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March 27, 2010

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georgesdelatour

Neiman thinks that we all really agree about basic moral questions. She uses a hypothetical example of someone wanting to sacrifice a baby to the God Baal, saying no one really believes in this. It's a pity she chooses the example of a deity no one on Earth feels compelled to follow anymore. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, considered one of the most influential Islamic scholars alive, for instance, believes in capital punishment for homosexual acts, supports female circumcision, and accepts wife-beating "as a last resort".

I couldn't really stomach it when Neiman implied that western rampant consumerism was provoking the Taleban to throw acid in girls faces if they dare to go to school. Very silly.

Keith Parker

It seems quite clear that rampant western consumerism does provoke the Taliban. Whether they are justified in their outrage and justified in their acts of violence is another matter. I don`t think Neiman in any way justified their position on the contrary she staked out an alternative not only to fundamentalism but to post modern cynicism and pessimism and to the empty promise of global capitalism. Her alternative grounded in the Enlightenment was based on values and implied that morality could be progressive hence her baby sacrifice example at the beginning.There was nothing silly about what she said at all. My only criticism is that she might not have gone far enough, perhaps there was not enough time, and explored the need for democratic choice and the impartial rule of law.

georgesdelatour

Hi Keith

I guess you didn't see the famous photo of the Taleban leaders, published shortly before the US invasion, in which one of them was seen to be wearing a Rolex watch.

I think the Taleban actually find the western Enlightenment far more of a provocation than western consumer goods. That's presumably why they want to stop girls getting educated. If they could have the consumer goods without the attendant cultural modernity, they'd probably be fine with it.

If you take the example of Qaradawi, what arguments would Nieman use to persuade him to abandon his Sharia Law baed views and embraced her western Enlightenment views?

baby slings

I don`t think Neiman in any way justified their position on the contrary she staked out an alternative not only to fundamentalism but to post modern cynicism and pessimism and to the empty promise of global capitalism.

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