Tradition and Islam
by Rod Dreher
National Review Online
March 24, 2003
Reader Dan writes from Wisconsin:
There is indeed a problem for traditionalist Christians and social conservatives to the extent that other "Conservatives" hitch themselves with too little or no qualification to a modernist liberalism. Western religious traditionalists along with members of the true Left may indeed find some consensus with Muslims about the threat of a materialistic, unrestrained free-market order that madly preaches the spread of porn as a solvent to militant moral and religious particularisms which are accused of disenfranchising women and children. Turn the world into Las Vegas, and everyone will be too "happy" — i.e., sedated and distracted — to cause much trouble. This somehow takes care of the disenfranchisement problem?
That reasoning is the madness that all serious Muslims feel compelled to oppose, including the radical, militant sort. However, it is a real stretch of guilt by association reasoning to lump Muslims, Christians, Jews, Mormons, and others together with the likes of Sayyid Qutb simply because they're all unwilling to live in a degrading Jerry Springer and "Girls Gone WIld" world.
With much better justification you could argue instead that western traditionalists and the majority of serious and non-militant Muslims have the only viable and legitimate basis for dialogue and partnership. The "porn and prophylactics for progress" party is the dead-end European gambit; pursuing it is certain to provoke deep reaction and resistance.
It is not as if there are no examples of positive Christian-Muslim coexistence and collaboration. In the latest issue of First Things, Stephen Schwartz notes, "Paradoxically, the only support the struggling [Albanian] Catholics have found is from the Muslim intelligentsia in northern Albania, who admire the Roman apostolate for its contribution to local and national progress. People like the Muslim journalist Blendi Kraja are more avid in their promotion of Catholic culture than local Church representatives... Tens of thousands of Albanians have returned from Islam to Catholic Christianity, the faith of their ancestors before the Turkish conquest of the country in the fifteenth century. Local Muslim clerics make no protest against these religious revisions, arguing that the descendants of Catholics have the right to reaffirm their traditional faith."
Would Vince argue that the Balkans and "women's rights" would be better served by the arrival of activist shock-troops representing the values and agendas of the likes of the ACLU, NOW, and NARAL?
Related Topics: Albanian Muslims, European Muslims, Muslim-Christian Relations
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