Sunday, December 2, 2007

The West is Anti-Islam?

"I condemn Islam. I bring against it the most terrible of accusations that ever an accuser put into words. It is to me the greatest of all imaginable corruptions.... It has left nothing untouched by its depravity. It has made a worthlessness out of every value, a lie out of every truth, a sin out of everything straightforward, healthy and honest. Let anyone dare to speak to me of its humanitarian blessings! To do away with pain and woe is contrary to its principles. It lives by pain and woe: it has created pain and woe in order to perpetuate itself. ... The mosque is the rallying post for a conspiracy against health, beauty, well-being, courage, intellect, benevolence - against life itself..."

Replace "Islam" with "Christianity" and "mosque" with "cross" and you have the actual quote from The Anti-Christ by Nietzsche. Nietzsche is taught at pretty much every Canadian, American, and European university to some extent, some courses dedicated solely or mainly to him, but most often he is read just as part of a wider-ranging philosophy course. ***

The Islamic advocacy groups complain that Islam receives unfair criticism. But I disagree. Islam has barely received any criticism, nowhere near what Christianity has received, as represented in Nietzsche.

On the hand, you have this demand that Islam is and be treated like any other religion in the West, yet everywhere there is this bemoaning the even small amount of criticism of Islam that has begun. Unfortunately for such demanders, they must have missed the fact that for the last 500 years, religion has not had a free-pass from the researchers and theorists in the West. But it's not clear that Islam can survive unscathed such a dispassionate and thorough examination of its roots and fundamentals, as Christianity has and continues to receive. Perhaps, in their minds, such an existential threat justifies anything that might maintain Islam's inviolable position, including double standards. I have no doubt this is why the Islamic world reacted so sourly to the Mohammed caricatures and the Pope's relatively tepid criticisms of Islam at Regensburg: the truth hurts. (Imagine if the Pope said the quote as I gave it above.)

*** And who suggests that this should end? That Nietzsche should not be taught because of what he says against Christianity? He doesn't just say, you know, some kind of bad stuff about it, he says it himself: "I bring against it the most terrible of accusations that ever an accuser put into words." So people are free to say the most terrible things about Christianity, and that's considered reasonable criticism, not hate speech. But how are such accusations against Islam met? Usually with the charge of hate speech and, so, beyond the pale. (A scene at a university somewhere: "D: Yes, I'm a big fan of Nietzsche. / L: Oh, that's nice. Have you read Oriana Fallaci? I like her. / D: You vile Islamophobe.")

14 comments:

Athos said...

Thanks for the history link, Kaf. Islam has learned big-time how to play the victim card, so aptly used by special interest minorities who defy the majority of the populace, to attain power. This victimization ploy, given the demographics of Islam, seems to be a certain means, ultimately, to dhimmitude for everyone else.

Bar Kochba said...

Islam has an untouchable victim status as we're reduced to dhimmis in our own land.

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