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OCCIDENTAL VIEW

The Four Fundamentalisms and the Threat to Sustainable Democracy (Part 2 of 2)

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Technology
Religious, national, and economic fundamentalisms are dangerous. They are systems of thought -or, more accurately, systems of non-thought; as Wes Jackson puts it, “fundamentalism takes over where thought leaves off” http://www.oriononline.org/pages/oo/sidebars/America/Jackson.html- that are at the core of much of the organised violence in the world today.

They are systems that are deployed to constrain real freedom and justify illegitimate authority. But it may turn out that those fundamentalisms are child’s play compared with U.S. society’s technological fundamentalism. Most concisely defined,technological fundamentalism is the assumption that the increasing use of increasingly more sophisticated high-energy, advanced technology is always a good thing and that any problems caused by the unintended consequences of such technology eventually can be emedied by more technology. Those who question such declarations are often said to be “anti-technology,” which is a meaningless insult. All human beings use technology of some kind, whether it’s stone tools or computers.

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 July 2008 10:45 Read more...
 

Open Letter to Saudis*

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Having returned from the Kingdom, four weeks in an abaya [‘abaa-ah] and ’hijaab, I am angry and frustrated.

As an analyst specialising in Saudi Arabia, I knew much of what to expect, thus covering and not being able to drive were nonissues. Landing in Jeddah I dropped ten degrees body temperature switching from linen to an abaya. Four weeks later, I flew through to Atlanta without removing my abaya, not only to test American reactions but because it was comfortable and practical.

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 July 2008 10:45 Read more...
 

Muslims and Globalisation

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Generally, when we speak of “Muslims” in the context of “Globalisation”, many Muslims and non-Muslims tend to consider this phenomenon from the point of how Muslims might fitintothegeneral scheme of things.

Those I have spoken to, when asked for their thoughts on “Muslims and globalization” tend to speak on how Muslims might embrace “moderation”, how they might ‘fitin’,howtheymightbe “more open to Western perspectives” or “culture”, or how they might “integrate”, amongst others. Whilst they do, later, speak on the need to maintain their culture, the “fitting-incomplex”seemstobe predominant. They are, in other words, “assimilationist” in their approach.

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 July 2008 10:44 Read more...
 

The Four Fundamentalisms and the Threat to Sustainable Democracy (Part 1/2)

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The most important words anyone said to me in the weeks immediately after September 11, 2001, came from my friend James Koplin.

While acknowledging the significance of that day, he said, simply: “I was in a profound state of grief about the world before 9/11, and nothing that happened on that day has significantly changed what the world looks like to me.”

Because Jim is a bit older and considerably smarter than I, it took me some time to catch up to him, but eventually I recognized his insight.
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Muslim Anger Grows at Pope Speech

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Whoa there infidels! Whoa!

A statement from the Vatican has failed to quell criticism of Pope Benedict XVI from Muslim leaders, after he made a speech about the concept of holy war.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 January 2007 12:59 Read more...
 
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