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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

It All Depends What You Mean By Peace

Mark Steyn: Islamist way or no way
October 04, 2005
I found myself behind a car in Vermont, in the US, the other day; it had a one-word bumper sticker with the injunction "COEXIST". It's one of those sentiments beloved of Western progressives, one designed principally to flatter their sense of moral superiority. The C was the Islamic crescent, the O was the hippie peace sign, the X was the Star of David and the T was the Christian cross. Very nice, hard to argue with. But the reality is, it's the first of those symbols that has a problem with coexistence. Take the crescent out of the equation and you wouldn't need a bumper sticker at all. Indeed, coexistence is what the Islamists are at war with; or, if you prefer, pluralism, the idea that different groups can rub along together within the same general neighbourhood. There are many trouble spots across the world but, as a general rule, even if one gives no more than a cursory glance at the foreign pages, it's easy to guess at least one of the sides: Muslims v Jews in Palestine, Muslims v Hindus in Kashmir, Muslims v Christians in Nigeria, Muslims v Buddhists in southern Thailand, Muslims v (your team here). Whatever one's views of the merits on a case by case basis, the ubiquitousness of one team is a fact.
. . .
As Bassam Tibi, a Muslim professor at Gottingen University in Germany, said in an interesting speech a few months after September 11, "Both sides should acknowledge candidly that although they might use identical terms, these mean different things to each of them. The word peace, for example, implies to a Muslim the extension of the Dar al-Islam -- or House of Islam -- to the entire world. This is completely different from the Enlightenment concept of eternal peace that dominates Western thought. Only when the entire world is a Dar al-Islam will it be a Dar a-Salam, or House of Peace."



Blogger flippityflopitty said...

Muslims make up app. 1.5 billion of app. 6.5 billion people worldwide. I kinda think the crescent makes up an important part of the equation.

Lets not forget Muslims v. Christians in Yugoslavia or was that Christians v. muslims? Speaking of which shouldnt it be Jews v. muslims in Palestine? I guess thats debatable. And what exactly is Iraq by his definition?

Take away the crescent and you have a peace sign followed by EXIST. Dont think that means anything, just wanted to point that out.

10/07/2005 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Tanstaafl said...

Read up on the Muslim conquest of the Balkans, and the Janissaries, and then get back to me.

How about we drop the hippy-dippy peace sign too and just EXIST?

10/07/2005 09:53:00 PM  

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