Saturday, February 04, 2006

Three things, Cartoons, & Muslim Outrage

What does the Muslim outrage over a Danish newspaper’s publishing of cartoons depicting Mohammed say to the world? Three things, at least. First, it tells us that Muslims (for the most part) do not accept Western values. “Freedom,” in Europe and America, implies the right to do and say almost anything, irregardless of who it offends. The Western approach is like an extended Jay Leno monologue, complete with character assassination, mockery, and an obsession with sex that would cause Freud to say “See, I was right all along.” The Muslim population does not value this and does not want it coming to their people. Second, the Muslim outrage tells us something about terrorism. It strengthens already-existing European-American Islamophobism, which believes that terrorism lies close to the heart of true Islam. Danish cartoonists are in hiding out of fear for their lives. A Muslim leader in London said, ‘there is no reason why there should not be more suicide bombings in London.” The “off with the infidels’ heads” approach is felt to be the basic Muslim response to being offended. Third, the Muslim outrage tells us that it’s a religious world out there, and in order to understand global events one must understand, deeply, the religions of the world. The error of the West is to have tried to secularize the human soul. It can’t be done. It has not been done. It will never be done. Even Harvey Cox eventually repented of his secular Europe/America thesis put forth in his book The Secular City. The world has not become a “secular city,” nor will it ever be. Secularists must note that the world is enormously religious, and to the truly religious their belief is EVERYTHING.