Monday, November 27, 2006

oh, about the "meeting of civilizations"... for some unfathomable reason, turkey's present political "rulers" have, out of the blue, assumed the mantle of spokesmanship for the "islamic" world, or what they presume to be islam. regardless of the fact that islam is not or has never been a homogeneous, monolithic entity but its practice has ever depended on different, sometimes conflicting hermeneuses of the qur'an, they have rhetoricized a concept of the religion that encompasses a sizable chumk of the globe with the plethora of the experiences it consists of and posited an "islamic civilization" as opposed (supposedly) to a "christian civilization"... oh yes, one, single, unanimous civilization that extends as comprehensively to norway, bolivia and the phillipines, of christianity which is only slightly less divided into sects than polytheist paganisms.

first, a civilization is not definable by religion. the greatest civilization in the known history of the earth, the hellenophonic eastern mediterranean civilization was neither "zeutic" nor olympian.

so, if you think you can challenge modernity in any way, first, at least concede its primary rule of pluralism and act civilized toward it: be ready to discuss and accept.

"ignorant and insidious pope, do not come!" - that was the slogan of the rally convened by erbakan's political heirs and apparently was able to draw a mentionable crowd.

a pope cannot be ignorant, he is far more well and harshly trained than any moslem clergy and especially any state official who heads turkey's only dubiously secular directorate general of religious (read that exclusively as sunni muslim) affairs.

to say nothing about common decency, courtesy and hospitality.

oh yes... civilization is not religion, though it encompasses faiths. nor is it a preconceived set of behavioral or visual stencils. to summarize, it is basically a conviction that "we" possess a "good" style of mind and life which can maintain our network of collective relationships, our structure and norms of existence in a state of flexibility that can respond to arising challenges adaptively.

show that you are civilized, that you can adapt before you apostolize yourself.

p.s. - "adaptive" is not necessarily synonymous with conformism or compromise.

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