A moderate Muslim tries to sucker conservatives—via Intelligent Design
Mustafa Akyol, a Muslim writer based in Istanbul, had an article at National Review Online last week pushing the following thesis. The main reason for Islam’s hostility to the West, Akyol argues, is the secularization of the West since the late 19th century. Therefore the main way to reconcile Islam with the West is through the re-Christianization or at least the re-theization of Western culture, which would make Muslims like us again. Further, the main way this re-theization of the West is to be achieved is by the victory of Intelligent Design over Darwinism.
First, Akyol’s notion that until the West became aggressively anti-religious in the late 19th century, Islam and the West were getting along just swimmingly, is palpably false. Islam for a thousand years waged jihad against Christendom.
Second, his attempt to make ID the basis of an Islam-West reconcilation—based on his phony premise that Western secularization was the sole reason for the rift between Islam and the West in the first place—is dangerous, precisely because there are so many Western Christians, including evidently the editors of NRO, who are ignorant and naive enough to believe it. As I explained in an unpublished article in 1996, these are the types of “conservative” Christians who, lacking any kind of comprehensive grasp of the various dimensions our civilization, reduce its whole meaning to Christian faith. Once they have engaged in this massive reduction of the meaning of our civilization, it is easy for them reduce it further to mere generic religiosity. They thus come to believe that all religions are equally supportive of and in conformity with our civilization, and so end up embracing the absurdity that Islam, the historic enemy of our civilization, is its friend and ally.
Whatever Akyol may say about his desire to get Islam to drop its hostility to the West, his patently fraudulent notion of an Islamic-Western religious commonality is obviously intended to get the West to drop whatever suspicions it may still have about Islam. The simple truth is that it was Western secularization and liberalization that removed the West’s millennia-old, Christian-based defenses against Islam and allowed mass Muslim immigration into the West to occur. For that very reason, it is also the case that a reawakening of Western Christian belief and identity would, among other benefits, help restore those defenses. This happy result will not obtain, however, if the Christianity being awoken is the watered-down, ecumenic kind (advanced by the late Pope, by President Bush, and now by National Review) that says that “All religions are basically the same and all religions are good.”