Wednesday, July 4, 2007

God 3.0?

In his op-ed column today, Thomas Friedman of the NYT makes an interesting statement:

Two trends are at work here: humiliation and atomization. Islam’s self-identity is that it is the most perfect and complete expression of God’s monotheistic message, and the Koran is God’s last and most perfect word. To put it another way, young Muslims are raised on the view that Islam is God 3.0. Christianity is God 2.0. Judaism is God 1.0. And Hinduism and all others are God 0.0.

One of the factors driving Muslim males, particularly educated ones, into these acts of extreme, expressive violence is that while they were taught that they have the most perfect and complete operating system, every day they’re confronted with the reality that people living by God 2.0., God 1.0 and God 0.0 are generally living much more prosperously, powerfully and democratically than those living under Islam. This creates a real dissonance and humiliation. How could this be? Who did this to us? The Crusaders! The Jews! The West! It can never be something that they failed to learn, adapt to or build. This humiliation produces a lashing out.

I hesitate to assert over-simplistic explanations for far more complicated circumstances, but this seems to make some sense. What do you think?


1 comment:

Troglodyteus said...

Over-simplistic explanations are what allow man to function. Modern man cannot spend hours in daily research learning everything about the countless problems we face in order that decisions might be made. Ultimately man must exist.

On the basis of experience man forms opinions which guide lives. Several years ago our Saudi brothers attacked America. To a man they were Muslims. American Muslims remained silent. Muslim around the world have denounced America and called for jihad against us all the while saying that they will destroy us. A Zogby poll tells us that 20% of American Muslims are in favor of terrorism.

Is it over-simplistic to assume that Muslim terrorists are our enemy? What about those who harbor and promote Muslim terrorism? Are they also our enemies? I will treat the Muslims I meet with courtesy but not trust.