Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Fitna, for me and thee

I haven’t watched Fitna and doubt I will. Through the years, I have seen more than my share of “Fitna” type films. Even I have my limits to how much blood shedding and gore I can tolerate - even passively. By this time, I think I have gotten the message – fanatics and extremists will use anything to justify the shedding of blood liberally and there is nothing more horrendous than an alleged holy war. War can be many things but rarely is it holy. For those of you who haven’t had your fill – by all means go and watch. Don’t misunderstand me, the film should be shown, and it should be discussed and understood.

But what concerns me more than the fanatics/whack jobs, which use a religious text to carry out their perceived mission; is how my society internalizes their message and responds. In Canada, we are relatively blessed as far as pluralistic societies go and have acted as a safe haven for those fleeing persecution from all forms of religious extremism. And I am more than okay with that. What I am not so okay with; is those who will watch these films and think that the family down the street, who roll out their prayer mats five times a day have suddenly become a clear, present and growing danger to their families lives. It is just not so. More often than, many of those same pray matt rolling families have ended up at our shores fleeing from those same religious whack jobs. It behooves us all not to forget that as they are one of our allies in this struggle.

The war we are engaged in with Muslim religious whack jobs is not Islam against modern western society but the assertion of modern classical liberal values against stone age tribal barbarism. The jihadi's would like nothing better than for us to frame our response to in terms of ‘Crusader/Jew’ versus ‘Muslim’ as the 7th century is always a kind of glory day for them, but when we do that, we let our enemy control the higher ground by setting the terms of the struggle.

If a Muslim cab driving father kills his rebellious daughter in the West, our first response should not be to call for a boycott of all Muslim cab drivers, but an expression and assertion for the rights of all women not to be treated or disposed of as private chattel. When the mullah’s beat and hang a man for being a homosexual we should stand up and shout loud and clear for the rights of gays not to be tortured and killed by religious whack jobs. This is how we win - by asserting and promoting classic liberal values here at home and aboard.

2 comments:

Dan said...

"If a Muslim cab driving father kills his rebellious daughter in the West, our first response should not be to call for a boycott of all Muslim cab drivers, but an expression and assertion for the rights of all women not to be treated or disposed of as private chattel."
Shouldn't you just prosecute the guy for murder? Does Canada have laws against that, or is it now a worse crime to kill a member or an identity group than just some plain old wasp? It is this need to find 'higher ground' that gives the lie to the efficacy of 'classical liberal values'. We found it a long time ago - it is called the LAW here in the west. It allows us to believe what we will, but protects us from murder. Any ideology that can't compete in the realm of free speech but needs guns to back it up is barbaric, just like the Nazis became. We didn't fight them ONLY because they persecuted and killed Jews - they were first and foremost a cancer that could only grow by force. Incidentally, they thought they were part of liberal classicism as well, resorting only to reason and calling themselves a hellenistic revival with intellectual and cultural inheritance from the Greeks. Blitzkrieg wasn't a 'Holy War' - but it was pretty bad. It was a war of identity and nationalism for the Nazi party.
I was reading your post in the aftermath of watching Fitna - congratulating the videographer for exercising his protected right of expression. This is the LAW in the western world. Some goon might kill him for it, but that would still be illegal, wouldn't it?

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Dan,

"Shouldn't you just prosecute the guy for murder? Does Canada have
laws against that, or is it now a worse crime to kill a member or an
identity group than just some plain old wasp?"

Good Question – so why do we have a classification of criminal code
violations called "hate crimes" in Canada?


Look, societies ruled by law are not always reliable indicators for
the promotion of individual rights and freedoms. For example, the
former USSR was a country ruled by law, and Iran is still a country
ruled by laws, and yet, there is a wealth of difference and
distinction between these societies and the Canadian society ruled by
law. In fact, in Canada we still have criminal code laws concerning
religious heresy on the books… although we no longer prosecute
individuals for things like religious heresy – and do you not think
this speaks to more to cultural values of classical liberalism in our
society than the supremacy of LAW.

While Canada still does have laws against murder, it will all amount
to a great deal for naught, if we do not tackle any underlying
cultural ethos from immigrants from outside the west. Until very
recently – as in my generation's time, western society believed a man
had a moral right to beat his wife and children. It may not have been
a legislative right or a defense for murdering your
wife/daughter/child per say but when men, did indeed, murder their
wives and children; it more commonly resulted in charges of
manslaughter rather than murder…and I can find more than a few cases
where the punishment was not too far this side of lax. In fact, until
the feminists collectively took on the Christians during the 70's &
80's it was common for wife beaters to hid behind the moral authority
of their bible for justification in bludgeoning their wives and
children…does any of this sound at all familiar to you?

Recently, I have come to do a great deal of reading concerning the
original USSR invasion of Afghanistan and the nature of the resistance
against the "sovietification" of Afghanistan. Contrary, to what many
presume in the west, most of the Afghan resistance was not because of
what westerner's would perceive as a curtailing of individual freedoms
and rights but the Soviet insistence on things like…women's rights,
education of girls….or all those things which conflicted with the
smooth running of their stone age patriarchic culture. I have come to
believe we will lose in Afghanistan, just as the Soviets did before
us, if we do no remove the cultural underpinnings of organizations
like the Taliban from the basis of so-called 'moral' authority.
Moreover, even the Taliban used LAW to subject their own people…and if
you understand the origins of the Taliban, you will note that they
came to power because of a popular movement, which promised rule by a
law rather than clan thuggery.

All this likening the times to WW2 is growing rather tiresome such as
'we didn't fight them ONLY because they persecuted and killed Jews' -
mostly because the Allies did not fight the Axis forces because of the
Jews AT ALL. And the only people who fought the Nazis because of
"Jews" - were other Jews.

Not one single Allied country entered directly into war with the Nazis
> because of the persecution of any minority or ethnic group by the
> Nazis. And more than a few souls in the US, Europe & Britain thought
> Hitler had the right idea. Jews never even crossed the Allied leader's
> moral compass until well after the Nazis were defeated and the
> concentration camps opened to world view. I will even go further, and
> suggest the only reason the UN vote carried on the creation of state
> of Israel as the Jewish homeland was not out of well-being or concern
> for the remnant of European Jewry but because no Allied or former Axis
> country particularly wanted to repatriate its former Jewish citizens.
> In fact, a 1947 public opinion poll run in the Toronto Telegraph had
> Canadians favoring German immigration significantly over any "Jewish"
> immigration. Go fracking figure.
>
> Make no mistake, the Allied forces defeated the Nazis at the end of a
> gun but we did not defeat the ideology of Nazism, and that is the
> reason it continues to re-surface again, and again – Russia is just
> the most recent case - which comes to my mind. However, more
> disturbing in my mind, are those modern-day Nazis who seek to make
> common cause with us in our struggle to defeat Al Qaeda.
>
> For the record, the free marketplace of ideas is all well and good but
> I can think of more than one or two ideas I am fully prepared to go
> against popular sentiment and enforce at the end of the gun. Just
> think the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for
> minorities in Sudan and/or work your way around the world - or think
> of things like slavery, civil rights in the US, or even rights for
> women and the decriminalization of homosexual conduct – none of which
> were terribly popular at the time but all worthy of enforcing with the
> end of a gun.
>