Saturday, November 29, 2014

Our Achilles' Heel

On Monday, I overheard a man talking to a woman.  It was one of those conversations I couldn't help but overhear.

The man was arguing for radical Islam.  He argued that women were subordinate to men because of biology.  He also argued that a woman should fully cover herself with a burqa as a woman's rights' issue. He argued that it helps prevent rape.  The Qu'ran does not claim this, however.  It says that women and men are usually different in their virtues (e.g. motherhood is different from fatherhood) and that both sexes should be modest, but it does not claim that women are subordinate to men.  He was arguing therefore for a radical interpretation of Islam.

Soon after this, I met a guy at a pub who said the West had lost already.  He argued that this mad interpretation of Islam has taken hold and that the lunatics who are spreading this are reproducing at a quicker rate than the West.  He argued that all the people who preach this should be behind bars. That would not kill Youtube, however, and that would not stop these preachers' numerous disciples from keeping the ideology alive.

A close friend of mine has described people preaching this interpretation of Islam as "like roaches, buddy. Crawling all over the place and in need of some good stamping out." How?  How do you destroy an ideology?

I'm not sure we can destroy it and retain our democratic philosophy at the same time.  Mubarak just put the promoters of radical Islam behind bars.  We cannot because we preserve the treasure of free speech.      

We, Islamic leaders in the Middle East, and those leaders in control after we put a big stamp on these regions need to prove that this radical philosophy of Islam is WRONG.  I would also argue that while we're putting a big stamp on the region we encourage the leaders to promote the Islamic humanism that was present in the Middle Ages. However, these actions might do the opposite of what we wish. With the new ability ISIS has shown to advertise their lunacy, this would probably happen to some degree.

The Old Testament has many instances where Israel was conquered and prophets warn the Jewish nation beforehand that this will happen because Israel's tribes lack enough devotion to God.  Because of this ISIS and other lunatics who share these views can simply portray themselves in the same light.  They were not devout enough to God and didn't do enough. We and Islam's leaders can put a check on ISIS' ideology by winning wars but cannot kill their ideas.

As crazy as this sounds, this is the fundamental flaw in freedom.

To be clear, I am not arguing that we should change freedom.  I do not think we or the leaders within the Middle East can stop ISIS fully, however.  We can contain their radical interpretation, but we cannot kill it.  It will haunt real Islam for many more years.