Monday, September 30, 2013

Is "fundamentalist" a hate term?

Or is it a statement of fact?  Well, it depends:
Strangely enough, the left here in the West has never thought that fundamentalist Muslims were bad people, even though they hate fundamentalist Christians, who are much milder.


Once in place, they institute a reign of terror against anyone (mostly women) who refuses to accept their rules. Bennoune makes it clear that many countries where this happened were places were the Muslims were moderate. (This is what Sole Woyinka said about his native Nigeria, too. See here.) Either the women wore no headscarves, or they wore different ones from those which the fundamentalists wanted them to wear. They lived in harmony with Christians or even secularists. They had their own traditions about how Islam worked, which may have included local saints (as in Mali) or else a Sufi strain (as in Chechnya). But suddenly everyone’s lives were made hellish by all the new rules. Women have to cover up. Women can’t use cellphones. One can’t listen to music or watch sports. Or, in one place, one can’t drink water standing up or use pressure cookers [54]. Or women are blamed for natural disasters if they don’t cover up [119]. Those who object are often beaten or else threatened and even killed. In Mali, there have been lots of amputations.
You see, it depends.  Fundamentalist Islamists oppress women, kill secularists and "blasphemers", and perform mass amputations.  Eggs, omelets.  But those they oppress are brown, and a long way away, and so American "Progressives" give them a pass.  Can't be judgmental, can we?  I mean, it's not like those evil fundamentalists in Fly Over country who might not make TV commercials with gays.

I mean, that's oppression.


Unknown said...

At least within Protestant Christianity, 'Fundamentalist' is a term with a pretty well-defined set of meanings. In much of the media and commentariat, though, it is generally used as an argument-ending snarl word. In that sense, it's on the same level as 'misogynist', 'homophobe', and of course 'racist'. In fact, the more feverish lefty commentators tend to use it as shorthand for all those other snarl words I just listed.

By the way, I say this as a somewhat left-ish, moderately bad Catholic who disagrees with Fundamentalists on many points of both theology and politics, not to mention biology and geology.

(Tangentially, and in fairness: From what I've seen, the politics of Christian Fundamentalists are not as monolithic as the media stereotype would have us believe. See Mike Huckabee's economic ideas, for starters, and a wide range of African-American Evangelical congregations.)

Apropos the hypocrisy of left-authoritarians regarding Islamic versus Christian Fundamentalism, apparently the oppression of brown people is just fine so long as it isn't done by white people.

Ken said...

I'm not entirely sure it's that progressives are fine with the oppression of brown people, necessarily. I suspect it has as much to do with why PETA doesn't protest in Sturgis.

Unknown said...

Ken, my reflexive reaction to that was ' ... but I'd pay good money to watch them try.' Does this make me a Bad Person?

Ken said...

I would too. As long as everyone involved is a volunteer.... ;-)