1st April 2008

“Religious conflict today is the result as much of popular will as of state sponsorship: it is bottom-up, driven by volunteers not conscripts, their activities blessed by rogue preachers not popes, their fury mostly directed at apostates not competing civilisations.”

The Economist

4 Responses to “1st April 2008”

  1. Hypatia Says:

    That’s why declaring war on terrorism was such a stupid idea.

    The enemy is an ideology, not a physical entity. Of course, you can fight against an ideology but you don’t use an army – you use education.

  2. Terence Meaden Says:

    Agreed; but educating whom?
    It is like talking to the deliberately deaf, talking to those who will never listen, talking to the obstinate.

  3. Hypatia Says:

    Agreed; but educating whom?

    Funding basic education and literacy has got to help – anything would work better than bombs.

  4. Tzuriel Says:

    I agree with both of you. It’s surprising how much some of you seem to hate me, yet, politically, we find ourselves on the same ground.

    A “war against terrorism” is indeed impossible. The best way to fight an ideology is with another ideology. If, for the sake of argument, I was to assume that all of you are right, that religion is evil, and is a cancer in this world, then this is how I would suggest to fight something like religious extremism. First, you do it from their religion. For a Muslim, you would show him powerful and influential Muslims who disagree with him and you would back your arguments with passages from the Quran. Once he was let go of the radical side of things, you begin to present arguments, period. Not to say that you just sling anti-religious stuff at him, but this is where you begin educating him, slowly working in counter=arguments to his beliefs. It would take a long time, but, assuming that your belief that an educated man cannot believe in God, it would prevail.

    Of course, I think an educated man can believe in God, but that’s beside the point for this argument.