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Monday, October 18, 2004 - 5:44pmSanction this postReply
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This article reminds me of some books I've read by Bernard Lewis.  Irfan, do you know to what extent (if any) Lewis and Al Azm have drawn from each other's work? Or from the same source material?



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Monday, October 18, 2004 - 9:24pmSanction this postReply
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It's a fascinating article. Much of it is important for the West (and for me) to understand. How difficult it is to grasp the context of an alien culture.

What I found blood-chilling was the writer's own reaction to 9-11, the bottomless malice -- which he terms "taking pleasure in the suffering of others" -- in his psychology despite his authentic veneer of civilization.

Barbara



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Monday, October 18, 2004 - 9:25pmSanction this postReply
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It's a fascinating article. Much of it is important for the West (and for me) to understand. How difficult it is to grasp the context of an alien culture.

What I found blood-chilling was the writer's own reaction to 9-11, the bottomless malice -- which he terms "taking pleasure in the suffering of others" -- in his psychology despite his authentic veneer of civilization.

Barbara



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Monday, October 18, 2004 - 9:30pmSanction this postReply
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I'm sorry, but I simply can't let this writer's predictions lull me into a premature sense of security and complacency.

I will only and truly feel safe, when the ribbon cutting ceremony for the brand-new Objectivist Institute of Mecca happens, upon the exact site where the Great Mosque and Kaaba once stood.




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Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 8:33amSanction this postReply
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(Edited by Irfan Khawaja on 10/19, 2:38pm)




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Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 9:23amSanction this postReply
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Very interesting article. It strikes me as wishful thinking on the part of this Marxist author for the imminent decline of the pre-Modern theocratic movement. If only it was so easy. Is this the last gasp of Islamism as the 70s and 80s were the last gasp of Communism? Or was 9/11 Islamís equivalent of Russiaís 1905 revolution? Or Hitlerís Munich Putsch? Given the response in the Islamic world, it was a rallying cry, not a last gasp. There isnít even an ideological attack on Islamism in the West (save for a few lone individuals). The fight has barely begun.



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Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 5:20pmSanction this postReply
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The ultimate Huntingtonesque "clash of civilizations" isn't between today's highly illiberal West and today's highly illiberal Islamdom. After all, both coincide and agree on everything important: a philosophy of religion, an ethics of self-sacrifice, and a polity of welfare statism. Their beliefs and ideals almost entirerly cohere. Both societies and "civilizations" are intensely irrational and culturally identical in their fundamentals.

The real battle today is between the skepticist-based West of Pythagorus and Plato and the certaintyist-based West of Aristotle and Epicurus. It's highly revealing that in the 200s BC, when cultural liberalism (as I define it) was at its zenith, virtually everyone who was smart and well-educated referred to the Reasonist Aristotleian philosophies of Epicurus and Zeno (the Stoic) as "dogmatic." They were so-described not because these belief-systems and life-styles claimed to know everything based more-or-less on faith, but because they claimed to know anything at all -- even the truth of the laws of identity and equality -- based on rationality. Our Western liberal world was in profound and overwhelming trouble even then.

The current culture-clash and battle royale between the West and Islam is surprisingly insipid and close to meaningless. Only when the West has triumphed here will the real fight begin. The true enemies of sane, sober, normal, civilized, happyness-seeking, greatness-seeking people today are the Enlightenment destroyers known as Berkeley, Hume and Kant. That and their two leading-edge, direct-action, ultra-demon annihilationists: Moses and Jesus. Even "moderate" skepticist-based jews and christians today are fully capable of besting the worst islamic 9/11ist maniacs on any day of the week.

(Edited by Andre Zantonavitch on 10/19, 5:31pm)




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