Saturday, February 11, 2006

Bruce Bawer On Islamic Fundamentalists

In preparing for my weekend trip to Seattle with Scott this weekend, I found an article by Bruce Bawer in Seattle's weekly newspaper, The Stranger. I read Bawer's 1997 book, Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity, about the same time I began to reconsider the Christianity I had been raised into. Stealing Jesus provided an excellent and very readable analysis of how American Christianity was overtaken by fundamentalism and consumerism during the twentieth century. Contrary to what many American churches would have us believe, their fundamentalist doctrines are not 'old time religion', but relatively new doctrines. Now it appears Bawer is taking on Islamic fundamentalism. In The Stranger article, "All The Rage: Islamic Fundamentalists Don't Just Have a Problem With Cartoons, They Have A Problem With Freedom", provides an alarming account how Islamic fundamentalists intend to take over Western culture and freedoms:
On the contrary, what’s happening here is that a gang of bullies—led by a country, Saudi Arabia, where Bibles are forbidden, Christians tortured, Jews routinely labeled “apes and pigs” in the state-controlled media, and apostasy from Islam punished by death—is trying to compel a tiny democracy to live by its own theocratic rules. To succumb to pressure from this gang would simply be to invite further pressure, and lead to further concessions—not just by Denmark but by all of democratic Europe. And when they’ve tamed Europe, they’ll come after America.

After all, the list of Western phenomena that offend the sensibilities of many Muslims is a long one—ranging from religious liberty, sexual equality, and the right of gay people not to have a wall dropped on them, to music, alcohol, dogs, and pork. After a few Danish cartoons, what’s next?

Make no mistake, this is no isolated incident. It’s one step in a long-term effort by extreme Muslim forces to erode Western liberties and turn free, affluent countries into mirror images of their own dysfunctional dictatorships. “Muslims have a dream of living in an Islamic society,” declared a Danish Muslim leader in 2000. “This dream will surely be fulfilled in Denmark…. We will eventually be a majority.” (Or as a T-shirt popular among young Muslims in Stockholm puts it: “2030—then we take over.”)...
The article comes off as alarmist, but I think there are valid points. Afterall, some Islamic protesters have even demanded that Western countries outlaw all criticisms of Muhammad.

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