Even as Deep Thinkers continued to belabor President Obama’s characterization of ISIS as not r-e-e-e-a-l Muslims, the SOB’s went right ahead and cut off the head of a British aid worker, David Haines.
You know there is something strange afoot when a atheist neuroscientist and a blinking-neon yahoo find agreement on religion.
The humdrum truth is that, like ‘Christian,’ nobody owns a copyright in the word ‘Muslim’ and, like ‘Christian,’ a Muslim is anybody who calls himself a Muslim and believes it. That’s why John Spong, Pat Robertson and Mitt Romney can all call themselves Christian, though they agree on virtually nothing. What is more, Islam, like Christianity, is a living religion and susceptible of evolution, so that the Muslim of 500-years ago is no more recognizable to a modern Muslim than the Southern Baptist of the modern era is recognizable to the Southern Baptist of the pre-Civil War era. Each occupies a point on a continuum, and denounces as heretics and blasphemers those who occupy different points.
It is certainly true that the generality of Muslims have no interest in the difficult and grisly work of beheading people who only want to make their lives easier, and in at least that sense the President is surely correct. And, if we could know, I venture that most Muslims would rather own an iPod and listen to rock-and-roll than restore the Caliphate. Remember the Arab Spring, when Muslims throughout the Middle East attempted to throw-off the regressive, backward-looking regimes that enslave them with life-hating dogmas?
I am sure that the disaffected Americans and Brits racing to join-up and start shooting at their former countrymen consider themselves real Muslims, and I am sure their new brothers-in-arms consider themselves real Muslims, too. I am equally certain that their leaders are cynical and amoral opportunists who find this grotesque notion of real Islam useful for mobilizing idiot savages, for the simple reason that the truth is always what people do — and they have not made any effort whatever to create an actual state. We are talking about cheap thugs (mis)using insignificant idiots’ fantasies of grandeur to get their dirty-work done, and tarting-up their thuggery with useful Piety. That’s all.