I find the Christian religion and the Muslim religion have much in common, and it is not surprising that cultures which are based on these focus on
each other- we notice that which reflects ourselves most in life.
In the Bible, one finds just as much sexist verses... and some christians take them to the letter and some don't, and some individuals live with
oppression and some don't.
But if you want to focus on the culture, and the types of values and ideas it expresses in it's art and media, than the western world can't do much
better than Islam.
There is some interesting things to discuss if one considers the deeper psychological- symbolic differences in these cultures and their attitudes
Like- if you consider that the female can symbolize the material/physical world (as opposed to the mental/intellectual world) then while seeing what
these religions have in common is apparent (a belief that the intellect and mental objectification should be dominant over the body and the world of
while their difference lies in the values surrounding the way one should put forth and show what physical/material objects one possesses or not.
Obviously Americans feel one should show them off- exaggerate them even, let the world see your wealth and power over the physical.
The Muslims feel one shouldn't parade it, they should stay discrete, not advertise their wealth. Partly because that encourages one to raise it to a
higher level of importance with time (perhaps passing up the intellect and mental objects eventually) and because it stirs envy and jealousy in
others. You risk losing what you have then.
In some ways, amongst ourselves, the american Protestant values work, because we can all agree that having been blessed with material wealth is an
outward sign that we have been hardworking ethical people- God has approved, and anyone can gain that if they try hard enough.
We can agree not to attack each other and steal each others wealth.
But their view, IMO, applies more readily to the general human nature- humans will be stirred to envy and to attack when they see someone else has
more. We can see it in primates. Our showing off is bound to attract invasion and attack.
It does tend to end up leading us to worship material things and power eventually- the signs of a blessing from God have become God itself instead.
I don't know, I just find a deeper analyzation interesting to do. Like I said, these are larger cultural movements- I totally experience that
individuals can live within cultures and escape being trapped within their values and practices, so I don't take it that seriously.