Friday, February 03, 2006

Schism

So it was cartoons that finally did it. The elephant that's been in the room since the invasion of iraq ( and back to the first crusades) has finally materialised in the conciousness of the west. Muslims have known it for millenia and we knew it once too.
What is this pachyderm squatting amongst us? It's the huge schism, the gulf that can never be bridged, the gap between the west with christianity that has been through the reformation and now takes a back seat in most of our lives ( i'll exclude the american christian taliban for now ) and the muslim world. Unreformed, dogmatic and inflexible. There can be no easy point of contact between the two, period.
What we are seeing now is the birth of the problem that will shape the next century. Islamic dogma versus a christian america and a largly secular (with christian undertones) "rest of the west". This has to be the end of the, largely british, multicultural experiment. The battlelines are being drawn as I type this sentence. Plackards in London saying "Behead Those That Insult Islam" and white, anglo saxons on the news pinning their colours to the mast of free speech.
The mere fact that theology is the study of fiction. That perhaps 99% of both side just want a quiet life and the hurt and insult are pure societal and political constructs means little. These cartoons will be used as the kernel to unite the muslim world like the invasion of a secular Iraq never did. The terrorist groups must be rubbing their hands together in glee. As is the British National Party here in the UK. Expect racism, expect hatred and most of all, expect violence.
The embarrassing platitudes of the british government, trying desperatley to keep the lid on the tinderbox of UK inner cities, seem to me to be trying to keep feet in both camps. It's time to pull back from both entrenched positions and come out against religion. The real enemy of the piece. All this death, pain, insult and dogma stem from religion. It's time to treat the religious as bad, mad or guilty of using religion for their own personal or political ends. This applies to all side, all religions. It's time we left our childish creation myths behind and treated people who think they are in touch with the thoughts of a mythical being as the lunatics they truly are.
I don't hold out a whole lot of hope though. Keep your heads down folks. The lurch towards controlling faschism in the west of the 1984 ilk, to the fanatical islamic jihad in the east. It's going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. And the schism will deepen, and people, and hope, will die.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wither science?

Scott said...

I'm with you on ths. I just posted on this topic on my blog, http://mymountain.blogspot.com/2006/02/cultural-collision-thoughts-on.html

Morpheus said...

Cheers Scott, i'll wander over and take look.
Anonymous, if you mean "what about science?" i'll take a stab at it. Islam o=was once way ahead of us, look up the root of algebra for one thing. There are many other examples like this. They acted a s a kind of bridge between the ancient greeks and ourselves. Translating the Greek texts and pushing some forward. But they seem to have stifled that side of their culture. The Taliban when they were in control of Afghanistan drove the society backwards into a new dark age. The sort of world Islam seems to want is late bronze age but with AK47's.
Whereas the Christian Taliban of the Republican right in the US are nearly as bad! Creationism in schools, stem cell research banned, cloning banned. But with nuclear weapons research going full steam ahead. Keep the fruits of the last 500 years but stifle any meaningful research as "ungodly". The parralels betweeen the two opposing camps obvious.
The only hope is secularism. When religion starts to poison governments the only way is dwonhill. Repression, censorship, suspicion of the sciences and withdrawal of funding for anytyhing except weapons and intelligence gathering. Growth of the state control of peoples lives and the use of the population itself as a tool of the state control apparatus. Instill a religious moral dogma and the populace will become the eyes and ears of the rulinmg elite and will happily grass up their Grannies convinced of their reward in the afterlife ( and a few hundred bucks to boot! )
You can see all this happening now. Here in the UK, the US and all over the Muslim world. There's a huge "Cool to Hate Science" and "No Nasty Chemicals" (as if the whole damned cosmos wasn't made up of chemicals...) cult developing alongside the evangelical right and the multiculturalism (read "ignoring the dispicable acts conducted by an the men in an ethnic group upon it's women & children in the name of religion")
Science is the only way out. Educate people enough and they will laugh at any creation cult like islam, christianity or scientology. But it's the first thing the Taliban took away from their population and it's the thing that in the west, only the ruling elite get the real deal. It's goint to be creationism as an equal theory to Darwin and most schools turning out semi-literate drones with an instilled hatred of science and math for the rest of us.