Thursday, 31 December 2015

Clash of Civilizations, or War of World-views? - Part 3

Part 3

Now, what of Islam and Muslims? Where do they fit in the war of world-views?

All of us – even children of atheists – are brought up in some kind of moral environment. Frequently, this has a religious component to it, whether though our parents or through schools. When we are young and inexperienced, we tend to absorb the religion we are taught, without questioning it very much. But as we mature, many of us come to question, even to reject, the religions we were brought up in. Some pick a different off-the-peg religion. Some go green. Some grow their own religion. Others conclude that religion is a waste of time, and become agnostics, or that it is a scam, and become atheists.

The point I want to make here is that it is silly to condemn people for the religion they were brought up in. It is no more under their control than is the colour of their skin. Therefore it should not count against them. Statements like "Islam is a warlike religion,” whether true or false, are irrelevant to how we should approach Muslims as individuals.

Now, I do not find Islam a very attractive philosophy. I am not comfortable with its central theme, surrender to the will of God. I don't like its attitude to alcohol, or its subjection of women. (Though Western feminism has tipped that particular balance too far the other way). Nor do I like the fanaticism it can engender, or the suspicion it causes some Muslims to show for non-Muslims.

But, as an upholder of Western values, I will not condemn Muslims for being Muslims. Indeed, I have sympathy for moderate Muslims in Western countries, who must be feeling that they are being made into scapegoats. I will uphold their right to have their religion, as long as they behave reasonably. I will be tolerant towards them, as long as they are tolerant towards me.

There are on the other hand some, that I do condemn for their religious conduct. I condemn those that try to foist their religious viewpoint on others, by threats, force or perversion of law. That is intolerant and uncivilized behaviour.

So, I condemn those Muslims that want to restrict my freedom of speech because I might insult their pesky prophet. But I also condemn those Christians that want to censor the Internet on the pretext of protecting my (non-existent) children from porn. I condemn the Islamists that use or support violence against innocent people. But I also condemn the Christians that want to forcibly ban abortion or the teaching of evolution, and the enviros that want to forcibly suffocate the world economy. Who are they, that they claim a right to impose their prejudices by government force, on people who don't even believe in their dubious deity or their climate-change claptrap?

In reality, there are good Muslims and bad Muslims, just as there are good Christians and bad Christians, good Jews and bad Jews, good atheists and bad atheists. Some Muslims are peaceful and tolerant. I know this for a fact, because I have met examples of them. There exist, on the other hand, aggressive, intolerant Muslims. Those of us who uphold Western values should accept the former, and reject the latter.

But our enemies, the subjection thinkers, don't agree. They want us to mis-understand the war we are in. They want to stir up antipathy and mistrust between indigenous Western people and Muslims. They want Western people to see Islam as an enemy. They want us to see Bush, Blair and co as white knights on shining chargers, rescuing Western civilization from the evil Islamic terrorists. And they want us to support and pay for their next murderous assault on a Muslim country, probably Iran or maybe Syria.

The recent affair of the Danish cartoons was a good example of their propaganda. You have to admit, it took a lot of people in. It gave Western people an impression that most Muslims are intolerant. This brought a reaction by unthinking Westerners against Muslims in general, which in some places, like Holland, led to talk of mass deportations.

But the affair also sowed the seed of something else. Did you hear the nonsense about re-introducing a crime of blasphemy? Did you notice the sermonizing about responsibility and codes of conduct? Did you get the feeling that freedom of speech wasn't being properly defended? Not surprising, really. For these were subjection thinkers speaking. Subjection thinkers don't like freedom of speech. Except for themselves, of course.

The subjection thinkers want to kill our freedom of speech, because they know that it is our weapon against them in the war of world-views. If we human beings and our Western values are to win that war, we must never, ever, ever compromise on freedom of speech. Anyone that wants to restrict freedom of speech, however good and reasonable their arguments may sound, is an enemy of Western values.

And aren't those that want to restrict others' freedom of speech, by their very attitude, admitting something? Aren't they admitting that their ideas can't fairly compete, can't stand the test of open comparison, with the ideas of those they want to muzzle?

The first step towards winning a war is to understand that you're in one. And the second is to identify the enemy. That, I think, we have now done. The war is a war of world-views – Western, individual values versus subjection thinking. And the enemy are the subjection thinkers, including the traitors that today pass themselves off as Western leaders.

It may seem as if the war is unwinnable. For our enemies are many and powerful. And our friends in positions of any power are few. History, though, takes strange turns. The short term prospects look bleak for Western values; and yet, there's a feeling in the air that great change is overdue. That there's another Renaissance coming – or a Re-awakening, at any rate.

Isn't it about time? Isn't it time people woke themselves up from the bad dream, which is life in the perverted societies which today pass for Western civilization? Isn't it time for a resurgence of Western values? For a new dynamism, a new confidence in ourselves and in the future? For the restoration of the human individual to his and her rightful place at centre stage? For a rejection of subjection thinking and subjection thinkers? For Western people to provide an example to those in Muslim countries, and in the rest of the world, so they can liberate themselves too?

Well, isn't it about time?

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