Maybe you know that the so-called islam-critics has been a primary target for me since I began debating and blogging on the internet. I still find these nationalistic types biased and one-eyed into the extreme – without regard for history or any real knowledge of their object of criticism, the islamic societies.
But the truth must be told, regardless of political preferences, regardless of personal sympathies or antipathies. Real criticism must stand firm on a base of humanism and target every person or group that holds personal rights and freedoms in low regard.
A critical a look around the world today reveals that the ‘islamic community’ is among the most anti-modern, anti-individualist and in some ways the most medieval and barbaric communities.
It’s accepted, legal and legitimate in many arab or muslim countries to have laws forbidding conversion from islam to fx. christianity (Turkey is – as far as I know – one of a few muslim countries having a relative freedom in this respect).
In the same way it’s forbidden in many arab or muslim countries for a muslim and a christian to marry – and if it’s not forbidden, it’s considered so unislamic that it’s dangerous to do so. Things like this are revolting and an offense to everyone considering him- or herself modern, civilized and tolerant.
In Saudi-Arabia – besides all the religious suppression, the apartheid laws on women and the persecutions of all other than orthodox sunni-muslims – it’s forbidden for ‘foreigners’ and ‘infidels’ to approach the holy places.
This is almost symbolic of how islam as a religious community closes it’s doors to other religious groups, tries to preserve dogmas and internal disciplin by keeping the world out.
Islams power and internal cohesion is kept together, it seems, by repression and by force, and this is – as you will know if you’ve read your Michel Foucault – a sign of weakness, not a sign of power.
True power asserts itself silently, by being taken for granted, and the noise made by ‘offended muslims’, and all the oppression and forceful propagation of ‘true islamic values’ carried out by self-appointed guardians of the faith thus reveals a very, very weak islam.
Yes, muslims are persecuted and in the line of fire in many places: Israel-Palestine, in American or Russian imperialist wars, in India and China, and world-wide in this time of intense, overwhelming criticism of islam. And yes – the islamic community has been manipulated by imperialists and torn apart and humiliated for years.
But this shouldn’t make you close your eyes to the fact that nowhere in the world do you find more oppressing socities than in the islamic world.
Barbarism as you see it in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, or Saudi-Arabia – where unveiled women are thrown acid in their faces, people executed or lynched for ridicolous reasons (being gay, having unauthorized sex and so on) – you won’t find anywhere but in war-zones or in the most undeveloped countries in the world.
My prediction is that if islam – of more precisely, muslims – don’t bring a great transformation to their religion – a transformation that brings ‘islamic values’ upfront and in pace with a postmodern world – islam faces an great demise.
The arab spring was just a taste of what’s coming, because the conservative islamic world will not withstand the combined forces of capitalism and postmodernity, not even the most reactionary forces in the islamic world will withstand consumers demanding freedom of choice, and the modernists demanding freedom and respect for the individual.