Sunday, February 22, 2015

Thomas L. Friedman Tries (and Fails) to Explain "What's Wrong With Islam"

My explanation for what's wrong with Islam: Islam's built-in supremacism and the jihad imperative, a core component of the faith, that serves that religious ethos. Also the whole "submission" thing, which tends to engender ennui and gives rise to totalitarianism, an expression of which is Islamic law, a.k.a. the sharia. Also the fact that Islam's founder was a warrior--the first and the foremost holy warrior. That's a problem because Muslims are told that this man is "perfect," and since he never made a wrong move, his example must be emulated.

TLF's explanation: He would never, Heaven forefend, "want to tell Muslims what their religion is and isn't." Therefore, all he can do is throw up his hands and pin the blame on the usual "progressive" bugaboos--i.e. too many aimless young men with too much time on their hands and need to release their pent up sexual frustrations in some sort of way:
I think it’s a really complicated mix of a product of years of authoritarian government, mixing with the export of Wahhabi puritanical Islam from Saudi Arabia, all over that world, that has really leached out the more open, joyous, synchronistic Islam that you had in Egypt. You look at pictures of graduates from Cairo University in 1950, you’ll see none of the women were wearing veils. Today you look at the picture and probably most of the women will be wearing veils. Thank you, Saudi Arabia. That is the product of the export of a particular brand of Islam from Saudi Arabia with the wealth of that country. And that’s mixed in also with the youth bulge and unemployment.
And so where Islam starts in that story and where authoritarian begins, how much people hate their own government, bleeding into Wahhabism, bleeding into massive amounts of young men who have never held power because they’re not allowed to in their country, never held a job, never held a girl’s hand. And when you have lots of young males who have never held power, a job, or a girl’s hand, that is real dynamite.
Oh brother, what a sob story. Almost makes you feel sorry for them and their "grievances," doesn't it?

Update: Andrew Coyne is similarly clueless/"nuanced":
There are, it would seem, three questions to be answered: what is in fact the relationship, if any, between Islam and terrorism; what do authorities believe is the relationship; and what do they say they believe. The peculiar insistence on the right that politicians insert the word “Islamic” before “terrorism” would appear to stem from a belief that anything else is an abdication from the “truth,” that there is “something about Islam” that explains the proliferation of terrorist groups claiming to act in its name.
There is something about Islam, Andy. It's spelled j-i-h-a-d. Surely you've heard of it; it's been in all those history books.

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