Monday, March 9, 2009

Just some thoughts

Since I haven't been blogging much recently I decided to reprint a comment I left on this post from Comrade Tovya's Zion Report.

Here it is:

I watched some videos of the protest. The people up front of the protest, those banging and jumping on the police vans spoke entirely in Arabic.

I disagree with Tovya on this. Islam as a religion is not the cause of fascism in the Muslim/Arab world. Islam as a political movement is ONE reason why the Arab world is so fascist. When Imams or Islamic leaders such as Haniyeh, PM of Hamas in Gaza as well as an Imam of a Gaza mosque, become top political leaders of a party, the tend to blur the lines between civil laws and religious laws. Religion by nature is fascist because anyone who disagrees with official dogma or religious authority is by nature heretics. When the center of political power in Europe was with in the Church, Europe tended to be fascist. If the Arab world can look up to secular leaders (who can leave observant lives, just not be religious leaders), it would become more liberal.

Religion needs a form of Talmud which is accepted as religious opinions which sometimes can conflict but are otherwise accepted and not heretical. They are guides, not absolute laws. Different interpretations of Scripture must also be accepted. When certain elements of Islamic authority become fascist as we have seen in recent history (as well as ancient history), violence ensues.

The second reason there is fascism in the Arab world is because of tribalism. I won’t get into it now.

The notion of the separation of Church and State is ingrained in every American school child, at least for those who go to public and secular schools. I don’t know what religious schools teach except the Jewish high school I went to which was very liberal and pluralistic so it taught American ideals.

Israelis are so lucky that Israel’s founders where secular and dominated Israeli politics for so long. The foundations of democracy and liberalism are strong in Israel but like all foundations, repair is sometimes needed overtime. Jewish Israelis are surprisingly united. Who would have known that people who came from so many different countries all around can overcome their differences to create a state together. It partially has to do with the army, and also partially to do with how Torah treats Jews as a nation(Also because we had a common enemy). But how it was infused with secular and liberal ideals is quite an accomplishment. This accomplishment is why Israeli Arabs get the best treatment in terms of services and political opportunity in the Middle East.

Critics of Israel like to call it “ethnocracy” and “apartheid” but we all know that it is bull because Israel is way too liberal and secular for those terms. In the Middle East, an ethnocracy is when one tribe rules all - Syria for example. But Jews are way too diverse and don’t have a tribal hierarchy to rule like that. The best chance for an Arab in the Middle east to rise economically and politically is in Israel - if they are citizens of course.

Critics of Israel like to characterize the Israeli Palestinian conflict as ethnic clashes but the conflict is way too complex to just call it that. Perhaps in the 20’s and 30’s the conflict was actually about ethnic collide which I say is absolutely not the Jews fault. But Jewish Israeli political evolution has moved beyond that and sees an OLD WORLD in the Palestinians where Islamic fascism and tribalism are always lurking - a place where Jews can’t thrive. Where can a Jew thrive? In a place where liberalism and secularism are in the foundations. That’s why Israeli Jews will always resist outside forces from changing the state’s form. Radical changes would give an opening to radical forces such as Islamic fascism and tribalism.

Tovya responds:
My opinion is not that Islam as a religion is fascist, but the way that Islam is interpreted is Fascist by and large.

Like I’ve stated time and time again, not every Muslim follows the dogma of death–but unfortunately those who follow the peaceful route are largely ignored or are to scared to speak up.

So is Islam fascist by itself? No, but once upon a time, Christianity was fascist in its interpretation as well. Had I been writing this blog in the 17th century, I would have written precisely the same thing that I am writing about Islam today.

Christianity grew up and began to interpret their doctrine in a much more peaceful manner as it evolved. Islam, ironically, started off on a very high plateau and slowly descended downwards.

At one time, Islam created the great scientific knowledge of its day, and was much more welcoming to “unbelievers” than Christianity was during the same time period.

Some religion apparently enjoy evolving, and others seem to like dissolving.

I've been very busy lately working on a project with Tovya among other things. I can't tell you what the project is at the moment but I'll unveil it soon.

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