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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Clash Of Civilizations

A Los Angeles radio talk show host is in hot water for having made "insensitive" comments about Muslims. In Europe, the backlash over the cartoon depictions of Mohammed continues. What is going on here? It's actually relatively straightforward. Webster's defines "society" as "a community, nation, or broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests." It defines "culture" as "the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group." Arab/Islamic societies or cultures have few common traditions with the West. Their customary beliefs, social forms and material traits are in many ways vastly different that ours. Viva la difference. And that's a point. Once that broad grouping of people loses its common traditions, the glue that held that society together is gone. But the result will not be an absence of a society. Instead it will be replaced by a new and likely different society that feels more strongly about its traditions and beliefs. Think of it this way. I am obviously in many regards a conservative, and I feel strongly about my beliefs and philosophy. Why would I then voluntarily relocate myself and family to, say, Berkeley, CA to be tortured by the antithesis of my morality and politics? Unless my goal was to change Berkeley. UPDATE: Some good news. Britain's "religious hatred" law (i.e. speaking of antipodes, the type of law that is the antagonist of free speech and can be found at pretty much every college campus in America, where it is perfectly acceptable under the protection of the free speech umbrella to burn an American flag but not to tell an off-color joke)) was least for now. There is also a hint of understanding in the Middle East as well: "What brings more prejudice against Islam, these caricatures or pictures of a hostage-taker slashing the throat of his victim in front of the cameras or a suicide bomber who blows himself up during a wedding ceremony in Amman?" These are the words of a Jordanian editor-in-chief. [Hat tip: Dhimmi Watch]

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