Dean’s World Draws Line In The Sand
Dean Esmay is conducting a purge that he likens to Bill Buckley’s shunning of the John Birchers: “You can be an Islamophobe, or you can contribute to Dean’s World. You cannot do both.” He lays down a set of principles that must be adhered to by “front-page contributors, submitters, or even commenters.”
The one that seems to be giving people the most problem is #3: “Islam as a religion is no more inherently incompatible with modernity, minority rights, women’s rights, or democratic pluralism than most religions.”
Ultimately, I think, the issue is with a single word: “inherently.”
All the major monotheistic religions of which I am aware can be and have been interpreted dogmatically. They can be and have been interpreted to command lesser roles for those who are not adult male adherents to the One True Faith, against modernity, and for a unity of religious and societal law. So far as I’m aware, however, only one has managed to keep itself in the Dark Ages in most of the places where it is the predominant faith.
Then again, there are plenty of people who call themselves “Muslims” living in the United States and other Western countries who have embraced modernity, minority rights, women’s rights, and democratic pluralism. Those people are considered heretics by many sects of Islam.
If one can be a “cafeteria Muslim” and still be a “Muslim,” then Dean’s statement is correct.