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S0Noma
01-22-2008, 07:11 PM
By James Carroll
January 21, 2008

THE UNFOLDING presidential elections are laying bare what the real dangers are in the new American condition. They come not from our political divisiveness, economic uncertainty or military insecurity - but from our religious character as a people, which, in this case, is not positive. Religious intolerance marks one candidate debate after another - a sweeping denigration of Islam. And it is going to backfire.

The code word "Islamofascism" has become a staple of rhetoric. It braces the talk not only of pundits, but of all the major Republican candidates - from the tough guy at one end, Rudy Giuliani, who lambastes Democrats for not using the word or its equivalent, to the "nice" candidate at the other end, Mike Huckabee, who defines Islamofascism as "the greatest threat this country [has] ever faced."

The pairing of "Islam" and "fascism" has no parallel in characterizations of extremisms tied to other religions, although the defining movements of fascism were linked to Catholicism - indirectly under Benito Mussolini in Italy, explicitly under Francisco Franco in Spain. Protestant and Catholic terrorists in Northern Ireland, both deserving the label "fascist," never had their religions prefixed to that word. Nor have Hindu extremists in India, nor Buddhist extremists in Sri Lanka.

In contrast to the way militant zealotries of other religions have been perceived, there is a broad conviction, especially among many conservative American Christians, that the inner logic of Islam and fascism go together. Political candidates appeal to those Christians by defining the ambition of Islamofascists in language that makes prior threats from, say, Hitler or Stalin seem benign. The point is that there is a deep religious prejudice at work, and when politicians adopt its code, they make it worse.

The Democrats gain little by shaping their rhetoric to appeal to the Republicans' conservative religious base, but a readiness to denigrate Islam shows up on their side, too. In last week's debate, moderator Brian Williams put to Barack Obama a question about Internet rumors that claim he is a Muslim. The tone of the question suggested that Obama was being accused of something heinous. He replied with a simple affirmation that he is a Christian. He did not then ask, "And what would be wrong if I were a Muslim?" Had he done so, it seems clear, he would have cost himself votes in the present climate.

The present climate is my subject. In recent years, the public realm has been invaded by a certain kind of narrow Christian enthusiasm, made up partly of triumphalistic self-aggrandizement (exclusive salvation), and partly of the impulse to denigrate other religions, especially Islam. This phenomenon has been centered in, but not limited to, evangelical fundamentalism. The United States cannot have a constructive foreign policy in religiously enflamed regions like the Middle East, northern Africa or South Asia if the American presence in such conflicts is itself religiously enflaming.

Thus, how could the United States advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process if its government upholds, however implicitly, the Christian Zionist dream of a God-sponsored Jewish state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean? Where is the two-state solution then? How, for that matter, is the traditional American commitment to the Jewishness of Israel advanced if the Christian Zionist vision of ultimate Jewish conversion to Jesus is achieved?

The issue is larger. The intellectual and moral paralysis of all major candidates from both parties on the subject of the war in Iraq is mainly a result of their religion-sponsored imprisonment in the Islamofascism paradigm, whether they use the word or not. By emphasizing that the goal of Muslim terrorists is to wage what John McCain calls a "transcendent" war against "us," candidates miss the most important fact about the conflicts in Iraq and throughout the Muslim world - that militant Muslim zealots are primarily at war with their own people, most of whom they regard as decadent apostates.

As Muslim scholar Reza Aslan observes, Osama bin Laden's attack on the World Trade Center was more aimed at generating a war of purification within the house of Islam than a war of conquest against "the far enemy" in the West. That strategy worked, sparking exactly the belligerent reaction he wanted, because America's uninformed, religious prejudice toward Islam was predictable. What Bin Laden could not have imagined was that he would find like-minded partners-in-conflict coming to power in Washington, advancing his religious war, every bit as sure of God's sponsorship as he.

web page (http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/01/21/islamofascisms_ill_political_wind/)

LWW
01-23-2008, 12:37 PM
Congratulations.

Your application for dhimmitude has been approved.

LWW

wolfdancer
01-23-2008, 12:46 PM
Interesting article, but I think it went over the head of lww, beyond his threshold of cognition....as evidenced by his idiotic reply
It's a good thing we suffer fools gladly here....

LWW
01-23-2008, 12:54 PM
If you only understood the bias and untruths in the article and the risk it presents you would drive to wherever and smak the author.

Sadly, you won't because it would violate party rules ... and for that reason your application also has been approved.

What's funny, if it weren't so serious, is that I have no doubt both of you would sit down with your assigned headslicer while saying "B-B-B-BUT B-B-B-BOOOOSH, IT'S B-B-B-BOOOOSH'S FAULT, B-B-B-BUT B-B-B-BOOOOSH!!!!"

LWW

S0Noma
01-23-2008, 03:19 PM
Bias and untruths and the risk it presents?

Describes your posting style to a 'T'.

Why is it that when I bother to read your blather it always seems you've held a mirror up to your self and then tried to vomit up what you saw?

Your typical posts are filled with bias, half-truths and innuendo. The vast majority are devoid of any real content.

Yet you remain convinced that you have something to say that the rest of us desperately need to hear.

How ironic that the man who refuses to listen thinks the rest of us can't hear.

Pathetic.

LWW
01-23-2008, 04:04 PM
Dude, you can't even write a post in return without copying my style.

That's funny.

In any event, your article is written by someone oblivious to the reality of terrorism.

LWW

S0Noma
01-23-2008, 04:24 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote LWW:</font><hr> Dude, you can't even write a post in return without copying my style.

<font color="blue">Last time I checked, you have to have form and content before you can claim a style much less the flattery of being imitated.

Holding that mirror up again, I see. As per usual it's all about you. </font color>

In any event, your article is written by someone oblivious to the reality of terrorism.

<font color="blue">I'm neither shocked nor disappointed that you would think so. In spite of what you may imagine to the contrary, none of us are sitting by our monitors, holding our breath and waiting for your imbecilic opinion.

'Oblivious'? Another good mirror word for you to reflect on. </font color>

<hr /></blockquote>

bamadog
01-23-2008, 05:00 PM
Come on Sonoma, even you can see the absurdity of his observation here.

"The present climate is my subject. In recent years, the public realm has been invaded by a certain kind of narrow Christian enthusiasm, made up partly of triumphalistic self-aggrandizement (exclusive salvation), and partly of the impulse to denigrate other religions, especially Islam. This phenomenon has been centered in, but not limited to, evangelical fundamentalism. The United States cannot have a constructive foreign policy in religiously enflamed regions like the Middle East, northern Africa or South Asia if the American presence in such conflicts is itself religiously enflaming."

Can you give any examples where American foreign policy has been degraded by Christian fundamentalism or the "denigration of Islam"?
Or, is he saying that Muslim Nations are so religiously chauvinistic that they refuse to have a constructive foreign policy dialogue with, a largely Christian nation like, the US?

I think he is tilting at windmills.

LWW
01-23-2008, 05:25 PM
C'mon Dawg ...

... ain't you ciphered out yet that in these parts they believe Bush knocked down the WTC then launched an invasion of peace loving Arab nations who don't even have guns and wouldn't harm a fly.

Next will probably come the one about AQ actually being the Israeli Mossad, who happen to be Bush's puppetmasters.

Ever wonder what hippie pool would be like with a HS education?

Now you know.

The BIG STONE OWL has m,any believers. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

LWW

Gayle in MD
01-25-2008, 08:37 AM
I recall watching John Kenneth Galbraith's son, Phillip, I believe his name is, interviewed along with two right wing Republicans, one of them being that total idiot, Fredrick Kagen, of the American Enterprise Institute, as they testified about the war in Iraq, to the Senate. Every single prediction, of Mr. Galbraith's, has occured. In fact, the National Intelligence Estimate, is almost a transcript for his predictions.

BTW, I'm sure you must have seen the news clips of the more than 900 lies told to the American people by the Bush Administration, in the run up to the War for Oil.

I believe the Manchurian Candidate arrived in Washington in 2000. His every action as President, has hurt our country, and strikes at the heart of Americanism. The article is correct. No one has made bin Laden happier than George Bush. The post I made yesterday, with links, on the National Intelligence Estimate, a study by our own 16 Agencies, completely at odds with the right wing BS we read in their posts, here. They either overlook the now obvious results of a bad policy, or they pretend that somehow, in the midst of our resulting severe economic problems, all will somehow have been worth it. Hard to imagine how people can be so blind to facts. Bush is supposedly going to cure the biggest decline in housing values, since the crash, by giving tax payers a few hundred bucks, while having provided every Iraqi with atleast $100,000.00. We're borrowing money to restore Iraq's infractructure, as our own is in shamples. It really is hard to imagine that some Americans, can be so afraid, or blind, that they can't see the absurdity in such idiocy. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Gayle in Md.

LWW
01-25-2008, 09:09 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr>BTW, I'm sure you must have seen the news clips of the more than 900 lies told to the American people by the Bush Administration, in the run up to the War for Oil.

Gayle in Md.<hr /></blockquote>
That's already been exposed as another Soros funded fraud ... but you knew that.

LWW