Saturday, July 30, 2005

The White Path

The Burglar has had this site on the Burgling list for quite some time now, but I wanted to further recommend perusing it. As usual, I discover a site about a month or more after the illlustrious Burglar, only to realize that it has been on the blogroll for ages. My web-surfing is indeed amateur.

Mustafa Akyol is a Muslim who lives in Istanbul, and travels around Europe and occassionally the US for speaking engagements. He seems to be generally committed to Islam's incorporation with the ideals of the free-market of ideas and commerce in the West as far as can be accomplished without comprimising important doctrinal positions. I was directed to him by a comment from Phil Johnson, which I read in this month's Touchstone.

A couple of tidbits from this mornings read, and there are many more interesting looking posts I have yet to peruse like "In Defense of Mary the Virgin" and "Hating America Turkish Style -- This too shall pass" and The Parliament of this World's Religions and the Axis of Theism. Anyway, they all look interesting.

From Intelligent Decline, Revisited

"Actually it is members of the Darwinian camp who employ arguments from ignorance: "We don't know how this evolved, but it must have been somehow" is the kind of answer they give to many complex questions such as the origin of life, biochemical systems, genetic code or the animal phyla. What we find curious is why they ardently presume that every unsolved puzzle will definitely be solved through a materialistic explanation. The only reason is "an a priori commitment to materialism," as the arch-Darwinist Richard Lewontin famously acknowledged a few years ago."

See also, Akyol's Testimony to the Kansas State Education Board
"Most Darwinists have the opposite motive, which are non-theistic worldviews like secular humanism and atheism, which are all driven by the philosophy of Naturalism, also called materialism. And this is all fine; people on both sides of the debate might have motives derived from their philosophical convictions. The problem starts when they seek to impose those beliefs on the institutions of science and government so that their non-theistic worldviews will become the official state ideology. I think this is the current situation in American biology textbooks. Materialism has dominated them and does not allow other views to have a fair share, although it clearly lacks full scientific support."

Perhaps most bracing is "Bolshevism in a Headdress: Islamic fundamentalism has more to do with the hatred of the West than with faith"

Europe has turned out to be a perfect petri dish for growing Islamic radicalism. Muslim communities there consist mostly of poor immigrants living in closed communities. Such a social situation is fertile ground for radicalism, and disenchanted European Muslims have easily been recruited by radical groups. Antoine Sfeir, a French scholar studying Islamic radicalism in Europe, characterizes it as "a kind of combat against the rich and powerful by the poor men of the planet." Oliver Roy, another French expert on Islamic movements, notes, "To convert to Islam today is a way for a European rebel to find a cause; it has little to do with theology." Not surprisingly, Lionel Dumont, an Algerian-born French national suspected of links to al-Qaeda, said that he joined Islam because "the Muslims are the only ones to fight the system."

This fight against "the system" links Islamic radicalism to the Marxist-Leninist radicalism that preceded it. Marxism had a considerable influence on Islamic radicals like Sayyid Qutb, Sayyid Mawdudi, and Ali Shariati--architect of the Iranian Revolution. Shariati thought that Islam presented a better ideology and system than Marxism-Leninism for Muslims to topple the "imperialists."

It is thus not surprising to see ex-Marxists join the ranks of Islamic radicals. A compelling example is the recent "conversion" to Islam of Carlos the Jackal, the notorious Marxist terrorist now imprisoned in France. From his prison cell he has penned a book titled Revolutionary Islam. This brand of Islam, he argues, "attacks the ruling classes in order to achieve a more equitable redistribution of wealth" and is the only "transnational force capable of standing up to the enslavement of nations."

Here is my theory, and no its not very original. A-thiestic materialism has had its day. It has had a stranglehold on Western political, philosophical and scientific thought, but there is enough of a growing mass of intelligent, reasonable, educated people who have "tasted and seen and touched" and are tired of being ridiculed with "exclusivist rhetoric" (to turn a Berkeley phrase onto its head) into silence. Athiestic materialism will always be tolerated, but in a couple of decades people like Mustafa, and the current supporters of the ID movement will have won the day, and will themselves be in the position to be judged on their (our) ability to tolerate in the open marketplace of ideas. Advance the Day, I say.

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