Saturday, March 31, 2007

Multiculturalism debate: here is yet another essay on the consolations of Buruma and Garton Ash's version of "Moderate" Islam:

Those willing to trawl through Ramadan’s written and recorded output will find no shortage of material calling into question his supposedly liberal intent. It’s clear that what Ramadan wants isn’t a modernised, secular Islam, but an Islamised modernity. In Les Messages Musulmans d’Occident, Ramadan shares his vision of an Islamised Europe:

“The West will begin its new decline and the Arab-Islamic world its renewal… The Qur’an confirms, completes, and corrects the messages that preceded it.”

This triumphalist tone is continued in Islam, le Face à Face des Civilisations:

“References to Judaism and Christianity are being diluted, if not disappearing altogether… Only Islam can fill the spiritual void that afflicts the West.”

In Pouvoirs (164, 2003), Ramadan goes further:

“The revelation of the Qur’an is explicit: whoever engages in speculation or cultivates financial interests enters into war against the transcendent… Muslims who live in the West must unite themselves to the revolution… from the moment when the neo-liberal capitalist system becomes, for Islam, a theatre of war.”

Pascal Bruckner, who tries to disabuse Buruma and Garton ash of their besotted fantasies about Ramadan's "moderateness" clearly and unambiguously states

“It's not enough to condemn terrorism. The religion that engenders it and on which it is based, right or wrong, must also be reformed.”

However, reform and evolution in Islam seem increasingly like a distant fantasy right now, with the powers-that-be colluding to stifle any criticism of it:

The United Nations top human rights body condemned "defamation" of religion on Friday and, in an apparent reference to the storm over the Prophet cartoons, said press freedom had its limits.

With the support of China, Russia and Cuba, Moslem and Arab states comfortably won a vote on the 47-state Human Rights Council to express concern at "negative stereotyping" of religions and "attempts to identify Islam with terrorism."

"The resolution is tabled in the expectation that it will compel the international community to acknowledge and address the disturbing phenomena of the defamation of religions, especially Islam," said Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

What we see is a de-facto alliance between representatives of "enlightened" liberalism, a Muslim Brotherhood charismatic dissembler promoting Sharia sensibilities as a desirable ethos for Europe, and a UN body, mandated with safeguarding universal justice, held hostage to reactionary failed regimes and fanatical theocracies. More specifically: Buruma, Garton Ash, Ramadan, China, Russia and Cuba, Moslem and Arab states.

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