The Corner

Spengler, Always Worth Reading

Another superb, and extremely worrying, column by Spengler the Asia Times Online columnist who is writing some of the most interesting analyses of international cultural geopolitics I can find anywhere. He says that Europeans who, in the wake of Theo van Gogh’s assassination, are demanding that Muslims among them renounce violence as a condition for living in the West, are bound to be disappointed (as indeed those who expected to see large numbers of Euro-Muslims denounce the ritual slaughter of van Gogh have been). Why? Because as a matter of “theological necessity,” Islam cannot tolerate blasphemy without implicitly ceding power — anymore than medieval Christianity could do so. Spengler quotes St. Thomas Aquinas’s endorsement of killing heretics, and Michael Novak’s defense of the policy by saying that the times required it. Similarly, says Spengler, Islam is so fragile versus the powerful currents of Western secularism that it cannot allow itself to become a privatised faith, as Christianity and Judaism have been, or it will suffer the same enervation.

Writes Spengler:

Jews and Christians had centuries to accomplish the transition from public and political religion to private and communal religion, whereas circumstances press moderate Muslims to do this on the spot. The two older religions did so under duress, chaotically, and with limited success. Whether Islam can make such a transition at all remains doubtful.

…The tragedy will continue to unfold, and at a faster pace. Jews and Christians have learned to accept humiliation. God’s love for the individual soul remains valid despite worldly reverses, and failure in the temporal realm provides cause for self-evaluation. Humiliation is intolerable to Islam; Allah sets the spin of every electron around every nucleus by a discrete act of will, and reverses in the temporal world challenge Islam’s promise of success.

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