Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tony Blair Speech Worth Reading

In a speech to Bloomberg in London on Wednesday, the former Labour prime minister claimed the west was reluctant to look unflinchingly at Islamic extremism because the world of politics is uncomfortable talking about religion.
He said: "For the last 40 to 50 years, there has been a steady stream of funding, proselytising, organising and promulgating coming out of the Middle East, pushing views of religion that are narrow minded and dangerous. Unfortunately we seem blind to the enormous global impact such teaching has had and is having.
"Within the Middle East itself, the result has been horrible, with people often facing a choice between authoritarian government that is at least religiously tolerant; and the risk that in throwing off the government they don't like, they end up with a religiously intolerant quasi-theocracy."
Insisting that the west had to take sides, he described Islamic extremism as "not about a competing view of how society or politics should be governed within a common space where you accept other views are equally valid. It is exclusivist in nature. The ultimate goal is not a society which someone else can change after winning an election. It is a society of a fixed polity, governed by religious doctrines that are not changeable but which are, of their essence, unchangeable."
The region's chaos was not a battle between Sunni or Shia, or primarily due to the lack of economic opportunity, but due to "a common struggle around the issue of the rightful place of religion, and in particular Islam, in politics".
Unfortunately, the left in Britain and America are so enamored of Islam because "enemy of my enemy is my friend" that they fail to recognize the hazard that Wahabbist and Iranian backed funding is doing in the West.  When I was young, pretty much any academic had at least some sympathy for Israel -- a Western-style democracy that tolerated difference of opinion - as opposed to the Muslim nations of the Middle East, which varied between monarchies and military dictatorships.  At best, the monarchies were slightly tolerant of dissent.

Today, academia is overwhelmingly on the side of the forces of dictatorship, religious intolerance, and "homophobia" that makes 1950s America seem downright tolerant -- and I suspect because of the amount of Saudi money that has been spent buying off the Judas goats that do much of the leading in the academic heard of independent thinkers.

1 comment:

Rich Rostrom said...

About five hundred years ago, Europeans began fighting over religious doctrine. After a lot of destructive wars, including bloody civil wars in France and England, Europeans tacitly agreed that we wouldn't fight over religion. That was three hundred years ago. About two hundred years ago we agreed not to use state power to enforce or suppress religious practice.

Freedom of religion was recognized as a matter of conscience - of transcendent importance to each individual - therefore exempt from state interference. But the flip side of that was that believers "render unto Caesar", and obey the civil law, no matter what the religion commanded.

That bargain has lasted 200 years or more (with many exceptions, of course). There have been essentially no incidents of religiously motivated crime or insurrection.

Now we have a problem - religiously motivated crime, and open religious incitement to crime. We can't fight it effectively without breaking that bargain. Westerners in general have a reflexive idea that any state action regarding religious belief is illegitimate.

But when religious belief becomes a cause of crime, that position may be untenable.