Expanded Internet Access in Muslim World Could Spur Next Islamic ‘Culture War’

The expansion of Internet access across the Middle East and North Africa will open communications channels for marginalized social and political groups, including those that criticize the Islamic faith, potentially sparking a culture war across the Muslim world, according to a new report.

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  • V10_Rob

    Maybe. But if access remains tightly controlled in a walled garden model, it could just become a self-reinforcing echo chamber.

    • Right! what drives most Muslim internet use today is Jihad recruitment and anti-western violence porn. Oh yes, and the other kind of porn too. What Islam needs is a reformation not a culture war.

      • Etobicoke_Gladiator

        A Muslim Reformation cannot happen because the Koran and Hadith will not be changed, and the leading schools of Islamic jurisprudence will not change centuries of standard interpretation and teaching and indoctrination. Am I naive to believe, based on recent events before and after 9/11, that a global Muslim reformation is highly unlikely to occur anytime in the next decade or two?

        • You are not naive in the least. Let me stipulate one change in language here- I would like to call of an enlightenment rather than a reformation. One way of reckoning enlightenments is to look at past ones. The last one took Christianity until 1685 CE to start and it took (by most reckonings more than a century to come to fruition. Even then there has been the odd holocaust and World War…
          Since Mohammed lived a bit less than 1500 years ago, it would seem that even were Islam to match Christianity’s rate of maturation (quite an assumption for the reasons you outline above), we would have to wait a matter of hundreds of years.
          Now, I have often said that the best way to hurry the process along is for them (the trouble makers) to be handed as many humiliating and devastating defeats as we can arrange. I honestly think that its in the best interests of the entire world – including the better than average Muslim- to savage them as roughly as possible.

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            What happened to AD?

          • Slickfoot

            PC

          • Watchman

            It’s been withdrawn to be reserved for a future use as A.D., but not as anno Domini, but as anno dhimmi, “Years since our submission to islam”

          • Watchman

            Islam is not capable of having an enlightenment in the same way that Christianity was. Unlike the Bible, the Qur’an is supposed to be the literal word of their god and must not be changed one bit, under penalty of death. Thus the violent passages in the Qur’an are not changeable, and much of the Qur’an is not dismissible as just history and remains a code of conduct for muslims against non-muslim into the foreseeable future.

          • Etobicoke_Gladiator

            I am in 100% agreement with you on this point, and have problems with Yaacov ben Moshe’s notion of Enlightenment above, especially as it ‘might’ be applied to the development of Islam.

            “Rate of maturation” makes no sense with respect to Islam, in my mind, and indeed one cannot apply “an arc of development” that occurred within Christianity and/or western history to the history of Islam.

            Excellent points above, Watchman. 🙂

          • Etobicoke_Gladiator

            Please see my comment below with respect to Watchman’s views. As it turns out, I appreciate what you’re attempting to say but must respectfully disagree; rather, I agree wholeheartedly with Watchman below.

          • I would wholeheartedly agree with the two of you (Watchman and Etobicole Gladiator) as I truly respect both and see your points completely but I do ask you to bear with me for a bit. Both my Jewish ancestors and your Christian ancestors all believed that the Five Books of Moses were “the word of God”. That belief was the fuel for many atrocities, internecine battles and conquests most of which are too exhaustively documented to be ignored. It is a process of exegesis and interpretation that has brought the mainstreams of both faiths to the point of post-dispensationalist western thought. I sincerely believe that we were only brought to this point by dismal centuries of defeat, humiliation and disgust with bloodshed. Without harping on the Jewish slaughter of the Midianites, The Inquisition or the frenzied slaughter of Jews by the Crusaders on their way to the Crusades, I would submit that Other cultures, during those times might have discounted the possibility of today’s state of our Judeo-Christian culture. I think you are both correct in that the prospect of Islamic reform taking place in time to prevent some number of centuries of horror is so remote as to be irrelevant to our time. And I did stress that “the best way to hurry the process along is for them (the trouble makers) to be handed as many humiliating and devastating defeats as we can arrange”. That said, I do think the fault in them is their culture, not their genetic make up and so with the required amount of punishment and suffering, they should be, as a class, educable. The real question is whether our culture is strong enough to meet out that punishment or will fall to our own internal rot. On this I am not sure but prefer optimism.

          • Etobicoke_Gladiator

            REPLY #1: Some tidbits below while reading your above thoughtful response:

            Re: “the word of God”, yes. For Roman Catholics, one cannot forget catechism and Canon Law and papal teaching (encyclicals et. al.) and the liturgy and Vatican Councils I and II in more recent times. For Protestants, Luther attempted to reconstruct Christian teaching and theology by going back to the bible alone – in his mind Old and New Testaments. Hence his Latin mantra “sola scriptura”, by Scripture alone.

            Yes, both traditional Catholic and Protestant theology assume the bible to be “the word of God”, but as with the best of traditional Judaism, never solely assumes it to be “the [literal] word of God” because biblical interpretation, “exegesis” as you correctly highlight above, allows for metaphor, parable, moral lessons, and mystical teachings.

            For a Christian, the fact Jesus often taught in parables means that listeners (whether in the 1st century of the early 21st) are required to ‘interpret’ these teachings – in line with the profound teachings of great rabbis in history such as Hillel or Akiva, as recorded in the Talmud and elsewhere – and thus render “literal” interpretations of his parables eccentric at best and downright absurd at worst.

            This contrasts quite a bit with Islam, as I understand it, whose view is that the Koran was DICTATED WORD FOR WORD to Mohamed in a series of recitations (dictated by the Angel Gabriel, who of course also spoke to Mary – see the opening of the Gospel of Luke).

            Judaism and Christianity have a rather different view of divine revelation, as I understand it, such that human beings at different times and places were guided by the holy spirit (traditional Catholicism) and in Judaism received prophetic utterances (inspiration). In other words, the Judeo-Christian understanding of Torah/Bible is that the human being/author was a significant part of divine revelation whereas Islam seems rather stark and one-sided.

            I have no doubt many Jewish and Christian readers will disagree with what I have written above, but in general terms I think I’m more or less correct in this: Islam’s understanding of the Koran’s origin is profoundly different than Judaism’s understanding of Torah and Christianity’s understanding of the bible (Torah + New Testament).

          • Etobicoke_Gladiator

            REPLY #2:

            Re: your above conclusion: “The real question is whether our culture is strong enough to meet out that punishment or will fall to our own internal rot. On this I am not sure but prefer optimism.”

            For sure, there’s a lot of internal rot in the west generally, and especially in Canada and the USA. Optimism is helpful, but so is realism. Given the recent opposition to M103 in cities and towns across Canada, I do see some glimmers of hope. However, looking at the defeat of Wilders in Holland, the increasing insanity in Sweden, the madness in France re: the recent riots, I have definitively parted company with being “optimistic” re: Western Europe. It’s finished. Done. The gig is over. As for Central and Eastern Europe, especially nations like Hungary and Poland, I think they stand a far better chance of withstanding the Muslim invasion than the west.

            As for “genetics”, even mentioning it is somewhat ridiculous, since Arab Christians are “genetically the same” – is this even relevant to discuss? – as Arab Muslims and quite likely Sephardic Jews, but Islam is not a race (shared genetic characteristics). It is an ideology, an ideology I might add that is vastly inferior in every way to Judaism and Christianity (neither of which are races, either, but different ideologies).

            Finally, re: the question of “reform”, I suppose one needs to define what constitutes reform, but that would take too many pages of writing here at BCF. Cheers. 🙂

          • Etobicoke_Gladiator

            REPLY #3: re: “bloodshed”

            The Torah/Bible addresses the first murder in history (or metaphorical history assuming this is a parable as opposed to real history), i.e. Cain killing Abel.

            In any case, since you mentioned the Crusades and the slaughter of the Midianites recorded in the Torah, etc., I thought I would say that the authentic historical record is not about making blanket statements or generalizing, but rather is about fleshing out the uniqueness of events while at the same time drawing on the reader’s knowledge of other similar events without diminishing the differences and diluting each of its unique character.

            Having written the above, I do not believe that the fact many Christians and Jews assumed the Bible and Torah to be “the word of God” – despite that Judaism and Christianity had rather sophisticated exegesis of scripture (largely lost on the majority of people alive in history) – is the main cause of the bloodshed you mentioned; rather, it is the sociological and political forces of majority and minority in operation. This is a big discussion, too long for my third and last comment.

            Re: human nature, I have one solid belief re: Islam as contrasted with Christianity and Judaism. In a nutshell, it’s this: Islam’s teachings, when applied, tend to largely go against the best elements of “natural law” (human nature) whereas the teachings of Christianity and Judaism largely point out how the average human being falls short of his or her best. Call this “sinfullness” or “missing the mark” or whatever, but the ideal human being in Christianity and Judaism are markedly different than the Jihadist so much of Islam aspires to.

            So, whereas Islam appeals to the worst in human nature, I think that, properly understood, the Torah/Bible appeal to the best in human nature, while the latter at the same time understands the depths of evil that resides in human nature. As a conservative, as opposed to a naive leftist, I believe human nature is sinful and prone to evil. *now to relax*

    • Clausewitz

      There will never be a Muslim reformation as long as Sharia Law passes death sentences for even the slightest of variations from the Islamic norm.

  • Millie_Woods

    Criticizing Islamic faith can easily be censored, as we’re seeing in Europe.

    • Etobicoke_Gladiator

      And the Socialist Trudeau-pia of Canuckistan…..!!!

      • Clausewitz

        M 103…….

  • Barrington Minge

    “islamic” and “Culture” are not two words that belong together.

    • John Boy

      Unless you mean culture, as in a bacterial culture such as Ebola.

      • NoBamaYoMama

        Izzlam has killed far more than all Ebola victims combined. It’s the most deadly virus ever produced!

  • Shebel

    PSSST. Hey Muslims. Wanna make a deal ?

    WE won’t push our Religious or Cultural Beliefs on YOU—-
    Long as YOU don’t push your Religious and Cultural Beliefs on US—
    DEAL ? We can do this with a handshake 0f HONOUR.

    • Slickfoot

      Bonne chance.

    • Clausewitz

      I’m never shaking a Muslim’s hand on anything. I know what it’s been used for.

  • Liberal Progressive

    Don’t worry, Google will protect Islam from the hostile World!

  • LairdKintyre

    Probably for the best. The best way to educate these people is show them a better way.

    • Clausewitz

      Lol, just spit coffee through my nose. What? You mean you were being serious?

  • Hard Little Machine

    ISIS already exploits tons of Internet access and penetration in the Muslim world. That’s not working out for our side.

  • The Deplorable Rosenmops

    If some floods the ‘net with goat porn that will distract them.

    • felis gracilis

      72 virgin goats being led to meet the new martyr?

  • Please see my answers to Etobicoke Gladiator below…

  • Hard Little Machine

    This is complete fucking bullshit. ISIS has the most pervasive and sophisticated internet presence in the Muslim world. Give a Muslim an internet connection he’ll turn it into a weapon to kill people, typically other Muslims.