Category Archives: religious faith

It is Islam or nothing

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 21.12.33Moslem fundamentalists, writes Dalrymple,

have understood that, where the survival of their religion is concerned, it is all or none. They have seen what happened to religious faith in England and France once such faith was treated as a merely private matter, freely subject to criticism either serious or mocking.

And since they are instilled with the notion

that there is in Islam an essence that is uniquely precious, they cannot accede to the scheme of the moderates, which will lead to its de facto extinction. The extremists are more consistent, far-seeing and realistic than the moderates, though morally grossly their inferiors.

Islam is uniquely precious to them because

they have nothing else to be proud of or to hang on to. Whatever its glorious past, Islam has had a bad past few centuries; it has contributed nothing to the stock of universal advancement. This would not matter but for its claims to unique truth. How is it that a doctrine, or family of doctrines, claiming all-sufficiency, has been so barren of contribution to progress?

To regret religion is to regret civilisation

The thinness of the new atheism, says Dalrymple,

is evident in its approach to civilisation.

To regret religion, Dalrymple writes,

is to regret civilisation and its monuments, its achievements, and its legacy.

Grand Mosque of Córdoba (begun 784), part of interior

Grand Mosque of Córdoba (begun 784), part of interior