Here’s quite a disturbing video documentary from the UK via Richard Dawkins’ site. It’s an hour long, but I just kept it open in a tab and watched it in bits and pieces: Dispatches – Undercover Mosque. I can’t say that I leaned anything really new, but it’s a pretty integrated piece, covering a lot of ground surrounding the network in the UK of extremist Islam that seeks to radicalize and energize their own flocks, as well as to proselytize the young.
In that context, it’s difficult not to see this as simply the natural consequence of human and social evolution. Our values, as well as our "vices" — that we are nevertheless free to engage in — are pushing up against their culture and they’re fighting back. I really don’t believe that Muslims on a large scale want to take over the world, or even to cripple the West’s ability to generate the sort of material wealth (and "vices") it does. Essentially, I think, this is an instance where they correctly see that the West does not offer them any spiritual values — only material ones — and those material values are seen as corrosive and displacing of their spiritual values, while such spirituality plays a tremendous role in their daily lives. I think we have to face the reality that such is indeed the case, and it’s unfixable. Incompatible. Irreconcilable.
In the West, for all of our injustice, political corruption, and political-social divisiveness over who gets to control who, we’re substantially more free to choose and act on our own values than those in the Middle East. And, I think that message is so compelling — choose your own values — that it will forever be a growing force, in spite of whatever else happens; in spite of individuals in Europe and America being forever seduced by essentially the same desire to overrule the values of others (and, often enough: to use politics and the law to force them to forgo their values and pay for yours).
It’s certain, I think, that there’s no spiritual solution. They reject even their own moderate voices. Equally, they are well aware of how to use our own principles and virtues against us. They don’t have freedom of religion or freedom of speech in their own countries, so they ironically rely upon those same freedoms they would do away with, in order to advance a message of religious and political tyranny.
…It’s hard to ignore the essential maleness of the thing, isn’t it? If I can break it down into such simple essentials: they are appealing to young males who have not yet learned how to earn the respect of girls and women; instead, offering them an easy path to domination. I’m quite familiar with this aspect of the thing from my youth, growing up within the fundamentalist Christian movement here in America. And, I think part of why our own family’s involvement was relatively short lived is because my father already had the respect of my mother and his children. He had no ultimate need of an impotent-little-man’s club.
So, I have a couple of simple suggestions that I haven’t yet seen proposed anywhere. First, lighten up on the child-labor laws in Europe and America. No, I’m not talking about exploitation, but merely some means by which children and teenagers can actually work and be paid for their work. I’m reminded of a trip to Puerto Vallarta a few years back. My wife and I were charmed by kids (even as young as 7 or 8, I think) performing duties as bag boys and girls in a supermarket. They were all wearing slacks, white shits, and little red sport coats and you could just feel their satisfaction with themselves. Here, at the age of 7 or 8, they were performing services for others that others deemed valuable enough to pay for. I can’t see how a couple of hours a day of such a thing could harm anyone.
The second suggestion, perhaps even more controversial, would be for guys like Hugh Hefner, Bob Guccione, and other "smut merchants" to be persuaded (and I mean that literally) to find ways to allow and promote free accounts to young Muslim teenagers 13 and older. But isn’t that part of their problem, objectification of women? I don’t think so — not essentially, anyway. Their problem is that their religious culture has a difficult time integrating the natural, hard-wired power of female sexuality over men. So, they repress it and dominate it. They strive to keep the gene in the bottle at all times, going to amazing lengths and engaging in astounding brutality to do so. What they need is to embrace that natural power, as we’ve learned to do in the West, and to do that simply requires repeated exposure, until such time as it finds its rightful place in an individual man’s mind and heart.
But perhaps that’s not even necessary, as Google and others seem to be already providing such services. It’s interesting to ponder the implications; although, even if such a thing has a marked effect in gradually getting young Muslim men to think differently about sex and the female form — embracing its intoxicating power — don’t ever expect it to be widely acknowledged.