Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Making excuses

Christopher Hitchens makes a good point to those who complain that Bush's camp are 'religious fanatics:':
Only one faction in American politics has found itself able to make excuses for the kind of religious fanaticism that immediately menaces us in the here and now. And that faction, I am sorry and furious to say, is the left. From the first day of the immolation of the World Trade Center, right down to the present moment, a gallery of pseudointellectuals has been willing to represent the worst face of Islam as the voice of the oppressed. How can these people bear to reread their own propaganda? Suicide murderers in Palestine—disowned and denounced by the new leader of the PLO—described as the victims of "despair." The forces of al-Qaida and the Taliban represented as misguided spokespeople for antiglobalization. The blood-maddened thugs in Iraq, who would rather bring down the roof on a suffering people than allow them to vote, pictured prettily as "insurgents" or even, by Michael Moore, as the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers. If this is liberal secularism, I'll take a modest, God-fearing, deer-hunting Baptist from Kentucky every time, as long as he didn't want to impose his principles on me (which our Constitution forbids him to do).
It is ironic in a way that it is people who are religious themselves who have been most upfront about opposing the religious (Muslim) extremism of others. You would think secularists would have more to lose from people who seek to impose religion.
The answer is, I think, that religious people understand that the Jihad is religious in nature, and understand the extremists' strength of feeling, whereas secularists see it as more of a political issue, which can be more easily solved, or as more of a racial issue, which they are more afraid to touch. In addition, religious people understand that Muslim domination would not tolerate Christianity (or Judaism) -- and so know they will be first in the firing line.

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