Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bernard Lewis is Half Right

In a discussion of the existence of moderate Islam, Lewis argues that
[t]he Prophet Muhammad's statement that "difference within my community is part of God's mercy" expressed one of Islam's central ideas, and it is enshrined both in law and usage from the earliest times.

This principle created a level of tolerance among Muslims and coexistence between Muslims and others that was unknown in Christendom until after the triumph of secularism.
He's right, you know zhat? He then, however, asserts that
For the moment, there does not seem to be much prospect of a moderate Islam in the Muslim world. This is partly because in the prevailing atmosphere the expression of moderate ideas can be dangerous—even life-threatening. Radical groups like al Qaeda and the Taliban, the likes of which in earlier times were at most minor and marginal, have acquired a powerful and even a dominant position.
 Roll that one around for moment.  There are, according to the CIA -- so take with a grain of salt, 1,634,948,648 Muslims in the world.  There are considerably fewer members of al Qaeda and the Taliban, by all accounts. So how do we account for the vastly larger number of Muslims who, like pretty much everybody else, want to earn enough to live, enjoy the refreshing beverages of their choice, and bask in the love of the love(s) of their life?  How are they able to resist the dominance of the violent crazies?


  1. It is not the religious zeal of the extremists they must resist, but the pressure of the western propagandist to deem the whole barrel rotten, and hold the muslims not hiding in caves accountable. Somehow, Islam has been divided, which defies the principles of solidarity on which it was founded. I allude to the day when the Brahmans chased Mohamed into Asyria or as it is called now Ethiopia( the only country practicing christanity at the time),and the king granted him asylum there. Mohamed dwelled there in the first Muslim and Christian country in the world. Both faiths sprouted into a world following, simultaneously from that Garden of Eden if you will. Mohamed's uncle Hamza(a great and feared military leader) paved the way for Mohamed to return to Persia and unite all Muslims to live in peace until the arrival of the Inquisiton, Crusades, etc.. The philosophies of these Christian zealots defied the basis of both these cultures and yielded the political and religious animosities plaguing our divided world. Don't have time to enter the Jews. Thanx 4 lighting my mental fuse! Better than coffee! A Salaam Alaikum my brother. You are dead on right in your philosophies!

  2. New Mexico Contingent,
    Do you know my other frequent commentator Martinez Clan?

  3. I'd have to say, like I know myself. A little clue is, the only concentration of spanish cryptic jews residing in the new world is predominately in the state of New Mexico. To wit: Martinez's (a spanish cryptic jew adopted name) ain't nowhere else.

  4. S.C.J. Faction,
    Thanks for commenting. Do you mean crypto Jews, i.e., those Jews who remain Jews after the Purity of the Blood laws in Spain and the formal expulsion of Jews in 1492 but who pretended to be Christians? Conversos, or New Christians, Moriscos and practicing Jews were caught up in this moment in the completion of the Reconquista and, as it turns out, there were Crypto Jews all across the territories of the Spanish Empire including, oddly enough the Netherlands. Indeed, groups of so-called New Christians migrated to all corners of Europe and sparked, not surprisingly given the increasing acceptance of the idea of "blood" as a marker for religion -- Luther, for example, was a proponent of this particularly silly idea, concerns about the Judaization of the Christian church, a concern -- it so happens, that only accelerated as theologians and others sought a return to Primitive Christianity, by which they meant the practices current amongst the followers of the Way. These sorts of unfounded fears increased as more and more theologians and others began to use Biblical languages, Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew, to correct the errors in the Latin Bible, i.e., the Vulgate.