American public discourse about Islam is filled with essentialist paranoia...
|Scooped by mcc43|
[...]And Green, a Christian, doesn't seem to think there's anything wrong about expressing her own opinions about Islam.
She wrote in 2011: "My area is religion, not politics. So my queries about Islamic terrorism tend to break the question down theologically and ask the question:"
Is there something in Islam itself that makes believers more susceptible to radicalization?... I believe essentially there are three things that may make Islam more prone to radicalization. One is the Koran itself. The fact that it's not a narrative makes it easier to pick and choose verses to fit your interpretation. Two, the Prophet Mohammed's own words and deeds. In Islam's early days, Mohammed spread the faith with the sword. Three, Islam was introduced into a world rife with tribalism; a shame and honor culture which revered and respected power. Much of what's going in Libya and what went on under Saddam Hussein, are extensions of that tribalism.
Green has a right to her opinions, of course. But they are ill-informed.
On her first point, while it's true that elements of the Quran have been emphasized at the expense of others by various Muslim schools and sects, that's also happened with Christianity. Elements of the Bible about slavery, the role of women, giving of alms, sexuality, and even snake handling and speaking in tongues have been seized upon by various Christians down the centuries.
To say that Islam was spread by the sword is a gross oversimplification. While Mohamed and his followers conquered Mecca by force in 630, the earliest years of the faith were focused on peaceful proselytizing. While Islamist conquests spread Islam throughout the Arab world after his death, Islam spread largely through trade and cultural contacts in strongholds of the faith like India, Pakistan, and Indonesia.
Her third point is particularly incoherent. While it's true that Islam, founded in the 7th century AD, "was introduced into a world rife with tribalism" the same is true for the advent of Christianity six hundred years earlier.