Monday, October 10, 2005

Violence, anti-Islam and Osama

Perhaps inevitably the number of sites that that are dedicated to proving that Islam is a religion of violence. Were these sites supporting Osama bin Laden I could understand it. Osama needs to convince Muslims that his way of violence is a way of religion and he himself is not just a poor little rich kid with a chip on his shoulder trying to work out his personal problems on a wider stage.

That many Muslims reject Osama I'd have thought can only be a good thing. These anti Muslim sites, however, are determined to prove that those Muslims who reject Osama are wrong. The technique is to quote loads of bits from the Koran that advocate violence – in effect doing Osama’s work for him. The Koran (like the Bible) is riddled with contradictions. A peaceful person will focus on the peaceful bits and those who wish to advocate violence will seek the violent bits. Christians do the same with the Bible.

So why are these supposedly anti-terrorist folk trying so hard to prove that the peaceful Muslims are wrong and the ilk of Osama are right?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Europe without Turkey aint Europe

Turkey was one of the historical Great Powers of Europe. To write the history of Europe without Turkey would be absurd. A lot of that history has been one of conflict but then the whole European ideal has been as much about remembering past differences to move beyond them.

The irony is that the opponents to Turkey often go on about European values while at the same time displaying a very un-European intolerance.