Saturday, October 27, 2007

Spengler on "Moderate Islam"

Spengler has a good article on the current state of anti-Americanism in Turkey, and how it got that way, here. Frankly, I'm a bit peeved at their latest temper tantrum over the Armenian Genocide resolution fiasco, and am not overly concerned that they disapprove of us. For Turkey, it seems from a recent survey, has the distinction of being the most anti-American nation in the world. Strange how one doesn't get a sense of this while traveling in the country.

Spengler makes the point that there are Kemalist Turks and Islamist Turks. Actually, I think this is too neat a split, for many secular Turks have voted for the Islamist party as a blow for good government over corruption. And I think these voters may be the decisive factor if the country swings towards coercive Islamism. But the jury is still out on this. I could be terribly wrong.

Spengler also charges that our notion of "moderate Islam" in Turkey is fallacious. In fact, he states that there is no such thing as "moderate Islam." I tend to agree. Turks are not moderate, merely unobservant, just as our Easter-only Christians are "moderate."

Spengler has a way of cutting to the chase on issues:

I have never believed that such a thing as "moderate Islam" exists, any more than I believe that "moderate Christianity" exists. Either Jesus Christ died to take away the sins of the world, or he did not; if one believes that Jesus was just another preacher with a knack for parables, one quickly will be an ex-Christian. Either God dictated a final revelation to Mohammed which invalidates the corrupted scriptures of Jews and Christians, and the sign of the crescent should rise above the whole world, or he did not.

We can talk about "moderate" Islam all we want (and save me the lecture about Cordoba), but ultimately it comes down to Spengler's conclusion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Spot on as usual.

There are of course, nominal Muslims, who are really secularized, Westernized folks. I know a few. Often, very decent people. Sometimes, complete hedonists, like the Saud clan.

This type of truly "moderate 'Mulsim'" usual hangs onto to the Islamic appellation solely out of inertia, or fear of causing family or political scandal. These nominal Muslims often spend a lot (or all) of their time Western Europe, the New World, or the parts of the Middle East with the greatest Western Cultural Influence (e.g., Lebanon).

Admittedly, I am talking about a fairly small segment of Muslims. Nevertheless, this class of cosmopolitan, venal, and highly-westernized Muslim has typically ruled the post-Ottoman Middle East -- the Shah (Iran), Saddam Hussein (Iraq), Hussein (Jordan), the Assads (Syria), the Sauds (Arabia), for examle. And they represent the better alternative for us, as they can be bought.