posted on May, 17 2009 @ 10:19 AM
Although this video was released almost a month ago, it is still relevant, as the circumstances which allow this behavior continue, and are likely to
do so until something VERY radical happens in our world.
Although the video shows Taliban style justice, it is actually indicative of an aspect of Islam, not just something particular to the Taliban. Within
this decade we still have numerous reports of women being murdered for wearing western clothing (Algeria), for not being sufficiently covered (Egypt),
for allowing oneself to be raped (Saudi Arabia), for adultelry (Iran), and for refusing to obey Koranic laws (Indonesia). Add onto this similar
brutalities against people in general for various Koranic infractions exhibited throughout the Islamic world, and it is undeniable that there is an
ongoing system of intolerance and brutality that is linked to this religion. However, the bigger problem here is that these actions are either
condoned by the governments, or only marginally criticized.
When these sort of things now happen in western nations, we can usually attribute them to fringe religious cults, or corrupt localized governments.
Also, when these actions become public there is overwhelming disapproval and subsequent attempts to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Of course this wasn't always the case. In the US, post civil war violence against negroes was so bad and indemnic that it took nearly a century more
to combat and extinguish it. In Great Britian, perhaps similar things could be said of English-Irish conflict. In Spain and Italy, there were the
fascists. While in Germany, nearly an entire population threw in with a doctrine of inhumanity. So we must remember that our current set of values
have taken a long time to form, enforce, and gain near universal acceptance within the west. Indeed, without intending to divert this thread, we can
view the 'torture' activities at Gitmo and Abu Ghareb as backsliding, and hopefully the last events in our long catharisis to expel these antithetic
demons from our culture.
I have just recalled this history to emphasize a point. That point is that each 'culture' develops its norms based on a long history of pressures,
internal and external.
Because Islam existed for so long in parts of the world that were remote and consequently 'backwards', they have not had the benefit of being
challanged in their beliefs. Up until very recently, the rest of the world was merely interested in keeping the oil flowing (no oil? no interest).
Internally, existing pressures were really about what form of dictatorship would flourish.
Since 911, the rest of the world has become much more familiar with Islam in all its various aspects, and are slowly coming to the conclusion that we
don't like or accept what we see. This conclusion is particularly unpleasant because the post-911 world demands that we simply can not ignore it any
longer. The question now becomes, so what are we going to do about it?
None of our choices are easy, and many could very well cause us to challange our own values, determination, and will power. In fact, I would argue
that this is EXACTLY what Osama had in mind when he acted against us: a grand clash and test of cultures. Our humanitarian values and technology vs.
their dogmatism and sheer expansiveness. The modern world can not tolerate the existance of such polar opposite belief systems.
SO, short of nuking out Islam, which is clearly not an option that west should or could make (and still be us), that leaves us with only one option.
That option is one of continued and gradual embrace, where we must insist on and encourage the modernization of Islamic tenets.
The best way to do that? Well, its no really no secret: to inspire someone (or a people) you must lead by example, and live up to your own laws and
values. And that my fellow ATS members is the real challange before us today, and into the future.