A MINDSET THAT LEADS TO VIOLENCE
Jonah Goldberg, The Washington Times, 10/26/2001
Islam the problem? It's an increasingly public debate the White
House seems less than thrilled to have. President Bush insists that
is not with Islam," because, well, "Islam means peace."
End of story...
one time or another all religions have been nasty. For all of the
passages in the Koran that have been used to justify violence, one
as easily find passages in the Jewish or Christian Bibles justifying
difference is that Europeans and Americans, broadly speaking, no
longer have the desire to use religion to justify violence. Vast
numbers of Arabs, North Africans and East Asians still do. Our inquisitions
are in the past, their inquisitions happen every day.
of Muslim world simply lives in a different time than the West.
Oh sure, some of the big cities, with their cars and satellite dishes,
may look modern. But their culture is horribly behind the times...
Muslims use the word jihad in its literal sense, i.e. a holy war,
and nobody in America or Europe is at all offended, despite the
fact that the West has been a victim of Muslim jihads just as much
as Muslims were victims of Crusades - take the Ottoman Empire for
example. But you don't hear us shrieking about their insensitive
use of the word because, frankly, we don't remember or care enough
to know we should be offended. That's all in the past.
unfashionable to say some cultures are more "backward"
than others, but that doesn't make it any less true (the lifestyle
of millions of Afghans today is indistinguishable from, or worse
than, the way Afghans lived centuries ago). The West went through
the Protestant Reformation, the Counter Reformation, hundreds of
revolts and revolutions, the Enlightenment and dozens of wars to
unshackle itself from the sort of mindset that seeks religious justification
for cruelty and barbarity.
of the Muslim world has yet to go through such a process. When they
do, I have no doubt they will still be Muslims. They just won't
use that as a justification to murder people.