Deep Six

Posted by sepoy on September 15, 2005 · 2 mins read

Timothy Garton Ash, in the Guardian, says that there are "six different views often heard in the west, but also, it's important to add, in Muslim countries such as Iran" about the Troubles in Islam. These views, according to Ash, say much about those of us who hold them [whether they say anything about Islam is up for grabs]. His essential point is that the reader/thinker's own bias towards secularism, liberalism, multi-culturalism, colonialism etc. determines which of the six they choose.

Let me summarize:

  1. Islam is not the problem, all religions are - abandon them.
  2. Religion is not the problem, Islam is the problem - it needs to be reformed.
  3. Islam is not the problem, Islamism is the problem - it needs to be fought.
  4. Political history of Arabs is the real problem - it lacks democracy.
  5. The West - colonialism et al - is the problem.
  6. The problem is where prurient, lost, young Islam meets the hedonist, imperialist West.

Ash seems taken by #6 himself. I have snarked on most of these readings here at CM for their essentialism, their lack of historical and cultural specificity, their mis-reading of Islam and Islamicate societies etc. Yet, I wonder if we can refine these possibilities a bit more:

  1. Islam is not the problem - horny, unemployed, recently migrated Muslim men are [Olivier Roy]
  2. Islam is not the problem - Islamic history trapped in the "Golden Age" is [Bernard Lewis].
  3. Islam is the problem - Qur'an needs vigorous editing [Manji, Rushdie].
  4. Islam is the problem - Wahabbism has overtaken it [Hitchens, Friedman and all tele-pundits].
  5. Islam is not the problem - Muslims are: they breed too much and are on welfare and don't assimilate [Talking points in Europe].
  6. Islam is not the problem - Zionists who mastermind all attacks are [popular local press in Muslimistan]

Well, gentle readers, which one do you choose? Please let me know. My views on this are here.

unrelated?: Penguins for Christ!! Doh.


COMMENTS


chanad | September 15, 2005

Good list, but you forgot one. You don't hear it much these days, but it is the view held by only the truest believers: 7. Islam is not the problem - God is [Iqbal in Shikwa] Or expressed in a different way: 8. Islam is not the problem - I am [Ghalib, et al]


s‚àö‚àènee | September 15, 2005

Hmm..definitely ... 1. Islam is not the problem - ''horny'', unemployed, recently migrated Muslim men are [Olivier Roy] & Ya 2.Islam is not the problem - Muslims are: they breed too much and are on welfare and don't assimilate [Talking points in Europe].


Blue Wolf | September 15, 2005

[7] This may apply as well: http://www.filmstripinternational.com/index.php?asshole


nykol | September 15, 2005

shibrum.shibrum. word up. yo! you gotz a place to stay for da conference? i gotz room if u need....


sepoy | September 15, 2005

Yeah. I am in the fancy, shmancy hotel.

But sms me your #/addy so that we can hang.


raven | September 15, 2005

Ash's #1 works for me. Hey, can the vertiginous chapati put me up in a schmancy hotel too?


sepoy | September 15, 2005

Say the word, O raven. The chapati is mighty.


Sakshi | September 16, 2005

U have provided with difficult choices...dont know which one to pick ??? So i will give it a miss...pls forgive me 'O chapati the mighty'. :) ps....first time to ur blog...good stuff.


Sohail | September 18, 2005

I tend to agree with Bernard Lewis' view.


Sin | September 19, 2005

I think you should attend a conference in London so that I can visit you and feel smarter by extension.


Ramchi | September 20, 2005

7-Being all of the above...in Monica's(Friends) words, "You can start with five-two and four and then move on to one,then six,a four-two,a three-one-six,a two-five,down to seven..seven...seven...ufff"


History Carnival HC Archive 17: History Carnival: 17th Edition | July 01, 2011

[...] the history of the Sepoy Rebellion with comments on the current situation in Iraq. Meanwhile Sepoy contributes to a recent attempt to compile the views Westerners have about Islam at Chapati [...]