What if you shave off the rhetorical baggage and ideology from the individual? What is left after sifting through the debris of myth and stereotype and generalization while hoping to eye a few shards; archaeological artifacts of the real? What if we can dispose of all the noise, and have a dialog, a face to face with the quiet. Lets face it, we live on a continent that is gun crazy and even many of the so-called peace types, greens, and the liberal left are also trigger happy and quick to shoot with words, aggressively insular in the righteousness of their position. It seems the growth of pop culture has had an equal expansionary effect of ideological hardening of the arteries.
There are a great many of us who seem to want to stay in a permanent state, a narcissistic coma of the world of higher educated white liberal wish fulfillment fantasy. With all its distorted moral dilemmas in a search for a renewal of enlightenment. And if there is no urge or desire for our new cold war replacement enemy to be somewhat reasonable- submissive and whitened up- then they have to be subtly demonized.And that means setting the narrative cultural tone through white eyes that have a stake in the system. Its all about non-moslem consciousness. Ultimately, you can’t feel guilty because they are such horrible bastards attitude ingeniously permeates so-called respectable society.
One of the most controversial and divisive issues in North America is whether the Muslim faith is inherently violent or non-violent.Its been an ambiguous issue with severe ambivalence emanating from some quarters.Interestingly, we are in Ramadan, a month of fasting which is said to induce a kind of quietude in which a meditative mood is said to take hold. Quite a contrast to say sectarian violence in Iraq. The question is whether the actual thought material is overtly of a religious nature; or whether the religious locus is simply more diffused, slower and more deliberate with an accompanying increased or heightened sense of awareness of transporting oneself through an existence. It is perhaps a reason for Ramadan being a month long since it imposes a severe disruption of the self-absorbed and hectic rituals that constitute what could be described as the normal life resulting in a more deliberate approach to life.
As far as an imposed interruption goes, it seems fairly extreme. But, if this form of piety and almost zen like relation with the quiet is at the core of the Islamic faith, then one has to question the propaganda hosed over us from the anti-Islam block that is basically evolved into a business model unto itself. From ivory towers to populist politics, many want a piece of this jingoistic pie.
Ultimately, Islam is not predicated on violence. It is inherently non-violent. The problem that is rarely recognized is that the principal religious faiths appear systematically diverse which means unable to be defined and labeled in a definite sense. All are loaded with internal strife. All in their own way profess their brand of faith as the truest and most genuine article. Given that religion is a allegorical representation of an individual, it very neatly describes all the passions, desires and contradictions within the individual.
Into this mix can be tossed the atheist religion as well. Dawkins, Hitchens et al. who use religion as a scapegoat without really delving into its varieties and textures. They are on a very thin line, susceptible of being as reactionary and stiff as those they ridicule with such eloquent facility; too much of a zero-sum game and right and wrong sophisticated children’s fairy tales. They end up being media cannon fodder as well since they are unwilling to admit that religion can exist without and in spite of fanaticism and dogmatism. Fascism and Communism in all it mutant forms showed a smug co-existence with rigid rules of conduct in the absence of religion.
Call it blind faith. Presently we have economists like Paul Krugman, Stiglitz and Roubini bleating, somewhat dogmatically with demagogic overtones, for more stimulus from government and government moving recklessly toward austerity in the fear of their debt credit ratings being downgraded. Both sides clinging to a certain irrational certainty that they are in the right; their own views are “faith” based, but they would not categorize it as religious. Who knows, perhaps a Ramadan experience would furnish some necessary calm and quietude producing some worthwhile reason.
Societal factions seem forever refighting old wars,like a bad karma that refuses to defuse itself. In the West there is a infatuation with congratulating ourselves for being on the right side. The Arab world for the most part is caricatured as unenlightened and made shovel ready to label, judge and dismiss. And when our mainstre
edia depicts discrimination such as torturing Iraqis, it basically poses two related questions; that being how will this affect white people and, inevitably, we’re so pleased with ourselves for not being evil and racist like the perpetrators. The media is simply a reflection and operates on the same narrative principles as Hollywood.
Mark Steyn is even more pessimistic:
The future belongs to Islam
Islam has youth and will, Europe has age and welfare. (…) the modern multicultural state is too watery a concept to bind huge numbers of immigrants to the land of their nominal citizenship. So they look elsewhere and find the jihad. The Western Muslim’s pan-Islamic identity is merely the first great cause in a world where globalized pathologies are taking the place of old-school nationalism….
…For states in demographic decline with ever more lavish social programs, the question is a simple one: can they get real? Can they grow up before they grow old? If not, then they’ll end their days in societies dominated by people with a very different world view. (…)
Europe, like Japan, has catastrophic birth rates and a swollen pampered elderly class determined to live in defiance of economic reality. But the difference is that on the Continent the successor population is already in place and the only question is how bloody the transfer of real estate will be. (…) On the Continent and elsewhere in the West, native populations are aging and fading and being supplanted remorselessly by a young Muslim demographic. (…)
There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe — without swords, without guns, without conquests. The fifty million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades. (…)
“We’re the ones who will change you,” the Norwegian imam Mullah Krekar told the Oslo newspaper Dagbladet in 2006. “Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes. Every Western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children.” As he summed it up: “Our way of thinking will prove more powerful than yours.” Read More:http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/islam/a