Saturday, February 14, 2009
How Anti-Semitism Is Turning An Atheist Into A Jew
Nick Cohen, a columnist for The Observer, this week wrote in the Jewish Chronicle how he, an atheist, is finding his Jewish religion in response to hatred of Jews in the UK. Daniel Baumgarten responds.
By Daniel Baumgarten
British gentile liberals are the rule, not the exception. The dominant ideology of the West has become a mass hysteria.
If ever there were a time when we needed not to wallow in sanctimonious self-loathing, it would be now. Yet this is what we see from liberals and conservatives alike. Regret for life. Compassion for those who would strike out in revenge for the injustice of existence. That is what the Islamic fundamentalist project is, after all. It is nothing but a childish rejection of the circumstance, obviously well beyond anyone's control, that this age is modern, that we are not living in the time of Muhammad. And this is what we sympathize with, not because we care to live in ancient times, but because we despise the world and all the suffering that constitutes it.
Modernity is part of the identity of every Muslim, Christian, Jew, and atheist alive. We cannot exist without being modern. Therefore, if anyone of us becomes a fundamentalist and attempts to deny our essential modernity, he denies his own being. It is himself that he wants to destroy.
In short: although the terrorists will never have political victory, the ideological victory is already won. The next generation of world leaders will be the intellectual children of Osama bin Laden.
Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
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