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Blind Faiths
New York Times ^ | January 6, 2008 | Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Posted on 01/05/2008 9:14:20 PM PST by reaganaut1

Several authors have published books on radical Islam’s threat to the West since that shocking morning in September six years ago. With “The Suicide of Reason,” Lee Harris joins their ranks. But he distinguishes himself by going further than most of his counterparts: he considers the very worst possibility — the destruction of the West by radical Islam. There is a sense of urgency in his writing, a desire to shake awake the leaders of the West, to confront them with their failure to understand that they are engaged in a war with an adversary who fights by the law of the jungle.

Harris, the author of “Civilization and Its Enemies: The Next Stage of History,” devotes most of his book to identifying and distinguishing between two kinds of fanaticism. The first is Islamic fanaticism, a formidable enemy in the struggle for cultural survival. In Harris’s view, this fanaticism has acted as a “defense mechanism,” shielding Islam from the pressures of the changing world around it and allowing it to expand into territories and cultures where it had previously been unknown.

With few exceptions, Harris sees Islamic expansion as permanent. Although this point is arguable, he bravely attempts to make the case that the entry of Islam into another culture produces changes on every level, from political to personal: “Wherever Islam has spread, there has occurred a total and revolutionary transformation in the culture of those conquered or converted.”

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ayaanhirsiali; bookreview; islam; leeharris; radicalislam

1 posted on 01/05/2008 9:14:21 PM PST by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1

thanks for the post. Look forward to reading.


2 posted on 01/05/2008 9:25:40 PM PST by GOP Poet
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To: reaganaut1
I've always liked Lee Harris' columns. This book sounds very insightful:

Harris does not regard Islamic fanaticism as a deviancy or a madness that affects a few Muslims and terrifies many. Instead he argues that fanaticism is the basic principle in Islam. “The Muslims are, from an early age, indoctrinated into a shaming code that demands a fanatical rejection of anything that threatens to subvert the supremacy of Islam,” he writes. During the years that this shaming code is instilled into children, the collective is emphasized above the individual and his freedoms. A good Muslim must forsake all: his property, family, children, even life for the sake of Islam. Boys in particular are taught to be dominating and merciless, which has the effect of creating a society of holy warriors.

By contrast, the West has cultivated an ethos of individualism, reason and tolerance, and an elaborate system in which every actor, from the individual to the nation-state, seeks to resolve conflict through words. The entire system is built on the idea of self-interest. This ethos rejects fanaticism. The alpha male is pacified and groomed to study hard, find a good job and plan prudently for retirement: “While we in America are drugging our alpha boys with Ritalin,” Harris writes, “the Muslims are doing everything in their power to encourage their alpha boys to be tough, aggressive and ruthless.”

3 posted on 01/05/2008 9:29:47 PM PST by Choose Ye This Day (A Black Belt in the Art of Babble.)
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To: reaganaut1

We need a full out war against Islam.
Not a war on ‘terror’, but Islam and the Koran.
Us or them. Our way, or theirs.


4 posted on 01/05/2008 9:29:56 PM PST by Leisler
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To: reaganaut1

“Several authors have published books on radical Islam’s threat to the West..”

Don’t listen to these alarmists - none of our politicians, including the POTUS, have ever indicated that Islam is not TROP. Stick with our government, they know best.


5 posted on 01/05/2008 9:30:09 PM PST by 353FMG (Hillary - Al Qaeda's Trophy Woman)
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To: Tolik

Interesting moral clarity...


6 posted on 01/05/2008 9:30:52 PM PST by Choose Ye This Day (A Black Belt in the Art of Babble.)
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To: reaganaut1; neverdem; knighthawk

Ali is a brave, brave woman.


7 posted on 01/05/2008 9:31:07 PM PST by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: reaganaut1

It’s all very well to try and understand Muslims, providing you have the time and the patience to put forth.

As for me, there are only two things about Islam that I am certain of; 1) they are serious when they say they want to convert the rest of the world to Islam or kill us trying, and, 2) I have absolutely no interest or intention of converting to Islam.

That being the case, I have already decided that it is indeed a war of civilizations, that the war is already underway, and that the Muslims will eventually lose.

The reason I am certain of that is because while the general public of most western nations are willing to let the liberal politically correct idiots have their way when things are going well and the inconvenience of allowing them their childish delusions is tolerable, there is a push-come-to-shove point in the makeup of any national group that when reached the masses of that country will react violently.

It’s already happening, albeit slowly in Europe. You can see signs of it in the Netherlands, in Denmark and even in France. It’s going to get worse as the Muslims keep pushing and new atrocities continue to occur.

It will happen in America as well. The recent murder of two teen-aged girls by their own father who was obviously acting under what he thought was divine interest is keeping Americans reminded just how brutal and intolerant Islam is.

Strangely (or not so strangely) jihad has not gotten very far off the ground in China or even in Russia — despite the large Muslim populations of both nations. The reason for that is obvious. Russians and Chinese push back when pushed — Hard! They send in the troops, break heads, kick butt and take names.

The same will eventually happen in other countries. Be sure of it. 9/11 didn’t set it off in America, but sooner or later there will be a “Boston Massacre” moment in the war... a catalyst that causes such universal revulsion against Islam that even the most infatuated brain-dead anti-American hedonist is either convinced (or stunned into silence) and when that happens, there is going to be total hell to pay — for the Muslims.


8 posted on 01/05/2008 9:43:40 PM PST by Ronin (Bushed out!!! Another tragic victim of BDS.)
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To: reaganaut1

keep it simple. what if the local temp at mecca or medina was 1000 degrees C?


9 posted on 01/05/2008 9:48:57 PM PST by tired1 (responsibility without authority is slavery!)
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To: reaganaut1

be careful what you wish for, NYT.


10 posted on 01/05/2008 9:53:48 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (whose spirit is hillary channelling these days?)
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To: Travis McGee

Thanks, Happy New Year!


11 posted on 01/05/2008 10:29:58 PM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: reaganaut1; rmlew

Boy the readers of the NYT are going to be outraged at this book review. They get upset that Bill Kristol is now writing opinions for the NYT.


12 posted on 01/05/2008 10:47:35 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (I'm not celebrating Kwanza!)
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To: Paleo Conservative
Absolutely - she defenestrates more leftist dogma in this one book review than has been accomplished by all other iconoclasts put together that the average NYT reader is exposed to in an entire year of reading.

In recent days we have seen some amazing and heretofore unexpected movement away from the same-old drearily-predictable leftist pablum that the NYT had devolved into under the flawed stewardship of Pinch Sulzberger. In more ordinary times, we would have seen this book reviewed by a CAIR board member or by some other Saudi apologist - but certainly not by someone of the stature and with the insight of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Could this possibly be evidence that some adult or adults - perhaps one or more of the NYT's owners who care more about preserving their own unearned wealth than about engaging in the foolish Communist crusades that sprung from the renegade dreams of the childishly-undisciplined and unprincipled family member that they so unwisely put into the NYT's driver's seat - have finally become fed up enough with the disastrous financial bloodbath that has been the predictable and inevitable result of Sulzberger's Pravda-inspired editorial flight from truth and reason that they are now at this late date attempting to undo some of his damage and stanch the losses? Have they actually started to rein in some of his excesses and not-so-creative destruction of their 'franchise'? And, will it be too little, too late?

13 posted on 01/06/2008 12:05:39 AM PST by The Electrician ("Government is the only enterprise in the world which expands in size when its failures increase.")
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To: reaganaut1
I like your choice of NY Times stories. What's the reason why you don't use the printer friendly versions? Some folks can't access broadband.
14 posted on 01/06/2008 1:35:03 AM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: Ronin

You know, I agree with you. There are a lot of folks who will sit and take it, especially here in the states, but when they get fed up all bets are off. The Muslims had better go back and watch “Red Dawn” a few times, and while watching, remember those average Americans their minions encountered on flight 193 that September morning.


15 posted on 01/06/2008 2:10:56 AM PST by singfreedom ("Victory at all costs,.....for without victory there is no survival." Winston Churchill)
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To: The Electrician
MAN, was that a rant! I loved—and agreed with—every word! Great, great assessment of the gradual, yet earth shaking, changes seemingly taking place at the NYTimes! I just hope they’re permanent changes.
16 posted on 01/06/2008 2:20:07 AM PST by singfreedom ("Victory at all costs,.....for without victory there is no survival." Winston Churchill)
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To: reaganaut1

btt


17 posted on 01/06/2008 2:45:18 AM PST by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: reaganaut1
Ms Ali:I was not born in the West. I was raised with the code of Islam, and from birth I was indoctrinated into a tribal mind-set. Yet I have changed, I have adopted the values of the Enlightenment, and as a result I have to live with the rejection of my native clan as well as the Islamic tribe. Why have I done so? Because in a tribal society, life is cruel and terrible.

And who wrote the corny old story, set during or just after WWII, about an old, immigrant Russian barber? Old "Barbakoff" didn't speak too much English and didn't know much citizen-test stuff, and didn't even know that Roosevelt had recently died, but our magnamimous authorities allowed him to stay, or maybe even made him a citizen, after some neighbors' unsolicited testimonials and after the old guy proudly declared, "I like it here!".
18 posted on 01/06/2008 4:56:29 AM PST by flowerplough (Thompson should be the next president and Reagan should be the next face on Mt. Rushmore)
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To: Leisler

We need it but we won’t get it. A democracy cannot fight such an enemy. Look at the way we go about it. Nationbuilding in Iraq! The Islamic world must receive an action so violent and destructive that all of their military forces in zones even remotely hostile are destroyed so that Moslems everywhere understand that Allah does not will Islam to conquer in this century. Iraq should have been leveled. Bush I should have leveled Baghdad and left. He did not. Bush II should have leveled Baghdad and Basra and utterly destroyed all military assets in Iraq as rapidly as possible and colonized the oil fields. He did not. Now it has to be done to Iran and probably Arabia must be occupied and the mystique of Mecca unraveled. If we do not deal with Iran then well, make sure your grandchildren can write their Spanish in Arabic.


19 posted on 01/06/2008 5:31:53 AM PST by arthurus (Better to fight them OVER THERE than to have to fight them OVER HERE!)
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To: Ronin
that the war is already underway, and that the Muslims will eventually lose.

The populations of the West must recognize that this is a war of civilizations, even a large portion of the Left must recognize it. I am not so optimistic. The Left will support Islam right up to the point where their heads start coming off because Islam is anti-American and therefore allies in the Left's drive for power.

20 posted on 01/06/2008 5:35:37 AM PST by arthurus (Better to fight them OVER THERE than to have to fight them OVER HERE!)
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To: reaganaut1
By contrast, the West has cultivated an ethos of individualism, reason and tolerance, and an elaborate system in which every actor, from the individual to the nation-state, seeks to resolve conflict through words. The entire system is built on the idea of self-interest. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Western Civilization is not built upon the idea of self-interest, but upon equality of all men before God, and that all men ( even Muslims) are endowed with inalienable rights that are our gift from God and an intrinsic part of the human condition.

Ali should look to Judeo Christian belief if she is looking for the foundation blocks upon which our culture is built. If freedom exists anywhere in the world it is because it arose naturally through Judeo Christian belief, or it was imposed upon them because they were conquered ( Japan for example), or in the last century countries saw the wisdom of adopting these principles.

If the warlords of early Western Civilization are guilty of excesses, it is through Christianity that they were tamed and subdued. It is due to the Christian belief in freedom and equality before God that slavery was abolished.

Finally,,,,Islam is not Western Civilizations most serious threat. Marxism is! .

Marxists and their Useful Idiots have thoroughly infiltrated every level of our nation's government, the arts, all government social bureaucracies, and especially our K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. These Marxists are hard at work chewing away at the Judeo Christian belief systems that make all freedom possible. In fact, freedom is impossible with these Judeo Christian beliefs.

Our schools are the Marxists most important weapon..

We can and will survive and overcome any nuclear suitcase bomb, but Western Civilization will not survive if the Marxists succeed in indoctrinating the next generation of voters.

21 posted on 01/06/2008 5:50:11 AM PST by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are not stupid.)
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To: arthurus

Please read post #21.


22 posted on 01/06/2008 5:51:14 AM PST by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are not stupid.)
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To: reaganaut1

23 posted on 01/06/2008 5:54:01 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: arthurus
Nationbuilding in Iraq! The Islamic world must receive an action so violent and destructive that all of their military forces in zones even remotely hostile are destroyed so that Moslems everywhere understand that Allah does not will Islam to conquer in this century.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Japan is a rational and peaceful society today, because they had the “attitude adjustment” that you described.

24 posted on 01/06/2008 5:55:00 AM PST by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are not stupid.)
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To: wintertime

So did Germany.


25 posted on 01/06/2008 6:07:28 AM PST by arthurus (Better to fight them OVER THERE than to have to fight them OVER HERE!)
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To: arthurus

Who said the Left would survive until that point in the conflict? They’d be the first to either run and hide when the shooting started or be eliminated, either one. Preferably the latter.


26 posted on 01/06/2008 6:31:25 AM PST by john drake (Roman military maxim; "oderint dum metuant," i.e., "let them hate, as long as they fear.")
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To: Travis McGee

Thanks for the ping. I hope she keeps safe in the US.


27 posted on 01/06/2008 7:59:49 AM PST by knighthawk (We will always remember We will always be proud We will always be prepared so we may always be free)
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To: wintertime

Western Civilization grew directly out of theJudeo-Christian heritage, And Capitalism, the engine that made the West rich and which the rest of the world tries to imitate, grew directly out of the trust between men and outside of the clan that only the Jews and the Christians could work with. Jews and Christians always accepted that if a man said he would do something, then he would do it. Jews invented Finance and Christians made the modern world with it. Other peoples can only trust their relatives and usually only when there is a strong clan head. The huge Chinese corporations are virtually all either government/PLA operations or they are family businesses. Without Jews and Christians there probably would have been no development of large scale long distance trade and no Industrial Revolution.


28 posted on 01/06/2008 8:45:43 AM PST by arthurus (Better to fight them OVER THERE than to have to fight them OVER HERE!)
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To: arthurus
Very interesting analysis...and spot on!

Freedom and wealth depend on Judeo Christian faith, belief, philosophy, values, and human personal behavior ( on the individual level).

29 posted on 01/06/2008 9:19:18 AM PST by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are not stupid.)
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To: reaganaut1
Harris also fails to address the enemies of reason within the West: religion and the Romantic movement. It is out of rejection of religion that the Enlightenment emerged;

Only the late-Enlightment writers, like the Philosophes and Hume, really qualify for this description.

Thus, it is not reason that accommodates and encourages the persistent segregation and tribalism of immigrant Muslim populations in the West. It is Romanticism.

Actually, a universalist reason that embraces freedom cannot do much to break down tribalism that grows in its own midst, other than hope such traditions will erode on their own. Universalism has trouble with national borders and immigration quotas on certain parts of the world.

Since when did Hrsi Ali get published in the NYTimes? Her AEI connections? Do, say, Serbian Christians ever get to attack Islam in major magazines, or is that the prerogative of only ex-Muslim atheists?

30 posted on 01/06/2008 10:27:50 AM PST by Dumb_Ox (http://kevinjjones.blogspot.com)
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