07 March 2015

Idiocy of the Day

A
fter a bumpy beginning, secularism has undoubtedly been valuable to the west, but we would be wrong to regard it as a universal law. It emerged as a particular and unique feature of the historical process in Europe; it was an evolutionary adaptation to a very specific set of circumstances. In a different environment, modernity may well take other forms. … There are consequences to our failure to understand that our secularism, and its understanding of the role of religion, is exceptional. … The fruits of this error are on display across the Middle East: when we look with horror upon the travesty of Isis, we would be wise to acknowledge that its barbaric violence may be, at least in part, the offspring of policies guided by our disdain.—Karen Armstrong
[From “The Myth of Religious Violence” in The Guardian, 25 September 2014]

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