Friday, April 29, 2011

Washington Times columnist assesses radical Islam aims

Jeffrey Kuhner (president of the Edmund Burke Institute for American Renewal , link) has a rather confrontational op-ed on p. B3 of the “Opinion” section in the Washington Times, April 29, link (with a title that might be problematic to repeat here).  

He notes, about the threat from radical Islam, which seems unashamed to bully speakers, “western freedoms are therefore assaulted regularly by a more self-confident culture than hours: Burning Korans, publishing cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad, and now Muslim actresses posing nude – what we consider freedom of expression, many Muslims provide provocative and blasphemous.”

Peter Bergen and other journalists after 9-11 had credibly written than Osama bin Laden and others were most concerned about western “occupation” of their lands, not Western lifestyles.  That assessment could at least be challenged.  There’s one observation about “self-righteous” sexual and religious morality (whatever extremes it gets carried to in some cultures) that sounds like an inconvenient truth:  men seem to be able to stay committed to “it” when they believe others have to, and when they believe that “righteousness”, when adhered to by everyone, gives an otherwise humdrum world meaning.  Remember the writings of Sayyid Qutb.  In his view, those who do not obey are to be brought low.  This was a 2002 article by David Brooks in the Weekly Standard, which I found online at the University of Buffalo here in Brooks’s piece about the “bourgeiosieophobes”.   I see I had mentioned this on Sept. 11, 2007 here.

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