Sunday, February 05, 2006

a thousand years of darkness....

For those of you who think that the West has nothing to worry about from Islam, click here to see some pictures from the recent protests / riots in London over the admitedly provocative and perhaps insulting cartoons recently to appear in European newspapers -- and at least one Middle Eastern newspaper. Read more here, and here; and see all of the offending cartoons here.

The most striking poster to me is perhaps the one reading "Freedom Go to Hell." I am a bit of a Marxist about the propaganda of religious ideologies in these sorts of instances. They scream their incoherence to the heavens. And those engaging this kind of propaganda are surely aware of their incoherence, though of course this does not stop them. I mean, it is the freedom damned by this young zealot that enables him to damn it, dammit [excuse me - that was irresistable]. But he lives by a meta-creed that finds revenge, and specifically the massacring (their word, not mine) of offensive journalists, a relatively higher priority than, for example, a free press. Needless to say, I think they are wrong.

Pardon me, but I do tend to prize the liberalism at the bottom of Western civilization -- the liberalism that protects, and in some sense prizes, the drawing of offensive cartoons and, at the same time, the vilest kinds of protest. And I believe that the rhetoric ubiquitous in the Middle East, and more and more common among Muslim communities in Europe, manifests a fundamental divergence between the worldviews of Islam and Western Liberalism. In this conflict, I unequivocally side with the latter.

Read Mr. Andrus's commentary, with more links, here.

See more Reuters photos of the protests here. Frightening.


MM said...

This is a compelling review Fr., though your consternation at breakfast was all the more so. "Massacre those who insult you?" Wow.

At least we believe in the same Creator. "Fill the earth and subdue it." - see?

dimbo said...

little brother,

this is a good post. seriously. i must say that i totally agree with you. but, perhaps more "violently" (i'm no man--or child--of God).
incidentally, how is chas?

Garland said...

I agree with you about the incoherence of their intellectual position, but that's precisely what makes it so disturbing. "Butcher", "behead", "slay": these people are well beyond roundtable talks or peace discussions or even conciliatory gestures to preserve the status quo.

I have to say, this seems to make MM's previous post about the conditions for a just war less certain. People with such single-mindedness of purpose, no matter how misguided or corrupt will not be easily beaten. In fact, considering the way things are going in Iraq, there doesn't seem much hope for a clear victory. But does the fact that we may not win, that this war may be dragged out for a thousand years (as you suggest) with incredible casualties on all sides, make it less of a duty to oppose such evil?

Anonymous said...

Looking at the picture, it occurs to me that the most remarkable thing just might be that these protesters are in LONDON. I.e. this is a small minority of the population calling for the extermination of their hosts. Incredible, on several levels. The arrogance. But also the tolerance of the West. That the West protects these people's calls for the destruction of the West. That's a good thing. Has there ever been anything like that in history?

- WB+