Sunday, July 1, 2007

Scary weekend in Britain underscores fundamental problems "while Europe sleeps"

News keeps developing about the events in Britain (London) and Scotland (Glasgow) this past weekend of June 30-July 1. As far as I know, all the big public events, including Wimbledon, the “boys’” memorial concert for Princess Diana at Wembley, and gay pride London went on normally despite the threat level red in England, after narrow misses in in the Piccadilly Circus area of London Friday night and the “amateur” attacks at the Glasgow airport Saturday.

The most shocking part of the story is that some of all of the men arrested are physicians or medical students, who supposedly would have taken the Hippocratic Oath. The latest CNN story is here. According to many media sources, there was even the macabre warning, "those who cure you will kill you" found in Britain.

Related blogger posting on July 4 Ayman Al-Zawahiri video here.

This is a good time to reconsider the book by Bruce Bawer, “While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within", review here: (Bawer is better known for his early 90s gay conservative book “A Place at the Table”). Bawer, who lived a number of years in Europe (including Amsterdam) makes an apt comparison between Muslim life in Europe, including Britain, and the US, where Muslims have assimilated into mainstream capitalist democracy for decades. There is a certain conceptual parallel between Muslims in Europe and the descendants of slaves in the United States, largely because of European and British colonial history, mostly before the World Wars.

Pope Benedict, known for making uncompromising statements of what he believes to be Truth (however we may disagree with him on some things like the Bible and homosexuality) certainly fingered the problem when the talked about Islam and “rationality” (the concept can be interpreted different ways), as documented on Wikipedia here, especially with the notion of “forced conversions.”

A good documentary to watch is Christiane Amanpour’s “The War Within” (link) and “the fight for young British Muslims’ Minds.” There are encounters like her conversation with a young British Muslim man, who is using his western “freedom of speech” to say that democracy is wrong, that everyone should be required to live under the law of Sharia. We look back to the notion of virtue propagated by The Egyptian Sayyid Qtub, and sometimes wonder if Virtue is simply a self-righteous rationalization for forcing other’s to share one’s own burdens and sacrifices. Is this sour grapes or sweet lemons?


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