Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hirsi Ali and Humpty Dumpty

In a review of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's new book Nomad, Theodore Dalrymple says that "the Enlightment ideal she espouses is rather too simple as a answer to the problems of human existence." Then again, "if anyone has the right" to tout the Enlightenment and the freedom is brings from Islam's enshacklement, it is Hirsi Ali. The problem, of course, is how to effect an Islamic Englightenment, because were the Koran is protected. Were it to be subject to the same kind of scholarly scrutiny to which the Bible was and is, the result would be
a decline in, if not a collapse of the faith, in the same way that Christianity in Europe has collapsed. That is why they ensure that scholars who do not believe that the Koran is the unmediated word of God, but rather a post-facto concoction like the Bible, must work in the shadows, and will not allow the free dissemination of their work in Muslim countries.
Here's the money line:
The hold of Islam in the modern world is thus strong but potentially brittle.
Indeed. And with the right kind of  "push" it could come crashing down like a proverbial egg that took a great tumble and couldn't be reassembled.

But how to bring light to those who believe to their very core that the Seventh Century marks the height of mankind's "enlightenment"--for all time? And how to do so before the lights go out here when
from a combination of fear and self-hatred, many in the West are unwilling to make the distinction between a respect for the right of people to practise a religion within the law, and an exaggerated respect for the religion itself?
Aye, there's the rub.

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