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So-Called Enlightenment Values

Ian Buruma bangs that drum again:  Moreover, fierce attacks on Muslims started to come from people who, raised in deeply religious families, had turned into radical leftists in the 1960’s and 1970’s. From defining themselves as anti-colonialists and anti-racists – … Read More

By / April 27, 2007

Ian Buruma bangs that drum again: 

Moreover, fierce attacks on Muslims started to come from people who, raised in deeply religious families, had turned into radical leftists in the 1960’s and 1970’s. From defining themselves as anti-colonialists and anti-racists – champions of multiculturalism — they have become fervent defenders of so-called Enlightenment values against Muslim orthodoxy. These people feared the comeback of religion; that the Protestant or Catholic oppressiveness they knew first-hand might be replaced by equally oppressive Muslim codes of conduct.

Anti-colonlialism and anti-racism are Enlightenment values, or the logical outcroppings of the liberty-and-reason tradition of the Enlightenment. However, Buruma committs a double linguistic blunder here by referring to jihadist/Islamist piffle as "Muslim orthodoxy," as if the murderer of Theo van Gogh were a reclusive believer who quietly pined for the salvation of mankind and the perdition of infidels. "Orthodoxy" won't cover it when it's an ideological religion, and the only one that refuses to brook criticism or censure from outsiders.

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