Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Islamism" and the Climax of Civilization

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From: paul@...
The Theological Issue of Our Times: "Islamism" and the Climax of Civilization
Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Many scholars use the term "Islamism" to describe what they also call "radical" Islam, "political" Islam, and "militant" Islam." Whatever the validity of these adjectives, they tend to obscure or trivialize what is at stake in the conflict between Islam and the West, that is, between "Islamism" and Judeo-Christian civilization. Let us get to the heart of the issue.

We all know that the Hebrew Bible proclaims in Genesis 1:26 that man is created in the image of God. But few know that Islam regards this revolutionary verse of the Torah as blasphemous—the verse that inspired the American Declaration of Independence!
It may appear academic to say that Islamic theology maintains that nothing finite can be compared to the infinitude of God. But we need to understood, especially in this age of collective madness and recurring massacres, that the concept of Imago Dei teaches provides the foundation for the primacy of reason which distinguishes man from beasts.
By denying the concept of Imago Dei, Islam degrades man. Islam’s dismal and distorted theology therefore lends itself to Islam’s contempt for human life. It is from this theological perspective that we can best understand Islamic Jihad or the wanton murder of "infidels"—of innocent men, women, and children. Admittedly, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that what scholars call "Islamism" is unmitigated evil.
This is the candid and courageous conclusion of Kenneth Hart Green, who teaches in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto.
Professor Green contends—and here I will simplify his remarks—that "Islamism is an original and unprecedented form of modern evil, and especially of religious abomination." It "emerges as a true monotheistic idolatry" [for it denies the free will of man]. [Islam] "unapologetically embraces all the modern devices (ideology, technology, mass persuasion, etc.), and employs them to do its radical evil."[1]
It’s more than difficult to suggest that the "creed" of 1.5 billion people is evil. The difficulty begins with the error of regarding Islam as one of the three world monotheistic religions. Theologian George P. Weigel rejects this theological equivalency. “To speak of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as the “three Abrahamic faiths … obscures rather than illuminates. These familiar tropes ought to be retired.”[2] Dr. Weigel is understandably understates the issue. We are approaching a climax in history. Allow me to be more outspoken.

We are deafened by the virtual silence of Muslim theologians and intellectuals who have not denounced Muslim racists who call non-Muslims "pigs" and "dogs"? But how can they read words in the Quran? Still, why have no prominent Muslims assembled in Washington, D.C. and denounced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s malediction "Death to America." and his vow to wipe Israel, a member of the UN, off the map? Such imprecations and threats are repeated again and again by Muslim leaders and spokesmen and broadcast throughout the world. These Muslims feel perfectly free to vent their murderous hatred and curses without the slightest fear of hostile response. Internet is far more reaching and effective than Mein Kampf.

Ladies and gentlemen: There is only one rational and manly response to this shrill and disgusting evil, and that is to boldly pursue a multifaceted and step-by-step strategy whose ultimate objective is to relegate this widespread evil to the dust heap of history before its leaders obtain nuclear as well as biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction.

We are approaching a climax of civilization and world-history. We had better act before it’s too late.

[1] See Kenneth Hart Green, “Leo Strauss’ Challenge to Emil Fackenheim: Heidegger, Radical Historicism, and Diabolical Evil,” in S. Portnoff, J. A. Diamond, and M.D. Yaffe (eds.) Emil L. Fackenheim: Philosopher, Theologian, Jew, (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2008), 151n42.

[2] (George Weigel, Faith. Reason, and the War Against Jihadism: A Call to Acton (New York: Doubleday, 2007), p. 17.

Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:32 pm

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FW: "Islamism" and the Climax of Civilization
From: paul@... The Theological Issue of Our Times: "Islamism" and the Climax of Civilization Prof. Paul Eidelberg Many scholars use the term "Islamism"... rufina@...
bernardetti Aug 14, 2012
2:56 pm

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