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Islam Is Religious Communism
via Andrew Sullivan, Bashir Goth gives a sense of what it's like to be a journalist in Muslim society:

The writer in a Muslim society is in shackles. Every time I put pen to paper it is a struggle against the tyranny of community-imposed self-censorship. Nowhere is Rousseau's statement that "Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains," truer than in the House of Islam.

Everything is a taboo. Whenever a Muslim writer takes up a pen he starts tiptoeing in a minefield. You have to follow the flag signs of religious, cultural and social taboos. You should tread carefully avoid shame, social estrangement or even death.

The beheading of the Sudanese journalist Mohamed Taha Mohamed Ahmed in early September was the latest example of community punishment of a journalist/writer...

In the House of Islam, you cannot have a principle other than that of the community. Every thing you do is referred to Islam. The mantra is "that's stupid BUT ... But we cannot do this because we are Muslims." One hears this expression ad nauseam. In the Islamic world you cease to be a human being. You become only a Muslim, whatever that entails.

You are not allowed to be a person with vices and virtues, you cannot follow your own reasoning, and you cannot be unpopular or defend an unpopular idea. You cannot go out of the circle. To express yourself freely means to risk death. And death indeed if you change your faith. Invention itself is considered as an act of blasphemy.

I am obliged to remind my readers however that Islam had its good days of freedom of speech in the middle ages when the Mutazilites and Asharites debated in public and in the royal courts about sensitive issues such as the creation of the Koran. This golden period has since been buried in the thick dust of history. With the rise of Islamic extremism in the present age, one can only hope for the return of such rationale.

But, don't get too comfortable or start feeling too superior, all you Christians. Seems communism has come to Christianity, too. From one of Sullivan's readers, notes on the recent Family Research Council/Focus on the Family/American Family Association "Values Voters" summit. Here's an excerpt from his report:

There is no room for disagreement, because it is tantamount to evil. Dissent is the same as blasphemy, and everything is approached in orthodox terms. I've always been a conservative because I believe that there is such a think as good and evil and that moral relativism is a crazy road on which logic can rarely stick. I believe in limited government and individual liberty. I know I can do things better than any bureaucracy ever will. But what conservatism has become with these people is horrifying. They'd trade liberty for a handshake from W., compassion for power. And they've got one amazing plan in place to make sure that future generations have a tighter, more limited, and clearly more hostile worldview. I went there hoping to prove myself wrong about what I thought was happening, but I just couldn't do it.

Posted by aalkon at September 28, 2006 11:18 AM

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And the Left has their environmentalism, now that communism is out of vogue.

The Left is always ready to subjugate the individual for the good of the environment.

Posted by: Jon at September 28, 2006 8:59 AM

The left? Do you really think the Christian fundies are lefties?

And what's wrong with environmentalism? You have something against breathing?

I suggest refraining from smoking crack before commenting. You'll come out better in the end.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 28, 2006 9:14 AM

The left is no less prone to coercive control in pursuit of their interests than is the right. When environmental lefties imagine some better world where everyone has to abide by this regulation or that regulation, the enforcement of compliance is the part that moistens their underpants. Nonetheless, as the actual daydream is going down, they congratulate themselves on the rich mix of compassion and science which informs their fantasy. As their chins fall to the breastbone in admiration of their own excellence, an old Joe Cocker tune appears from nowhere to fill their interior narrative....

...You are..

..So Beautiful....

... To Me.

(Piano riff: da-Da-Da-DA-DA-Da-Da-da-da)

Posted by: Crid at September 28, 2006 6:02 PM

This lot could do worse than reflect on David Brin's piece on how individual initiative is being stifled while a paen is being sung about protecting people.
Washington did a shameful unconstitional cave-in to a tyrant today. The bill will not be long coming.

Posted by: opit at September 28, 2006 10:47 PM

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