people of a large degree of their free-will and self-determination: those very things that I consider the essense of being human. Democracies, while having many flaws and sometimes failing outright, seem to seek to preserve the dignity and liberty of the individual mind.

Then there is the issue of Islam vs Christianity. Christianity (The Bible) has always told the Christian that bad things happen to good people. Rain falls on the wicked and the righteous. Christians will be persecuted and have a bad life.
Not so Islam, as I understand it. Islam teaches that Allah will defend his people and if they are righteous then he will make them successful, and this seemed to work for around 800 years or so. But then the Western World surpassed them, and now they are left with a few choices:

1) They are sinful, so Allah has turned from them. (This would require change)

2) Their religious texts are a load of hooey.

3) The western world is working for Satan, and thus the mortal enemy who must be converted or killed.

Sadly most seem to pick #3.

Finally, there is the issue of law. Jesus said to give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. He laid down no legal code, but rather a moral code. And he, or his redactors, gave us some nice outs to get out from under Levitical law. We can still eat pork and be good Christians. The Jews also went through a nice reformation and altered the idea of Torah around 1200AD or so.
Not so the Muslim. Mohammed spelled out (dictated by God mind you) everthing right down to how to divide your inheritance. (1/3 to a boy child and 2/3rds divide between his sisters, or if no boy child then X to this and Y to that, or if more than one boy then...etc etc etc) There is no way to believe that the Koran is what it claims to be, be an observant Muslim, and support a legal code not based on Koranic law.

Communism works great until the best and brightest figure out that they can have a better life somewhere else, or until your laborers figure out that there is more opportunity elsewhere. The only solution to this is to keep everybody locked in, or to make the whole world communist.
The Islamists have a similar problem and a similar solution: Most people would rather live under a system of law that can change with the times - trap them in with threats of hell and try to make the whole world Dar'Islam.

Dan Hemmens said...

I think it might be wrapped up in Liberty.

I think Liberty might be a bit of a red herring. You consider Liberty to be so important because your way of life is based on a society that considers Liberty to be important. It still, ultimately, comes down to "they want to change the way I live, and my leaders want to preserve the way I live."

Essentially it comes down to what the Most Important Thing is. For Islamists, Islam is the most important thing. For democracies, Liberty is the most important thing. Democracy also has the advantage that it sort of says that "The Most Important Thing is the ability to decide for yourself what The Most Important Thing is." This naturally appeals.