Saturday, February 11, 2006

Dying by the Post-modern Sword

We, who support the struggle of our brave Danish compatriots, are fighting with one hand tied behind our backs—and we are unaware of this handicap. Our side, in this battle, has failed to use our most important weapon: we are fighting for the truth. This isn’t incidental to the debate; this is the whole purpose of the debate! Freedom of speech isn’t irrelevant to the truth; it is a means required to establish the truth. The cartoons depict Mohammad as a violent man and that is the truth.

But you don’t hear the ‘T’ word. Conservatives, libertarians, and liberals, who support the right to publish the cartoons, have yet to deploy this mighty and noble word. It’s as if the truth is irrelevant. In this post-Modern world, it has become irrelevant to the debate. And we must accept some of the blame by our default.

Let’s take the example of one articulate conservative. Charles Krauthammer, in a much praised article, does not once mention the word but instead talks about how Arab countries are hypocrites for allowing the depiction of Jews as “sons of pigs and monkeys.” These Arabs obviously perpetuate a vile lie; the Danish cartoons may be crude but they are the truth: Mohammad was violent! Krauthammer gives it away here: “Had they not been so hypocritical, one might defend their refusal to republish these cartoons on the grounds that news value can sometimes be trumped by good taste and sensitivity.” Is he not setting up the debate for mutual censorship: if Arabs censor vile lies, we’ll censor the honest-to-goodness truth! That’s being “fair to both sides” in the post-Modern world.

“What is the truth?” postmodernists skeptically ask but quickly answer:There is no such thing as truth, only perceptions dependent on one’s demographic group. You have your perceptions and they have theirs. The very notion of ‘truth’ is a tool of the powerful to oppress the powerless.” Even those who wouldn’t agree with these statements have adopted an “our prejudice vs. their prejudice” posture. This denies the possibility that the cartoons might be true before they’ve even been debated. And that’s a major concession in this war.

There are those who mistakenly base their whole argument for liberty on skepticism. It is only the inability to know the truth that permits all views, according to this line of argument. “You can’t be sure who’s right so let them talk.” But if freedom of speech is only to express subjective unverifiable sentiment, why is it so important? If ideas can’t make a difference in reality why not limit them if others perceive them as insulting? Indeed, freedom of speech, opponents will argue, is just another prejudice that has no more right to prevail than multi-cultural sensitivity.

Imagine for example, if we discussed the authoritarian suppression of Galileo’s scientific work by the 17th century Catholic Church in a matter that regarded his truth as ancillary to the discussion. Here’s how a post-modernist would discuss 17th century Church policy: “Let’s remember that Galileo wasn’t the only person persecuted by the church. Science suffered but so did astrology and sorcery. Indeed, the vast majority who suffered weren’t scientists but alternative thinkers outside the scientific tradition. It’s time we correct the historical imbalance by featuring, first and foremost, the vast majority of those persecuted.”

Don’t laugh! While that’s not how you and I remember learning about Galileo’s plight, don’t be surprised if books aren’t being rewritten to embody just such a “narrative.” Of course, it is important that other people also suffered persecution! But the fact that a scientist of the stature of Galileo was persecuted dramatizes that policy. And it shows the harm to the truth! What could more elegantly illustrate that liberty is a potent requirement for understanding reality?

Historically, liberty didn’t arise as a superfluous fringe benefit of civilization. Liberty is the crucial element; it is a prerequisite for the establishment of the truth and maintaining the ongoing health of a flourishing society. The fact that it doesn’t guarantee the truth in a case by case basis, and the fact that we must endure the expression of falsehood, doesn’t change the core of the rationale for maintaining liberty as a right.

If we are to win this battle, let’s remember that we are fighting for the truth and the process (liberty) required for the growth and maintenance of a society where the truth can ultimately prevail; and by so doing we may flourish in a society where dignity, mutual respect, material progress, and self-fulfillment are possible. The threat to liberty is both internal and external to our culture; and only the truth will "set us free" and keep us free.

Update: I have an expanded version here.

30 Comments:

Blogger Always On Watch said...

Jason,
But you don’t hear the ‘T’ word. Conservatives, libertarians, and liberals, who support the right to publish the cartoons, have yet to deploy this mighty and noble word. It’s as if the truth is irrelevant.

I agree that of this phenomenon is Post-modernism. But I also think that the element of fear plays in. In fact, a blogger once told me some time back that part of that blogger's decision not to go after CAIR was the fear of being sued. Now, I understand--even respect--that attitude. But I guess that I'm willing to take such a risk. Part of my willingness is my belief as a Christian that my God will protect me, whatever His definition of "protect" is; I can give many banal examples of how He has protected me; of course, that's my Christian perspective, which is not common to all. Plus, I am just plain stubborn by nature! I am slow to make decisions, but once I make them, I stick by them--unless one can show me a reasoned argument to change my mind.

Certainly those besides Christians are able to discern the truth. Objective reasoning can lead one to the truth about earthly matters. So never mistake my words about Christianity as words which communicate that only we Christians can discern the truth!

I blogged the Krauthammer article, and I should have mentioned the matter of truth. Perhaps you'll stop by and add what needs to be said!

Imagine for example, if we discussed the authoritarian suppression of Galileo’s scientific work by the 17th century Catholic Church in a matter that regarded his truth as ancillary to the discussion....

As you pointed out, one doesn't need to imagine that scenario. Textbooks published in at least the last 20 years spout that kind of crap! Often the phrases are like this: "Remember that so-and-so was a product of his times." I've seen that kind of comment appear in reference to Abraham Lincoln (I'm teaching American history this term). And to MTP! I'm sure you've seen those statements, apolgeia, for MTP as well.

Post-modernism has a creeping agenda. Closer and closer we creep toward the abyss of the suppression of truth by curtailing liberty. I confess that I got downright depressed over this issue last night--even before I saw your blog article here. In fact, I left a party early last night because I just couldn't be celebratory while the future of Western civilization hangs in the balance.

Slightly different topic here, but related....Have you noticed the push in the public sector toward Values Debate? It used to be that Policy Debate was the norm of debate clubs. But now "the greater good" and relativism are emphasized over the four stock issues and empirically provable arguments of Policy Debate. I sort of touched on that point when I mentioned "subjectivity" in my latest blog article.

2/11/06, 10:05 AM  
Blogger kevin said...

Great article Jason, I think a lot of our reluctance to critque Islam has do with the PC mentality. It's gone too far.

2/11/06, 12:40 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Jason:

Great blog!

In this PC, multi-culti, post-modern world, making people feel good trumps the truth! And that's one reason why we're in the unholy mess we're now in!

2/11/06, 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good opinion vs true opinion. You are "spot on", Mark. The tension in the soul may require the tightrope walker to take yet another leap across the great abyss.

Nietzsche, Preface to "Beyond Good and Evil"...

SUPPOSING that Truth is a woman--what then? Is there not ground for suspecting that all philosophers, in so far as they have been dogmatists, have failed to understand women--that the terrible seriousness and clumsy importunity with which they have usually paid their addresses to Truth, have been unskilled and unseemly methods for winning a woman? Certainly she has never allowed herself to be won; and at present every kind of dogma stands with sad and discouraged mien--IF, indeed, it stands at all! For there are scoffers who maintain that it has fallen, that all dogma lies on the ground--nay more, that it is at its last gasp. But to speak seriously, there are good grounds for hoping that all dogmatizing in philosophy, whatever solemn, whatever conclusive and decided airs it has assumed, may have been only a noble puerilism and tyronism; and probably the time is at hand when it will be once and again understood WHAT has actually sufficed for the basis of such imposing and absolute philosophical edifices as the dogmatists have hitherto reared: perhaps some popular superstition of immemorial time (such as the soul-superstition, which, in the form of subject- and ego superstition, has not yet ceased doing mischief): perhaps some play upon words, a deception on the part of grammar, or an audacious generalization of very restricted, very personal, very human--all-too-human facts. The philosophy of the dogmatists, it is to be hoped, was only a promise for thousands of years afterwards, as was astrology in still earlier times, in the service of which probably more labour, gold, acuteness, and patience have been spent than on any actual science hitherto: we owe to it, and to its "super- terrestrial" pretensions in Asia and Egypt, the grand style of architecture. It seems that in order to inscribe themselves upon the heart of humanity with everlasting claims, all great things have first to wander about the earth as enormous and awe- inspiring caricatures: dogmatic philosophy has been a caricature of this kind--for instance, the Vedanta doctrine in Asia, and Platonism in Europe. Let us not be ungrateful to it, although it must certainly be confessed that the worst, the most tiresome, and the most dangerous of errors hitherto has been a dogmatist error--namely, Plato's invention of Pure Spirit and the Good in Itself. But now when it has been surmounted, when Europe, rid of this nightmare, can again draw breath freely and at least enjoy a healthier--sleep, we, WHOSE DUTY IS WAKEFULNESS ITSELF, are the heirs of all the strength which the struggle against this error has fostered. It amounted to the very inversion of truth, and the denial of the PERSPECTIVE--the fundamental condition--of life, to speak of Spirit and the Good as Plato spoke of them; indeed one might ask, as a physician: "How did such a malady attack that finest product of antiquity, Plato? Had the wicked Socrates really corrupted him? Was Socrates after all a corrupter of youths, and deserved his hemlock?" But the struggle against Plato, or--to speak plainer, and for the "people"--the struggle against the ecclesiastical oppression of millenniums of Christianity (FOR CHRISTIANITY IS PLATONISM FOR THE "PEOPLE"), produced in Europe a magnificent tension of soul, such as had not existed anywhere previously; with such a tensely strained bow one can now aim at the furthest goals. As a matter of fact, the European feels this tension as a state of distress, and twice attempts have been made in grand style to unbend the bow: once by means of Jesuitism, and the second time by means of democratic enlightenment--which, with the aid of liberty of the press and newspaper-reading, might, in fact, bring it about that the spirit would not so easily find itself in "distress"! (The Germans invented gunpowder--all credit to them! but they again made things square--they invented printing.) But we, who are neither Jesuits, nor democrats, nor even sufficiently Germans, we GOOD EUROPEANS, and free, VERY free spirits--we have it still, all the distress of spirit and all the tension of its bow! And perhaps also the arrow, the duty, and, who knows? THE GOAL TO AIM AT. . . .

Sils Maria Upper Engadine, JUNE, 1885.

-FJ

2/11/06, 2:42 PM  
Blogger beakerkin said...

Wrong relevant T word the truth goes without saying. Yet there is a more relevant T word Totalitarian.

Any group that seeks to control my freedom of expression is TOTALITARIAN. Islam is a totalitarian concept with no hints
of individuality. The religious police enforce this conformity and harass not believers. This is not Orwell but the reality of many countries in the world.

2/11/06, 2:50 PM  
Blogger Bithead said...

We, who support the struggle of our brave Danish compatriots, are fighting with one hand tied behind our backs—and we are unaware of this handicap. Our side, in this battle, has failed to use our most important weapon: we are fighting for the truth. This isn’t incidental to the debate; this is the whole purpose of the debate! Freedom of speech isn’t irrelevant to the truth; it is a means required to establish the truth. The cartoons depict Mohammad as a violent man and that is the truth.

More correctly, and more to the point as regards our current situation, these cartoons depict his followers as violent.

And that, demonstrably, is the heart of the matter, and the truth. I labeled this on my own blog, too much truth for their comfort.

There have certainly been many other examples of illustrations of the prophet Mohammed, that Muslims world-wide have not raised nearly the stink over.

I would suggest you that least part of the issue, is a version from the more important items. Among these; the burgeoning nuclear capability of Iran. Notice how the question of two cartoon or not to cartoon has pushed this off of page one.

2/11/06, 3:29 PM  
Blogger Bithead said...

correction "a version"/"diversion"

2/11/06, 3:30 PM  
Blogger Iran Watch said...

Yes you're right that these cartoons are telling the truth but that message will never get out because it isn't PC and you know it. Every time President Bush says Islam is a peaceful religion being hijacked by extremist...he is lying and he knows it, but what choice does he have? I would like to hear him say the truth. Then I would like to have the rights to sell American flags throughout the Middle East...I could make millions.

2/11/06, 4:09 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

There are many good comments above. But let me comment on today’s article by Peter Beinart in the New York Post (link not yet available); it is good news and bad news.

First the bad news: Beinart, a moderate Democrat, believes “the cartoons should be condemned” and calls them bigoted. This, of course, would be true if the cartoons were false. But he doesn’t even debate the issue.

The good news: he believes the Right has come to the conclusion that Islam is the problem. He praises “Bush’s brand of conservative ecumenism” that includes Islam with Judaism and Christianity. But he reserves his wrath for the “bad” conservatives: “… some conservatives have suggested that, since Islam is not a peaceful religion like Judaism or Christianity, there’s nothing wrong with depicting Mohammad as a terrorist.” He presents this as if it is self-evidently wrong.

Sure, a few believe this but rarely is it said in public. Since Beinart talks to these people in private, this gives me hope that far more conservative intellectuals understand Islam than we realize. This appalls Beinart who sees a parallel with the Cold War where conservatives saw a struggle “for Western civilization.” Scratch any left-liberal and there’s still a soft spot for communism as a well-meaning but misguided attempt at utopia.

Beinart, instead, praises “Bush’s universalism” over that “darker conservatism—with its suspicion of the capacity of abstract ideals to transcend cultural barriers.” He disapprovingly quotes Jeane Kirkpatrick, “’decades, if not centuries, are normally required for people to acquire the necessary disciplines and habits’ of democracy.”

Finally, Beinart complains that Europe’s problem is not that they have a critical mass of recalcitrant Muslims but that they are anti-religious; and that’s why Muslims like America more. While it is true that Europe may make few distinctions in rejecting religion, the only one giving them a problem today is Islam.

So there we have the false alternative: all religions are equally good or all religions are equally bad. And we know this a priori. As I said a few weeks ago, there’s no reason why those of us who are not religious can’t see the vast differences between the religions especially as they are today. Whatever differences one may have with Christianity or Judaism, Islam is eons away from being compatible with today’s civilization. And there’s evidence to show that it can’t change enough to create a dominant strain with which to form a stable basis for a liberal order.

I can’t read this link from TNR but when the New York Post line becomes available, I’ll post it.

2/11/06, 5:20 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Another good article on the myth of "moderate Islam" by a non-religious fellow who can see the vast differences. Why can't everyone? Yes, that's a rhetorical question!

2/11/06, 5:28 PM  
Blogger usiconoclasticpatriot said...

Hey Jason, I am just a poor country boy trying to get along, but I don't quite follow your thread. Please expand on your points. Many thanks.

2/11/06, 7:31 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Jason,
The good news: he believes the Right has come to the conclusion that Islam is the problem.

I think the above is a true statement. Some of my friends on the Right disbelieved me--in fact, thought me wacko--over the last few years as laid out the problem which I see with Islam itself. Several have approached me in the past week to say, "Well, you were right all along."

Now, many will not speak out for one or more of several reasons (not an exhaustive list):
1. The fear that condemning Islam will interfere with freedom of religion.
2. The evangelical-Christian belief that Armageddon is coming and that the will of the Lord should be done. Certain of these Christians believe that they will be raptured before the really bad times set in.
3. The fear of ostracisim, both personally and in the workplace.
4. The fear of losing one's job.
5. The reluctance to face reality.
6. Daily concerns, such as family obligations and paying the bills.
7. Fear of reprisals. Some go so far as to say that they fear for their lives if they speak what they know.
8. Fear of being sued by a Muslim civil rights group such as CAIR.

Today I read in a medical publication that too much cable-TV leads to hypertension and endangers one's health. Suggestion from that publication: Don't watch so much news.
My reaction: Stick your head in the sand so that you won't see the attack coming and, thereby, suffer needlessly.

2/11/06, 7:37 PM  
Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

What truth is necessary to uphold? That the "prophet" Muhammad really was an illiterate baby-raping mass murderer? That the "cartoon crisis" is being fanned by Muslim clerics, with additional Muhammad caricatures that DIDN'T appear in any European newspapers? That Islam is not nor was it ever a "religion of peace?"

It's time to quit lolligagging around and make these people worry about upsetting us.

Quite frankly, I'm offended that Muslims do not make prayers toward the bottom of my foot.

2/11/06, 8:09 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Let me catch up on the many remarks.

AOW makes many important remarks about fear. And with good reason! From van Gogh to Rushdie (two of his translators were killed) to the costs of litigation that itself is a punishment regardless of a verdict. It’s rational to acknowledge fear. I can’t and won’t tell other people what risks they should take. That’s such a personal question. But I have to respect the deep well of personal strength that people draw upon when facing necessary risks (re: comment #1) and you have a good grasp of some of the concerns take keep others from taking action. (re: comment #12).

Kevin & Mark & ‘Iran Watch’. Yes, this PC nonsense has metastasized from academia to everyday life. One of the reasons I picked on Krauthammer is because I respect him and believe positive criticism can help. I know he doesn’t read my blog but people who do respect him will adopt this position. I’d like to make that position a little stronger.

I don’t try to give positive criticism to the hate-America crowd on the far left. I let David Horowitz finish them off (rhetorically); besides Beak, Beamish, billwick1enjoy Duck hunting.

FJ, perhaps we’ve kick some dogma in the butt … like Islam is peace. That’s not sounding plausible to even the most Pollyanna of pundits.

Bithead (Erik) is right that the truth in the cartoon is too close for comfort. But there is certainly a coordinated effort to whip up the mob by professional Islamists agitators. (Beamish notes also the other day.) If it wasn’t the cartoons, they find other reasons to fume against the Infidels. And the regimes will exploit these common prejudices to distract their suffering people and our media from the gathering threat in Iran.

Usiconoclasticpatriot, stick around, you’ll see how things connect as we go along.

2/11/06, 9:57 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Another sign. The New York Daily News, a moderate leftist tabloid(but not as left as the Times) publishes this letter:

"Radicals have hijacked Islam? Not quite. Islam is inducive to radicals. Read the Koran. Be careful not to touch it with your left hand, though, as a mob of moderate Muslims practicing the religion of peace just might burn down your house."

No letters where appologizing for Islam today. Hmmm. It really is looking like criticism of Islam isn't as taboo as it used to be. Is it more mainstream? Have other caught up with us?

2/11/06, 10:03 PM  
Blogger maccusgermanis said...

"liberty is a potent requirement for understanding reality"

That is a truth that should be set in stone somewhere.

2/11/06, 11:36 PM  
Anonymous Andre Zantonavitch said...

Jason,

Your point about "the truth" is really obvious but very important. Evidently it was so much directly in front of me that I completely forgot about it! Thanks for reminding me.

The amin way I thought about this issue before today was based on "justice." For me, no subject or person is more worthy of lampooning in a political cartoon than Mohammed. Nothing and no one deserves it more. And after looking at those 12 lame Danish cartoons I thought Mohammed got off totally light. They easily could and should have been 100 times as biting and critical.

Another truly obvious issue here is that of proportion. The "offense" of those innocuous obscure cartons is so small, and the world-wide Muslim mob reply so extreme that I'm surprised everyone doesn't laugh the Muslims off the face of the earth. It's like some guy accidently trespassed on one inch of a 10,000 acre Texas ranch for one second and the response of the rancher was to slaughter a whole town of people who possibly slightly knew the trespasser. How can anyone not understand which "insult", crime, and evil is almost infinitely worse than the other?

2/12/06, 4:35 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

I agree with every argument you make. The truth is of utmost importance.

Speaking Truth - the killing of hundreds of Palestinian children by Israel is justified and does not lend any weight to the Arab argument that Jews are less than human.

2/12/06, 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think all readers of this blog will find this piece by Objectivist Ed Cline to be excellent. He expresses many of the sentiments we all share:

http://kalapanapundit.blogspot.com/2006/02/mohammad-attila-of-allah.html

2/12/06, 7:47 PM  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Jason,
Great post.

You know, the same thing suddenly occurred to me this morning in a different form. I realized, we can use truth as our sword against Islam and here is the truth;

Islamic law (Sharia) runs counter to the Western concept of Human Rights.

As the Constitutions of Western countries are based on a concept of human rights, starting with Freedom of Speech/Conscience, then it is clear that Sharia, itself, is a violation of all Western Constitutions.

Therefore, when any Islamist advocates for Sharia, he is advocating for the overthrow of the government under which he lives.

I don't know what the penalties for such advocacy are in the various Western countries, but they ought to be made stringent.

This is the way to defeat the Jihadis.

2/12/06, 11:42 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Pastorius is so right!

2/13/06, 10:47 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Censorship alert! See this.

2/14/06, 10:23 AM  
Blogger Cubed © said...

Related aside. I have seen several times people stating the notion that by outbreeding us, by increasing their numbers vis a vis ours, we are increasing the danger that we will lose the conflict with Islam.

I am always so happy to hear from someone who understands the meaning of "postmodernism" and the fact that the real conflict is one of competing ideas, and not numbers of people.

We have been under the influence of postmodernism (meaning those collectivist ideas that were imported from Europe and taught in our newly created tax-supported, compulsory attendance, compelled curriculum government schools from their very founding.

The ideas our postmodernist enemies reached critical mass in the '50s, and evidence for them became undeniable in the 60s.

The solution to this "clash of civilizations" isn't the fact that the Muslims breed like rats, but rather, that they are consistent in teaching their ideas to their children.

Ayn Rand said, "The most consistent side wins." This is true, even if the ideas of the consistent side are wrong, as they are in Islam.

If we don't teach our children the truth; if we don't teach them how to correctly identify reality; if we don't teach them what it means "to value" and how to assess values; if we don't teach them a proper metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, esthetics and politics, that will be what causes us to lose, not the simple fact that Muslims outnumber infidels.

I offer in evidence the Muslims' best friends, people like Pelosi, Kerry, Dean, Kennedy, Gore et al. If you look closely, you will see that the reasons these infidels are such good buddies of Islam is that ultimately, they derive from the same philosophy--that the collective, the group, the state, the government--is more important than the individual and his ability to think properly.

We'd better get on the stick in the matter of educating our children properly.

2/14/06, 2:25 PM  
Blogger leelion said...

Cubed - H.L.Mencken wrote:

"The most common of follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true; it is the chief occupation of mankind."

And so it is.

2/15/06, 12:07 AM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Andre, I also found I needed to remind myself and many others that it isn’t just free speech, but in this case, true speech. And that matters! You’re also right that the concept of a sense of proportion is seldom mentioned.

Ed Cline has several posts over on The Dougout that are worth reading.

Pastorious and AOW remind me of what I think people forget. Islam is first and foremost a political ideology. Like communism, its principles are opposed to the very system that allows it freedom: liberal democracy. But it will exploit those freedoms to the fullest extent. We should review how we dealt with communism domestically during the Cold War. There’s much to learn.

Cubed is right to remind us of the sorry state of our schools. I was talking to a Prof at John Jay College here in New York City and he said his students don’t know much more about WWII than Pearl Harbor, Anne Franck, and a few isolated disjointed facts. They have no understanding of the events, ideology, and vast scale of the carnage. There is no context, magnitude, principles, or causality. They can’t think about or judge the matter.

Without understanding principles and history, without the ability to think in concepts, we are in bad shape. The good news is that this Prof finds that his students have a passion to know and they get engrossed when he discusses history.

2/15/06, 10:04 AM  
Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

A good compromise would be to publish the cartoons next to the recently obtained torture photos.

Much more graphic than the earlier stuff. Australia and Bitain are publishing them but our censor machine may keep them well "below the fold" in the U.S.

What amuses me is that you think this is about cartoons. Just the muslim world's version of Bring 'Em On.

Just watching the wheels go 'round and reading you muslim scholars is a trip.

2/15/06, 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why they RIOT over "blasphemous" cartoons...and why they feel justified in rioting...and how Islam views "separation of church and state"

Within the Sunni Muslim tradition, Hanafi is one of four “schools of law” and considered the oldest and most liberal school of law. Hanafi is one of the four schools of thought (madhabs / Maddhab) of religious jurisprudence (fiqh) within Sunni Islam. Named for its founder, the Hanafi school of Imam Abu Hanifa, it is the major school of Iraqi Sunni Arabs. It makes considerable use of reason or opinion in legal decisions. Sunni Hanafi creed is essentially non-hierarchial and decentralized, which has made it difficult for 20th century rulers to incorporate its religious leaders into strong centralized state systems.

Hanafi scholars refuse to control a human religious or spiritual destiny, and refuse to give that right to any human institution. Hanafis concluded that blasphemy could not be punished by the state. The state should not be involved in deciding God-human relationships. Rather, the state should be concerned only with the violation of human rights within the jurisdiction of the human affairs and human relationships.


-FJ

2/15/06, 11:26 AM  
Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Ducky,

The mainstream media "boldly" published photos from the Abu Graib "atrocities" and invented stories of Korans in toilets to rile up "da Muslim street" and now they're afraid to publish a cartoon?

Or is it that there's no anti-American angle to pursue in publishing the cartoons?

2/15/06, 12:34 PM  
Blogger cranky old fart said...

If I may repeat the Leelion quote above, from H.L. Mencken:

"The most common of follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true; it is the chief occupation of mankind."

Christians do not, currently, go to war over religious issues. Your inerrant texts are not currently interpreted to require or condone it.

If your texts were being so interpreted, however, would it not be required of the faithful to follow the teaching? One might argue that the islamofascists are just being very faithful Muslims.

Blind obedience to superstitious beliefs can lead to all manner of "irrational" acts.

2/16/06, 4:00 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

I have an expanded version of my post here.

2/22/06, 8:41 AM  

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