In yet another example of why the west might not beat the onslaught of radical Islamofascism, Minette Marrin of the Timesonline thinks she has found a solution to the clash of cultures. Marrin details the extremism evinced by too many Muslims in England and then posits a solution: ban all religion. Talk about an absurd idea. It's as foolish as throwing out the baby with the bath water. It also discounts thousands of years of worthy and enlightened western culture influenced, guided and based on Christian philosophy.
In To beat extremism we must dissolve religious groups, Marrin's wooly headed prescription also serves as a fine example of the most shallow of PC, postmodern "thinking." Famed French mathematician Jules Henri Poincaré once said that, "to doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection." It is a lesson in discernment and critical thinking that escapes most on the left, and specifically this prosaic, anti-intellectual Timesonline columnist.
The first half of Marrin's piece details recent poll results revealing the extremist leaning of Muslim students in England and it is alarming information, indeed. These poll results show, for instance, that four out of ten Muslim students in Britain support Sharia law in the UK. One third said that killing in the name of religion was justified. It shows that a quarter think women are not equals to men. The poll also shows that, among other results, 57% believe Muslim soldiers in the British army should be allowed to opt out of the war on terror. This alarming YouGov poll will be released on Monday, July 28. To sum up, Marrin says of the poll:
The authors make it clear that the majority of Muslim students support secularism and democratic values and are broadly tolerant of others. However, the CSC points out that the incidence of conservative and separatist Muslim beliefs has been growing and is more prevalent in young Muslims than in their parents’ generation. British Muslims used to be much more moderate.
It is an alarming poll. Of course, who can doubt such results? The Brits have for decades been collectively turning their back on western society with politically correct teaching that holds that their own culture is no more than just another culture and, therefore, not deserving of special consideration. Like most left leaning provocateurs, British liberals have become fond of morally equating their own culture with the worst lot of humanity. On the other hand, these young Muslims are taught from birth that their religion is superior. Not only that, but Islam is a political system as well as a mere religion. So why shouldn't British Muslims seek to replace the British culture with one they are taught is superior? If the English aren't going to insist their culture is optimal, why should anyone else?
In all this England is reaping what it has sown. Also in this they aren't much different than the French, the Germans, Spain, Canada, and to a lesser extent, even the U.S.A.
It is enlightening information and serves as a good warning, but Marrin isn't done. She wonders aloud what we should do. "Insecure young people can be swayed by extremists," she assures us, "The question is how to stand up to the extremists."
Marrin begins with a good idea saying, "First, I think, we should abandon all discussions of what Islam truly is." That is a pretty good prescription, but it isn't a subject of much discussion in the west, really. Westerners aren't interested in what is or is not the "real" Islam. That is a question that has vexed the Muslim world from time immemorial and will surely never be resolved. What the west is interested in, though, is what Islam is not, and that is a "religion of peace." Still, no matter what it is, it is a major problem and solving that problem is all the west is interested in. Muslims living in peace is not something the west is interested in meddling with. Muslims on the rampage is.
And now we get to Marrin's solution of banning all religion, her nihilistic suggestion.
What follows inescapably from this is that religious people and their views should not be officially recognised in groups. Religion should not be allowed a public space or public representation. This is hard for those of us who used to love the muddled Anglican compromise; it means the disestablishment of our national church – if it doesn’t self-destruct first.
She goes further.
The challenge of other, fiercer and more divisive convictions has forced the issue; multiculturalism has been subversive. There must be no more religious schools – personally I would leave those that exist alone. There must be no public recognition of religious associations as representatives of anything or anybody: not on campuses, not in student unions, not in government consultations or in parliament.
Marrin even wishes to ban religious schools? And how does this make her much different in stringent authoritarianism than the radical Islamists she here condemns?
Now Marrin's absurd, overreaction would make sense if there were even half as many honor killings in Britain perpetrated by Christians, Buddhists -- or even Druids for that matter -- as there are Muslims. It would make sense if Christian nations were exporting terror cells secretly into nations throughout the world. It would make sense if major Christian leaders were issuing their own fatwa-like proclamations calling their flocks to violence, oppression, and self-immolation.
It would be a perfectly sensible idea to ban all religions if all religions were exactly as dangerous as Islam. But they aren't. In fact, it isn't even close. Islam is by many magnitudes of measurement a far more dangerous ideology than any other religion on the planet.
Yet, in a reductionists silly fantasy, Marrin offhandedly decides to veer off track and rush to ban all religions instead of making even a tiny attempt to actually deal with the real problem. This is the same sort of empty headed thinking that would punish the bully and his schoolyard victim for fighting on the playground. Hers is the same sort of idiocy that reduces all human actions to moral relativity. Marrin's ultimate destination for her vacuous reasoning would equate the works of a Gandhi or a King, Jr., to that of a Stalin or Hitler. After all, all of them espoused their philosophies loudly and insistently and brought many followers to their side.
Certainly, a banning of Islam is not perhaps a solution out of the question. After all, Islam is the problem, here. But a foolhardy banning of all religion just because one is currently a problem is no solution at all. But it is a "solution" that falls into Poincaré’s admonition. It has the dubious benefit of eliminating any reflection. Sadly, it is the way of the unthinking left that we've become so tiresomely familiar.