09 fevereiro 2006

214) Clash of civilization, again and anew...

I have to state, again, my disagreement with Samuel Huntington's thesis on the "clash of civilizations".
There is indeed a clash, but not between civilizations, and in any case not a clash opposing Western "values" and Islamic ones.
There is indeed a clash, but this one manifests itself INSIDE Islamic societies. This clash opposes a specific interpretation of Koran and the reality outside it.
Reacting to the Danese affair of “anti-islamic” cartoons, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Muslim World League, and the Arab League have all charged Denmark with blasphemy, desecration, and sacrilege.
That’s impossible!
Denmark, as a nation, cannot be blamed by acts of independent people writing or drawing for a private newspaper, which reflects ideology, values, beliefs and political stances of those private persons. To condemn Denmark is not only a factual error and a political stance illogical, in nature; it is also hypocrisy, arising from the particular world view of Islamic societies.
Islamic societies do not recognize individuality or free will. That is the real problem INSIDE Islam. That is a clash INSIDE Islam.
Islam opposes "pictorial representation" of human people and living things, which is clearly an absurd, as representational art existed before the Prophet, continued during his existence and was maintained after his teaching became sacred rules, as the example of Persian art show us very clearly. The fact that those early representations of Muhammad or other people were defigurated afterwards -- as anyone can verify in collections in Western museums -- does not eliminate pictorial representation as a human practice, an objective skill disseminated in all societies, including Islamic ones, where they are repressed.
Blasphemy is "accepted" in Western societies at least since Voltaire. Its consequences must be dealt with in tribunals, not in streets, by violent mobs.
Islamic societies have plain right to prohibit blasphemy, but they cannot impose this to other people, to other societies.
That is the real clash INSIDE Islam: their societies cannot aspire to more affluent levels of well being and freedom for their people before they remove a strict "exegesis" of Koran -- which in fact does not exists and is forbidden in Islam -- that prohibits pictorial representation, which is clearly an exaggeration and a self-inflicted limitation which impedes Islamic societies development to higher stages of scientific knowledge and cultural realization.

Paulo Roberto de Almeida
Brasília, February 9, 2006

Post scriptum em 10/02/06, sobre a manipulação política das charges:
Imprensa do dia:
"Discussões sobre charges começaram em reunião realizada em dezembro
As charges sobre o profeta Maomé que provocaram ruidosas manifestações nos últimos dias já haviam sido discutidas em dezembro, durante reunião da Organização da Conferência Islâmica (OCI). O evento reuniu 57 países muçulmanos em Meca, na Arábia Saudita. “A questão não foi grande coisa até a conferência islâmica, quando a OCI condenou as charges”, disse Muhammad Said, vice-presidente do Centro Ahram de Estudos Políticos e Estratégicos, no Cairo. Segundo ele, o caso foi usado para reduzir a atração exercida pelo Ocidente sobre os cidadãos árabes, sob a alegação de que a liberdade traria em seu bojo o desrespeito ao Islã." (FSP/JB/OG)