Friday, October 10, 2014

On Islam and Culture

Too many people think religion is the core of their identity and they grossly underestimate the impact of culture. As an American atheist, I have more in common with American Christians and American Muslims than even British atheists or British Christians or British Muslims. Put a few representative peoples in a room and see how long it takes to identify them. The American would spot the American long before any religions matter. -- Yeah, there's a region in the world where Jihad is a cultural thing and yes it's fed by the religion but the idea that I should fear American Muslims is absurd.

Muslim is a much smaller cultural difference than American is. We should not fear them because they are American. There's a region of the world where FGM is practiced and it's largely from the local culture. While the religion tends to defend it with various parts of the Hadith. And it ends up in like Indonesia and Malaysia as a purely Islamic rite, it's still all culture (of which religion is a component) but it's a much smaller component than American Christians would like to believe. Christianity isn't all liberal and reformed, it's just culturally we are all children of the enlightenment.

It's pretty easy to envision a world where the roles are reversed. Where America was completely Muslim and took basically none of the Koran seriously but embraced enlightenment values and the Middle East was entirely Christian executing people for apostasy and stoning women to death in honor killings, with large members of ignorant fundamentalist embracing Crusade.