Secular and Islamist can mean very different things

A long post at Discover Blogs where I outline what I perceive to be the fallacies and misrepresentations in the media today about the Egyptian democratic revolution. In particular, I think terms like “secular” and “Islamist” are being used in a very irresponsible fashion.

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2 Responses to Secular and Islamist can mean very different things

  1. CONSVLTVS says:

    Well said, as usual, and well supported.

    Recently I heard Medved claim that the U.S. is still a profoundly “religious” country. That’s true, I suppose, if you track the number of Americans who identify as “religious” in one form or another. Funny, though, how their religion seems to have changed into something that allows conduct previous generations routinely punished. The grandparents of the Baby Boomers would hardly consider them religious at all.

    If “religion” in America is that slippery a term, it should be no surprise that “secular” escapes consistency in Islamic lands.

  2. JC Penny says:

    Very interesting post along with his other comments on genetic homogony. One important point:

    The biggest problem the Western masses have is not assuming Egyptins and Turks are similar in their adherence to any particular religious belief. The biggest problem is that the West continuously views the activity on the streets through Western eyes. The North African masses (much like the Arabian masses) have a culture all unto themselves. They do not think like us, and when the “riot” they do not “riot” like us…with the exception of a riot drawing in the idle and evil like moths to a porch light. The entirety of the broadcast media and the majority of the e-media insist upon looking at the protests in North Africa (and Yemen) as a groundswell of pro-democratic idealists harnessing the internet to raise nirvhana in our time. This is just not the case. The article scratched the surface of this issue, but fell short of identifying the specific cultural issues that are feeding these so-called protests.

    Yes their particular brand of theism is important as is their zeal in its practice. But it’s not what needs better understood by those of us in the West.

    The majority of the people on the streets acting out for Western reporters are illiterate and ignorant of the internet. They are behaving more like college football fans than democracy-staved patriots: “Hey guys, watch this!” Ascribing our self-righteous facination with democracy to them only serves to pump up the ratings and self-lick the ice cream cone that is turmoil in the East.

    In the US, we have our illitrate and ignorant base as well which makes for some rather psycotic and emotionally driven swings in local, national and global policies. But there are orders of magnitude difference between the cynical culture of the US and the fatalistic culture of the East. I would rather see a harsh totalitarian run all these countries until their masses are informed instead of influenced.


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