Saturday, December 18, 2010

BBC Newsnight - Clash of Civilizations?


Decmeber 16, 2010 on BBC Two
In 1993, Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington published his famous Clash of Civilizations thesis of a post-Cold War new world order.

In it he argued that the dominating source of conflict in this new world would be primarily ideological or economic, but cultural, that "new patterns of conflict will occur along the boundaries of different cultures and patterns of cohesion will be found within the cultural boundaries".

Tonight, we dedicate much of the programme to asking whether this hypothesis was correct.

23 comments:

  1. If you don't think there's a religious war with Islam, then wake up, the Muslims are already fighting it.

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  2. These three men think that the uk is a secular society, where do they get this idea? The state has a religion - church of england- the queen is the head and bishops sit in the house lords as a right with no election. The bbc broadcasts christian services everyday which i find offensive but when i ask why no response is fothcoming. They got one thing right they all failed and guess what they are all believers.

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  3. Egyptian Christianity is to Egypt as Atheism is to the United States. Welcome to the club. What is the binding factor? Religion. Once again, who REALLY believes that religion is a force for good in the world? Delusions are ONLY "good" when EVERYONE believes it, otherwise those who do not are not only outsiders, but they are a THREAT to the established faith. Religion is EVIL (undesirable).

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  4. As to my previous comment; obviously I meant it only so far as being accepted in society.

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  5. One more word, while I recoil in disgust: (@ 10:46) "I think we are comparing two different entities. We live in a free, democratic, secular, liberal society. Whereas those countries are either theocratic, dictatorial, or authoritarian." Is this man completely negligent of his mental faculties and the fact that he's contradicted himself? What does ANY religion expect to become once they've become the dominant/sole authority, especially when concretized by law? The bibles of nearly all religions, support and afford for theocratic and dictatorship via the godhead. There is no doubt that religion IS the problem. It gives specific claim to authority.

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  6. As I have also stated before, simply because you call yourself a MUSLIM (or any other name given to the appropriate religionist) does not mean that you are a fundamentalist (i.e., accepting all the tenants from the book you believe to be the "word of god"). If you are not a fundamentalist, there is NO reason to call yourself of said religion. And while you're at it, why not cherry pick through ALL available tenants of all religions and/or non-religious doctrines.

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  7. Copareing women being kidnapped, raped, being forced into marriage to muslim men, to not allowing minarets to be built. face-palm!
    The bishop said secular is also a power system, yes a equal system when we are talking about religion. He went on to use the Hitler, Stalin, Ma<span>o Zedong and  Pol Pot as examples.</span>
    Hamza Tzortzis also said secular is a problem at 28:10.

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  8. Yes, apparently secularism is a/the problem. If only we had one religion to rule us all, we'd be able to stop persecuting the homosexuals, women, and all other forms ouf ingroup/outgroup mentality. Are these people serious? Of course they are, and that is why secularists/humanists/agnostics/atheists and/or EVERYONE who believes that universal human rights are UNABLE to be presented by ANY one religion. If anyone doubts this, read each and every modern religion's holy book. No matter what these religious revisionists do or say, they cannot delete the passages from their books anymore. Let us also not allow them (the religious) to use the very poor "you're not reading it properly" excuse; look at the multitude of modern translations of any one of these holy books. Many of them attempt to wholly change the content of their original books; they border on becoming derivitive religions. Do these cognitive dissonant fools not know the histories of religion and philosphy?

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  9. He basically just won the argument for our side.
    Thanks for pointing this 'foot in mouth' moment out.

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  10. Anonymous, I have read this and your previous comments and I agree. You have raised a question that is crucial. Crucial. I am an atheist *Muslim* woman for precisely the reason you pinpoint: I decided it was intellectually dishonest to cherry pick and that religion is ugly. Period.

    I am a married woman with kids which is a big part of why I can't just up and publicly declare myself an atheist but I totally see why it would be really hard for men (who have far more autonomy) to do so either.

    Many atheists righly point out that religion is NOT a race and I agree. Yet the fact remains that it is a crucial part of cultural identity. Of identity - and much more so for people coming from third world countires which is what most Islamic countries are. Asking someone to leave the flock is almost like asking them to drop life as they know it. We are so very tied to each other by bonds of family, friends, in-laws, neighbors and so forth. Visiting, celebrating, socializing, even for those of us living in the West as I do (Canada in my case), is mostly within the framework of that identity which is as much religious as it is ethnic.

    I am not a cognitively dissonant fool. I speak out wherever I can and of course no one can tell me what to think. But the personal costs of leaving the fold are very very high. Which is why many go on being *Muslims.* And 99% of those *Not-Fundamentalist-Muslim* are the ones who are okay with the dissonance and totally believe that they ARE Muslims and good human beings.

    They cherry pick because it's convenient and a means of survival in the face of competing interests: Religious and spiritual identity (which includes the unchallanged premise that one needs religion to be moral and good) vs. their own conscience when confronted with the blemishes in religious doctrine; practical realities of modern life vs. religious edicts like 'interest free investments and businesses' and head covering for women.

    So while religion is NOT a race, it comes too damned close to it for many of us (at least the Muslims). When even those who HAVE given it up find it hard to *come out* it's little wonder then that so many just cherry pick and go on with their lives.

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  11. I listen to your Radio 4 over the web comulsively and still every time I hear the "Prayer For the Day" after I've just finished listening to some incrredible "In Our Time" or something about particle physics I'm like WTFBBQ??! It's like there's this awesome, huge delicious looking ice cream sundae that they've made and now they just HAVE to put a rabbit turd on top instead of a cherry for some reason. It's so weird and annoying, you guys should organize to really push BBC to get rid of it.

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  12. Interesting... I'm curious to know where you live. Would you mind telling?

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  13. I did! I live in Canada. For the past 10 years. Born and raised in Pakistan.

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  14. It's hard to imagine that they can't manage to round up more than one secular panelist to give a contrasting opinion in a group made up otherwise entirely by religionists. It would have been one on four, but the second Christian panelist couldn't make it, so it was -merely- one on three. Something smells fishy.

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  15. Uhhhhh, how's that? I am afraid that you simply cannot be an atheist and a Muslim simultaneously. It is a nonsense unless you redefine one of those two terms out of all its meaning. The definition of a Muslim is "an adherent of the religion of Islam" and the definition of an atheist is the outright rejection of the existence of any deities and religion as a whole. These are utterly irreconcilable and mutually exclusive beliefs.


    I am happy that you have successfully made your way out of the dark superstitious nightmare of your ancestors, and as a former member of one of the most draconian and psychologically totalitarian of the Abrahamic faiths, you owe yourself much more than a little bit of pride and self-congratulation for having the intellectual fortitude for having done so.

    But you are not a Muslim anymore, and you should stop pretending to yourself otherwise.

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  16. <span>Uhhhhh, how's that? I am afraid that you simply cannot be an atheist and a Muslim simultaneously. It is a nonsense unless you redefine one of those two terms out of all its meaning. The definition of a Muslim is "an adherent of the religion of Islam" and the definition of an atheist is the outright rejection of the existence of any deities and religion as a whole. These are utterly irreconcilable and mutually exclusive beliefs.  
     
     
    I am happy that you have successfully made your way out of the dark superstitious nightmare of your ancestors, and as a former member of one of the most draconian and psychologically totalitarian of the Abrahamic faiths, you owe yourself much more than a little bit of pride and self-congratulation for having the intellectual fortitude for having done so.  
     
    But you are not a Muslim anymore, and you should stop pretending to yourself otherwise.</span>

    Religion is not synonymous with race and fortunately we can all be thankful that it never will be. Your beliefs are chosen, your skin color is not. This is inescapable.

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  17. Sorry, I have a fever so my office isn't in the best of shape atm :)

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  18. This 4/1, 3/1 odds seems like the norm with british TV. Like they think it's just another religion.

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  19. Of course I am not a Muslim anymore, which is why the asteriks around it! You missed my point and that you did it so TOTALLY, made me both laugh and be a tad afraid.

    Of course an atheist is NOT a Muslim. And of course religion is NOT a race. 

    What I'm saying is that while the above are simple facts, to ignore the complexities around them is simplistic. While it is great to be simple, it is not-that-great to be the other.

    Thing is, the Western mind is so used to seeing life and society from the perspective of the individual that it sometimes misses the other viewpoint: that of societies built on the collective. Pretty much all Islamic societies are like that. Everyone (man or woman, but more so women) BELONGS in one way or another to their family, clan and so forth.

    Taking away that sense of belonging is hugely disruptive. It is just not possible to say that you are not a Muslim and still belong. It's not.

    I actually admire (if it can be called that) the fundamental Muslims because to my mind they are more honest intellectually: Islam is and always has been about total submission. It is, however, absolutely true that a great majority of Muslims are just regular people: definitely culturally Muslims and loosely practicing Muslims.

    The problem with being a Muslim is that whereas you can be a non-practicing one and still belong, you cannot truly question or SAY that something is bad and wrong in the Quran and the life of the Prophet. So most lie EVEN TO THEMSELVES and just convince themselves that it is the *interpretation* and not the religion that is the problem.

    Christians can laugh off a hell of a lot of ugliness in the Bible and not read it literally and still be Christians. Muslims can't.

    Why am I a *tad* afraid? Because we atheists and you Westerners in particular put too much faith in reason. It is SO strong a motivator for us atheists: it just MAKES SENSE! Well, try and make sense of the fact that so much of mankind not only believes in "revealed" religion but is actually reverting to it in a such a strong IslamoPalin way. (Yes, I've always held that the hardcore Republican in America - the Christian far right in the West, is the ideological equivalent of the Muslim Fundos.)

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  20. R£ligion $tink$ of mon€¥December 19, 2010 at 6:29 AM

    Not only was Joan Smith the only secular voice but she was continuosly and quite rudely interupted. And the pious men showed their true colours in that debate. 

    The whole thing was a sham, and it just goes to show that you should never trust these people with your rights.

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  21. I find strength in your decision not to pratice and speak out whenever you feel you can do so. I live in a muslim country 50% of the time and have observed that not so many attend mosque, more for friday prayers which is when an imam can whip up some excitment amongst the MEN there. It would appear here at least that many people do not want to engage but find it very difficult to question the authority figures and perhaps for good reason. Those in the west who fundemental in their christian beliefs are keef keef to the muslim fundos. Good luck!!!

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  22. I see this all the time (try fauxnews). When ever a secularist or atheist tries to make a point and go in for the kill. The religious panelists realize they are at risk and interrupt to break the flow so the final nail doesn't get driven. Only at teh very end did she have enough nerv e to basically thell them to STFU, so she could complete her thoughts.

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