Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The tenacity of personal worldviews

One really has to marvel at the tenacity of personal world views.

Daniel Greenfield looks at the story of Theo Padnos at FrontPageMag in which the naive Mr Padnos falls captive to various jihadist outfits in Syria and is introduced to attitudes very different to his own. In spite of this he finds it very difficult to alter his world view.

Without the understanding that Islam is a completely different world view that has a completely different philosophical centre to the liberal/Western world view, it's very hard to make sense of the way Muslims behave; Islam's very divergence from Western/liberal norms makes it hugely difficult for committed liberals to see it for what it is; to do this would require them to recognise that the values they hold dear (like equality; non-discrimination; respect for difference) are not shared by Islam (I'll state it this way because one does not know how committed or conversant with Islam individual Muslims are), in fact they are haram (forbidden).

 Muslims will of course try to portray Islam as the religion that championed equality, tolerance and diversity centuries before anyone else but this is pure sales pitch for Western liberals. Muslims were certainly not interested in presenting Islam in this way until they came to infiltrate Western liberal societies. This very divergence from Western liberal world views actually protects Islam because people tend not to believe any religion could be so antithetical to what they expect of a religion,

Lacking the understanding of Islam's prime imperative liberals look for explanations of Muslim behaviour in terms of alienation, poverty, inequality, and oppression, all of which are categories that are important in the liberal world view but not to Islam. Islam has to be understood in its own terms. Muhammad is the centre of the whole system, the reference point for everything else. The system is an elaborated code of life based on what Muhammad said and did. The prime imperative of the system, which is in many respects an extension through time and space of Muhammad's character, is self-expansion. A system always expands at the expense of its environment. Islam is no different. It's raison d'etre is to keep expanding. That which is not Islam is despicable, disposable, and only fit to be devoured by the system. Islam exists to take the place of all that is not Islam. The means of achieving this is through jihad in its many forms.

Once this insight is gained, Islam is properly understood as an organismic entity driven towards self-expansion. The enmity to outsiders; the deception; the creed of pseudo-martyrdom; the rewards offered for sacrificing one's life to the system; the slavish obedience to anti-human codes of conduct, etc,, all these make sense once one abandons liberal preconceptions and respects the differences. This attitude is a true embodiment of respect for diversity (not thoughtless acceptance of it).

Surely liberals should be far less closed in their thinking; taking a more scientific view in which the current truth is only provisional; something to be displaced by a more comprehensive understanding which accounts better for the observable facts and which in turn helps to interpret those facts.

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