Thursday, August 17, 2006

All or Nothing

I recommend most anything Theodore Dalrymple writes (and concerning Dalrymples, anthing William or Ian writes as well). He recently reviewed Efraim Karsh's Islamic Imperialism: A History. Dalrymple observes that:

The urge to domination is nearly a constant of human history. The specific (and baleful) contribution of Islam is that, by attributing sovereignty solely to God, and by pretending in a philosophically primitive way that God’s will is knowable independently of human interpretation, and therefore of human interest and desire—in short by allowing nothing to human as against divine nature—it tries to abolish politics. All compromises become mere truces; there is no virtue in compromise in itself. Thus Islam is inherently an unsettling and dangerous factor in world politics, independently of the actual conduct of many Muslims.

There's a lot of truth there. Read the entire essay here.


The Ochlophobist said...

I am normally one who loathes comparisons between Islam, or Islamic fundamentalism and that of Protestant fundamentalism. But when I read the passage you qoute, I thought that it might also apply to Protestant fundamentalists.
"God’s will is knowable independently of human interpretation" = the bible is its own interpreter, along with the notion of the absence of compromise. But of course Protestant fundamentalists are very keen on human interest and desire, hence altar calls.

John said...

Good point. I generally shy away from comparing Islamic fundamentalism with American evangelical fundamentalism as well. They are 2 different animals. But, I do see parallels between the Shiite apocalyptical thought coming out of Iran these days and our own homegrown, red heifer-breeding Christian Zionistas.