Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Muslim Fundamentalism & Conservative Christianity vs. Secularism

I am reading a three part series of articles running on the front page of the Wall Street Journal on 'Islam & Europe - A Volatile Mix." In the second series of articles, they are tracing the history of the emergence of Islamic Fundamentalism in Europe and profiling four key individuals on their efforts to build a foundation for Islamic Fundamentalism. As the WSJ reports in the article:

These current tensions are embedded in the events of half a century ago. Postwar Munich was a ruined city packed with Muslim emigres fleeing persecution. While the West tried to observe and control them as valuable pawns in the Cold War, they encountered formidable rivals seeking their own power bases in Europe's burgeoning Muslim world.

Over the next few decades, four men would try successively to control the Munich mosque: a brilliant professor of Turkic studies, an imam in Hitler's SS, a charismatic Muslim writer with a world-wide following and a hard-nosed Muslim financier now under investigation for backing terrorism. Most favored some sort of accommodation with the West. But the victor had a bolder vision: a global Islam opposed to the ideals of secular democracy.

The last line in the second paragraph (in bold here) is most interesting in that there is a correlation between The Christian Right and its opposition to secular democracy and Islamic fundamentalism and its opposition to secular democracy. It seems that the fundamental Christians and fundamental Islamists have a core principle in common. The line between fundamental Christianity and fundamental Islam is much thinner than some may care to acknowledge...

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