31 January 2007

Simple Questions, Hard Answers

I’ve started reading The Force of Reason by Oriana Fallaci. I’m only to the third chapter at the moment, but it seems to me there are some basic assumptions about the world we live in that must be recognized. I feel this because, as I’m in mid-stream on this book, and having read Mark Styen’s America Alone earlier in the year, there appears to be ample evidence of a coming, serious upheaval in the Western world. Not the violent, volcanic type of shift. More the kind of change that takes little nibbles until the sandwich is almost gone.

With that in mind, I think it would be prudent for the West (and in particular, the US) to ask some fundamental questions of itself and one specific question to Muslims who wish to live in the West.

The West should ask itself first and foremost if it cares to continue to exist. While this may seem like a rhetorical question, I would argue that for some who would consider themselves as part of the West, the answer (whether admitted to or not) would be, “No.” My advice for those folks is to find a country which they feel comfortable buying into – culturally, spiritually, economically, and politically – and immigrate to that place.

If the answer is yes, then there must be some foundational set of values within the West (or the constituent parts thereof) which defines it, which the West ceases to exist without. I might suggest that adherence to secular law is one of those ideas which defines the West. And, while those laws may be (and largely are) based on religious values, they are not subservient to religion.

If that is the case, then there must be one question answered by Muslims who wish to live in the West: in earthly matters, what law must the public (meaning, directly, people other than you) follow? In interpersonal relations, does Sharia trump the laws of any (and every) country?

It seems like a simple question. Getting an honest answer is not so easy.

Just two nights ago on an Australian current events show, a radical Muslim leader was asked repeatedly by his interviewer if Australia would be or is a target of the global, “defensive” jihad he was advocating. He repeatedly dodged the question, rolling a litany of supposed grievances and generally babbling on with official, educated sounding words. The answer is, “Yes, Australia is a target in the global jihad.” He wouldn’t say it on television, but I have no doubt that is, in fact, his real answer.

The real answer to the question concerning Sharia is, well, I’m sure you can figure it out.

No comments: