November 08, 2007
Continuing our jaunt through Mr. LaTulippe’s article from yesterday, we come to these lines:
“When analyzing the likely course of these civilizational struggles “ and plotting a strategy for America to deal with them “ one must also recognize another important fact: The ultimate outcome of Islam’s civilizational wars has already been determined. Radical Islam is not a viable paradigm upon which a modern society can be built. It is destined, like communism before it, to collapse from within.”
A fact, according the Oxford American Dictionary, is “a thing that is indisputably the case.” Is it “indisputably the case” that “The ultimate outcome of Islam’s civilizational wars has already been determined”? Some of us silly Catholics cling to the idea of free will, and we find it rather hard to believe that the future “has already been determined.” That might explain why Pope Benedict XVI, whom Mr. LaTulippe cites, has been spending so much time and so many words discussing Islam. If he believed, as Mr. LaTulippe does, that “The ultimate outcome of Islam’s civilizational wars has already been determined,” you’d think he’d move on to other things.
Mr. LaTulippe further denies free will when he states that “Radical Islam is not a viable paradigm upon which a modern society can be built.” We might agree that this is true of radical Islam, as it exists today. But only if you believe that the future is already determined can you deny the possibility that new forms of radical Islam may arise, or even that we might someday see a “moderate,” yet expansionist, Islam. Mr. LaTulippe thinks that he has this covered, by quoting the Pope’s discussion of the role that the Koran and the hadith play in determining Muslim attitudes. But again, the point of Benedict’s discussions of Islam has been to draw attention to the inherent conflict between Islam and Christianity (and between Islam and Europe, a point I’ll come back to in another post), not to proclaim another version of “the end of history,” because “The ultimate outcome of Islam’s civilizational wars has already been determined.”
Moreover, what does Islam’s current inability to form the basis for “a modern society” have to do with anything? One might equally argue that Islam was “not a viable paradigm upon which” a society like that which existed in pre-Moorish Spain could be built. That didn’t stop Muslims from coming in and building an entirely different kind of society—one that, despite the propaganda of Muslims and modern liberals, was decidedly not the kind of society that Christians would choose to live in. Again, Mr. LaTulippe’s analysis only makes sense if you believe that we’ve arrived at “the end of history,” and there will never be such a thing as, say, a postmodern society.
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