Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Tom Friedman says that Egypt is the best candidate to lead the Muslim world into modernity. What about Turkey?

It seems to me that nobody wants to say what is really obvious, that Muslims are taught from infancy that their religion and its insistence that Muslims are superior to the rest of mankind and are intended by God to rule the world, and that they must give up those ideas or be in continuous conflict (one meaning of "jihad") with the rest of humanity. Friedman says obliquely that this is what Egypt should be campaigning for, but we seem to be loathe to lay it on the line.
Americans, after all, believe in freedom of religion and tolerance, at least for non-Christians and non-conservative Christians. Therefore, we are reluctant to criticize someone else's religion, unless it is Jerry Falwell's or a church in our own neighborhood.

However, there is a limit to tolerance. We don't accept the idea of a state church or a state religion, but the concept of Islam is that religion IS the only legitimate government, and there is only one correct religion, the amorphous absolutist faith announced by Mohammed, which seems to have been hijacked by the most radical "scholars" in the Muslim world. These "clergy" have no real authority under the Quran, but they have assumed the right to lead their fellow religionists and demand that they must all roll back the world 1500 years. That is a non-starter.

If Muslim politicians want to avoid further confrontations and ultimate warfare with the West, it is in their interest, as well as that of their people, to preach in opposition to the radical Islamists. The key word is "preach." Force and repression may be necessary expedients, but the only real solution is going to be through a widespread change in the understanding of Muslims everywhere of their place in the world. So far, there are precious few voices arguing that God could not have intended this for His people.

Being LDS, I believe in God and in His desire and ability to reveal His mind and will to mankind. It seems to me that most, if not all, of the trouble with religion today is that they all, except one, preach that God used to speak through prophets, but stopped thousands of years ago and delivered the future guidance of His people to some group of elites, usually some group of scholars or intellectuals. It is these pretenders to religious authority, claiming that they know better what the will of God is than anyone else, who are the root of the problems. The Catholic bishops who cover the sins of priests against children, the Rabbis, Mullahs, Ayatollahs, etc.

There is only one person who is entitled to tell us how to worship God, God himself, but most religions now have depersonalized Him to the extent that they don't believe He can really be approached by human beings. He is immaterial, without body, parts or passions. How can anybody feel close to a being like that, let alone love or worship it?

Until we reject this kind of religion and its leaders, we will be doomed to continuous conflict as they battle for power and control of the minds of humanity.


Post a Comment

<< Home