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From There Is No God but Politics by Theodore Dalrymple

This is an excellent essay on similarities between Marxism and Islam, or at least Islam according to Sayyid Qutb, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and one of the most influential Muslim thinkers of the 20th century. Here is a selection that epitomizes, I think, the way many of in the West view Islam:

During my reading, I found myself swinging like a pendulum between taking Islam as a threat very seriously indeed, and not taking it seriously at all. The reasons for taking it seriously were that a large proportion of humanity was Muslim, that an aggressive and violent minority had emerged within that population with apparently very widespread, if largely passive, approval, and that the leadership of western countries was very weak and vacillating in the face of this, or any other, challenge. The reasons for not taking Islam seriously were that, in the modern world, it was intellectually nugatory, that the disproportion in power between the rest of the world and the Islamic world appeared to be growing rather than contracting, and that behind all the bluster about the certain possession of the unique, universal and divinely ordained truth for man was an anxiety that the whole edifice of Islam, while strong, was extremely brittle, which explained why free enquiry was so limited in Islamic countries. There was a subliminal awareness – and perhaps not always subliminal – that free philosophical and historical debate could quickly and fatally undermine the hold of Islam on various societies. Fundamentalism was therefore a manifestation of weakness and not of strength.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Except that both Christian fundamentalism, and, to an extent, Islam also thrive in Western societies.

    Dalrymple is an even more twisted soul than Mark Steyn.

  2. Quin Finnegan says

    Anon, why the "Except"? And how – in this essay, anyway – is Dalrymple a twisted soul?

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