Tuesday, April 22, 2014

unintended consequences ?? - and can we explore the politically questionable?

Knowing my interest in unintended consequences, the article cited below was sent to me.

I take issue with some of the conclusions of the article; nevertheless, it offers thought-provoking and interesting hypothesis.

These hypothesis can serve as subject of further analysis by researchers, scholars and policy makers to either verify or disprove these conclusions - if they are willing to tackle these important subjects which are otherwise almost taboo, often avoided for fear of the political and media pressure such as that which recently led Brandies University to withdraw an Honorary Doctorate and Commencement speech invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

How Modernity 'Radicalizes' Western Muslims

by Raymond Ibrahim
"...In fact, far from eliminating "radicalization," Western values can actually exacerbate Islamic tendencies—hence why second generation, "Westernized" Muslims are also becoming more "radicalized" than their parents.
Some already know that Western concessions to Islam—in the guise of multiculturalism, "cultural sensitivity," political correctness, and self-censorship—only bring out the worst of Islam's "schoolyard bully." Yet even some of the most prized aspects of Western civilization—personal freedom, rule of law, human dignity—when articulated through an Islamic framework, have the capacity to "radicalize" Muslims.
Consider: the West's commitment to the law as supreme arbitrator, for the Westernized Muslim becomes a commitment to establish and enforce Islamic law, Sharia; the West's commitment to democracy, for the Westernized Muslim becomes a commitment to theocracy, including an anxious impulse to resurrect the caliphate; Western notions of human dignity and pride, when articulated through an Islamic paradigm (which sees only fellow Muslims as equals) induces rage when Muslims—Palestinians, Afghanis, Iraqis, etc.—are seen under Western, infidel dominion; Western notions of autonomy and personal freedom have even helped "Westernize" the notion of jihad into an individual duty, though it has traditionally been held by Sharia as a communal duty.
In short, a set of noble principles articulated through a foreign paradigm can lead to abominations. In this case, the better principles of Western civilization are being devoured, absorbed, and regurgitated into something equally potent, though from the other end of the spectrum."

For the whole article see:

Is the above really true?

Is it really true that Muslims, because of their particular religious, cultural and other identifications, are not able to universalize the above noted "noble principles?"

Is there a way to test the validity of these statements?

Are there degrees of truth or validity?

Are the assumptions made in the article of such a nature that they can not be tested for their truthfulness or validity? If so, then what are we to make of such statements? If so, are they skillfully articulated or is there a better way to explore these matters?