Tuesday, October 03, 2006

BENEDICT OUGHT TO READ FRANZ ROSENZWEIG

This is a long article but well worth the read-click on title for full article
Thank you Ralph Zwier

Not what it was, but what it does
By Spengler

Regarding the cuisine of the southeastern United States, a local adage warns: "More important than what it is, is what it was." That applies to a stew that might include marsupials, but not to religion.

Critics of Islam quote the saber-rattling suras of the Koran and recount the history of Muslim violence, while apologists retort with peaceful-sounding suras and cite Christian misbehavior. Pope Benedict XVI's September 12 speech provoked a fruitless debate over the remarks of a 14th-century Byzantine emperor about the


evils that Mohammed had brought to the world. Nothing ever will
be learned, much less proved, by this tedious and sophomoric exercise. Gathering dust half-read on my desk are a number of books recounting the supposed evils of Islam - by Ba'at Yeor, Oriana Fallaci, Serge Trifkovic, and many others. There is not a speck of theological insight in the stack of them.

Western policy toward the Muslim world appears stupid and clumsy because its theological foundations are flawed. It is not what it is, nor what it was, but rather what it does that defines a religion: How does a faith address the paramount concern of human mortality, and what action does it require of its adherents? I addressed these issues under the title Jihad, the Lord's Supper, and eternal life (September 19), explaining that jihad does for Muslims precisely what Communion does for Christians. It is not a doctrine but a sacrament, that is, a holy act that transforms the actor.

Three years ago I reviewed in this space the only recent book on Islam that explained jihad within the religious life of the Muslim faith community, a collection of writings by the Jewish theologian Franz Rosenzweig, who died in 1929. [1] It is available only in German. Rosenzweig's understanding of Islam, to be sure, can be culled from his English-language writings, but a new English translation of his principal work last year was ignored entirely. [2]

Oddly, the US left and the neo-conservative right agree on method as well as outcome, and produce quite similar drivel. Professor Martha Nussbaum, a classicist, has written a new book on Hindu religious violence, as she wrote, "not only to present a case study in the threat to democracy from religious tension, not only to engage Americans in an informed dialogue about India, but also to defuse the inaccurate and unhelpful assumption that Islam is a global monolith bent on violence". That is a silly premise, for violence by other religious groups does not bear upon the accusation that Islam is inherently violent.

The neo-conservative Max Boot, an enthusiast of imperial small wars, wrote last week, "Religions are not monolithic. They have no fixed, eternal identity. Until the 18th century, Christianity was a militant faith whose adherents did not hesitate to kill 'heathens'. Throughout the Middle Ages, Islamic states usually offered greater tolerance to religious minorities and were more open to secular learning than their Christian neighbors." [3] Really? Is Boot talking about the Almohad Dynasty that conquered Spain in 1148 and offered the Jews conversion or death? Were the Almohads "more open to secular learning" than the contemporary Holy Roman emperor, Frederick II? The fellow deserves a D-minus in a freshman history course.

13 Comments:

Blogger atheling2 said...

How do you know he hasn't?

5:38 AM  
Blogger PD111 said...

Around two years ago, I wrote something on LGF and JW/DW, similar to Spengler's essay.

-----------------------------------

Jihad is not just about acquiring Infidel territory but also imposing the Sharia on all Infidel systems. But there is another component of Jihad that has not been looked at. This is the private and personal aspect of the Jihad.

What is generally not realised is that this war, is being waged by Muslim civilians on 'Infidel' civilians. It is not the governments of Egypt or Pakistan, or its armies that are waging the Jihad. It is civilians against civilians. This is a war that each Muslim is waging on the non-Muslim, whenever the opportunity arises. It is known as the Jihad. As Islam is also a religion, there has to be a private part to the Jihad. And this I do not mean the self-improving part, but what motivates the Muslim to do Jihad. That is, why each Muslim is waging a personal Jihad on each and every Infidel. It is private and personal. We have yet to understand this and why this is so.

So why is this? Each and every Muslim is taught that he must wage Jihad, i.e., extend Islam by any means. This can mean converting a non-Muslim, or to donate money to the Jihad. Unless he does so, he puts his soul in grave danger, as it may be in eternal torment in the fires of hell. Remarkably, this kind of a primitive concept of heaven and hell, is still the prevailing belief of most Muslims. Thus any Muslim you initially meet, will try to assess if you can be converted. If he thinks you can, he will devote enormous effort to bring it about. Now you may think this is altruistic, but it isn’t. The reasons are purely selfish, and that is to secure his place in paradise and avoid the fires of hell. The Jihad is a matter of faith, and he will do anything (including killing non-Muslims), to avoid his Islamic hell. In his world and to his understanding, he is not doing anything wrong; in fact he is doing right.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Kelticman said...

Well said PD111 ,
Religious theology with such an insidious and profound hold of a persons psyche is very difficult, almost impossible to reason with.

We seem to have forgotten the importance of the formative years in a childs education.....this belief is drummed into their young and will stay rooted deep in their psyche.

Islams inherent belief of superiority to all other religions as a way of life has been and is the cause of perpetual warfare and genocide. Made all the easier on the conscience of individual muslims via
the Jihad indoctrination.

WE have to realise that even so called moderates will defer always to the radical dictats of immans and
elders....and will as you say quietly promote all forms of Jihad.

Even with passive Jihad ie immigration and settlement they will overwhelm us socially within a few decades ....then it will really commence.....god help our children if we dont wake up and stop this invasion of culture and country.

2:12 PM  
Blogger SB said...

One issue neither you nor Rosenzweig have considered: Whether the opossum is halal or can be made so.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I haven't read it all yet as I have some serious cooking going on:-)
But I did just notice that Tower Hamlets features...Margaret Hodge's territory,,,married to Judge Hodge I seee the fellow who allows Muslims women to wear the veil!
Perhaps he's scared he might feel the benefit of their fury of he makes them undress!

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a bit dishonest to claim Spain was an islamic country for 800 years. First of all, there was no Spain anymore than there was a Germany or Italy. That had to wait until Ferdinand and Isabela united the existing kingdoms. The reconquista began almost as soon as Tariq ibn Ziyad had established islamic hegemony throughout most of the inerian peninsula. It did, however take slightly under 800 years to fully sweep islamic rulers from power but the process had begun by 718 and by 1212 Granada was the only province to remain under islamic sway until 1492 when it fell to the united spanish kingdom.

4:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a bit dishonest to claim Spain was an islamic country for 800 years. First of all, there was no Spain anymore than there was a Germany or Italy. That had to wait until Ferdinand and Isabela united the existing kingdoms. The reconquista began almost as soon as Tariq ibn Ziyad had established islamic hegemony throughout most of the inerian peninsula. It did, however take slightly under 800 years to fully sweep islamic rulers from power but the process had begun by 718 and by 1212 Granada was the only province to remain under islamic sway until 1492 when it fell to the united spanish kingdom.

4:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a bit dishonest to claim Spain was an islamic country for 800 years. First of all, there was no Spain anymore than there was a Germany or Italy. That had to wait until Ferdinand and Isabela united the existing kingdoms. The reconquista began almost as soon as Tariq ibn Ziyad had established islamic hegemony throughout most of the inerian peninsula. It did, however take slightly under 800 years to fully sweep islamic rulers from power but the process had begun by 718 and by 1212 Granada was the only province to remain under islamic sway until 1492 when it fell to the united spanish kingdom.

4:58 AM  
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