Another Tradition

“The Struggle for Islam’s Soul” tells us what we already knew: True Believers tend to eat their own and rewrite their own history. Ziauddin Sardar notes they do that first and last, so their own always have the most to fear. Then he describes “three inherent characteristics” in the tradition which “nourishes the mentality of the extremists.” This essay describes what we have to fear now, but also makes generalizations we can recognize (& fear) in other settings: 1) It is ahistorical; 2) monolithic; 3) aggressively self-righteous; and insists on imposing its notion of righteousness on others.

Original sin is a useful concept to counter this tradition because it teaches us humility. The politician who would clap not for what America is but what it might be has been seduced by True Belief. And lacks humility.