Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Club - God is Back #4 Winter 2011

Chapters 10-12 of God is Back are in a section called God's Wars. The authors consider various forms of religious conflict or competition, some of it violent and some of it non-violent.

Ch. 10 explores the "Battle of the Book." I expressed doubts about the authors' assessment of this "battle" in last year's post on this topic (here). In the last few weeks there has been some news about new growth projections of Muslim populations worldwide (here). In short, Muslims are growing at a much faster rate worldwide than non-Muslims. And if you're really interested, you can see the many resources here, though this last page would not be required reading.

I want to draw your attention to "The Great Clash" mentioned in Ch. 11. As the authors state:
[T]here is nothing inevitable about a clash between Islam and Christianity. ... As for the idea that Islam is stuck in a clash of civilizations with the West, this too seems unconvincing. Put simply, most of the fighting is not taking place in that arena. One great irony of the war on terror is that many of the people on George Bush's "enemies list" have devoted themselves to fighting people other than Americans. The jihadis' most important war is not against the West but against apostate Muslim regimes, notably Saudi Arabia; where they do battle with outsiders, it is mainly against what they regard as occupying powers. (pp. 305-306)
Here I think authors have more support for their claim. That we see practitioners of Islam coexist with non-Muslims in many Western countries suggests that any clash, should it exist, is not inevitable. Rather, many of the harshest clashes are in non-Western countries.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments of economic content are welcome. Comments that deride or criticize others will be removed.