Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Incessant Tap Dancing Around Religion

This week in Newsweek Fareed Zakaria wrote a piece in which he delineated the role is Islam in the Sunni-Shi'a struggle in Iraq. Essentially he pointed out that until Islam goes through the equivalent of the Protestant Reformation vis a vis Christianity there will be no lasting peace in the "western world."

Religions, like all institutions, are not cast in concrete from the instigation. As people change in their understanding of behavior and nature, religions change. Some changes are subtle, some are revolutionary. Change, though, is inevitable.

Islam is going to change and eventually the verses which allow for murderous interpretations will be relegated to virtual unimportance, just as violent verses of Judaism and Christianity have become interesting artifacts of a long passed society.

Unfortunately, some pundits of the right took a single phrase from Zakaria's work and work themselves into a slather of dispute.

Christopher Hitchens in Slate.com partakes in the discussion. It seems the war supporting pundits are fixated on the facts of the blundering treatment of the Middle East by the Europeans and Americans of the 20th century, not to mention the centuries long rivalry between various Islamic sects. A sense of history is fine, but that was not Zakaria's point.

Zakaria is telling us to do whatever we can to encourage the quick reformation of Islam.

It would be nice if the right and the left would take Zakaria's suggestion to heart and devise a strategy which would assist moderate Muslims in this very important development of their religion.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment