Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Islamic intolerance

It is commonly accepted that our major foe in the so-called ‘war on terror’ are terrorists who are Muslim. From what I understand of these terrorists, the overall goal is to rid the Muslim world of Infidels and Apostates and establish Islamic states with a commonly accepted Caliph. (Islamic line of succession or Leadership) Part of the problem with fighting this objective is that at least part of the terrorist ideology is commonly accepted throughout the Muslim world. From what I understand so far, Islam has four schools of legal jurisprudence. One of the many problems is that a number of ‘authentic’ laws that are recognized by all four schools of Islamic law are inherently intolerant of anything that is not Muslim.

The recent vote to outlaw insults of religious symbols is a case in point. The law was to be designed to prohibit insults of Islam. (As well as all religions) The idea was shot down by a substantial margin because it would force Muslim countries to allow greater access to other religions and ideas. Because Islam is not just a religion, but also a system of laws and governance, the intolerance is much more general than just an intolerance of religion. The source of this general intolerance is the Koran. The rules and laws of Islam are based upon this 'holy' book.

Islam has been an established way of life for something like 1400 years. General intolerance is engrained within the culture, hence the sensitivity to insult of the entire culture, not just Islam. This is why so many tend to become violent when Islam is insulted, the entire culture is being attacked. This is not to say that everyone in the Middle East is intolerant and a big jerk.

An additional problem is that even those who are much more tolerant than others are still going to support the overall culture. I will use the example of good Germans and good Japanese in World War II. You will fight for your way of life, and culture is the very center of that way of life. Hence the many good southerners who fought so well for the evil of slavery. Open warfare is a common result of cultural change, or the threat of cultural change. We can only expect this from that part of the world that embraces this culture. We are also caught in a situation that demands change. The culture that is producting repeated suicide attackers MUST change before one of the terrorist organizations that originate from there obtains and deploys an effective weapon of mass destruction.

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