March 21, 2006

Civilization vs. Barbarity

In a speech he is to give later this afternoon in London, Tony Blair is correct that the essential nature of the "long war" we continue to fight is an ideological one:

"This is not a clash between civilizations, it is a clash about civilization," Blair will say in a speech this afternoon, according to extracts released by his official spokesman.

"'We' is not the West. 'We' are as much Muslim as Christian or Jew or Hindu. 'We' are those who believe in religious tolerance, openness to others, to democracy, liberty and human rights administered by secular courts," he will say.

While there is no indication that Blair had Afghani Christian Abdul Rahman in mind with this speech, those words easily apply to the case of Rahman, a 40-ish Afghani that converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago, and faces the death penalty in Afghanistan for leaving the “religion of peace.”

I wrote about this last night with some restraint, trying to keep in mind that Afghanis live in a far more primitive, basic culture than our own, one that has not substantially changed in the thousand years since Muslims invaded the Hindu kingdoms of Gandhaar & Vaahic Pradesh. The mountain range which dominates the country was named in honor of one of Islam's greatest genocides; "Hindu Kush" is Persian for "Hindu slaughter." Millions of Hindus were put to the sword or forcibly converted to Islam in Afghanistan, and Islamic bloodlust in Afghanistan seems far from sated.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Abdul Rahman told his family he was a Christian. He told the neighbors, bringing shame upon his home. But then he told the police, and he could no longer be ignored.

Now, in a major test of Afghanistan's fledgling court system, Rahman, 42, faces the death penalty for abandoning Islam for Christianity. Prosecutors say he should die. So do his family, his jailers, even the judge. Rahman has no lawyer. Jail officials refused to let anyone see Rahman on Monday, despite permission granted by the country's justice minister.

"We will cut him into little pieces," said Hosnia Wafayosofi, who works at the jail, as she made a cutting motion with her hands. "There's no need to see him."

Rahman's trial, which started Thursday, is thought to be the first of its kind in Afghanistan. It goes to the heart of the struggle between Islamic reformists and fundamentalists in the country, which is still recovering from 23 years of war and the harsh rule of the Taliban, a radical religious regime that fell in late 2001.

Even under the more moderate government now in power, Islamic law is supposed to be followed, and many believe it requires the death penalty for anyone who leaves Islam for another religion.

"We are Muslim, our fathers were Muslim, our grandfathers were Muslim," said Abdul Manan, Rahman's father, who is 75. "This is an Islamic country. Imagine if your son told a police commander, also a Muslim, that he is a Christian. How would this affect you? It's very difficult for us."

As Tony Blair's speech states, we are not in a clash between civilizations, but a clash about civilization. What Blair has not directly stated is that most Muslim countries have precious little civilization, or practice civilized behavior. They are trapped in a backward culture hundreds of years in the past. While we hoped that bringing democracy to them would be a start, the sadistic nature of fundamentalist Islam bared by the case of Abdul Rahman makes me wonder if a slow conversion to a moremodernized society is the correct course of action after all.

We did not deliver Afghanis from the Taliban to allow Afghanis to perpetrate the same crimes against basic human decency. If this murderous intolerance truly is the essence of fundamentalist Islam, then we need to rethink our basic approach to the "religion of peace."

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 21, 2006 02:27 PM | TrackBack

If Islam does not moderate its archaic practices, it will find the rest of the world will ban its practice. I truly believe Islam is Satan's greatest success. The attributes of Allah more closely align to Satan than to God. Think about that for a few moments.

Posted by: Old Soldier at March 21, 2006 02:51 PM

Old Soldier, I've been thinking about it since Islamists attacked the World Trade Center 2/26/93. They don't care if they murder their own co-religionists, thinking that God and Satan will sort them out, I guess.

Posted by: Tom TB at March 22, 2006 08:20 AM

Islamic civilization would be a good idea.


Posted by: chsw at March 22, 2006 06:44 PM