Saturday, June 21, 2008

Review of "Faith, Reason and the War on Jihadism"

An excellent review of George Weigel's new book is up on MercatorNet where he explains why the War on Terror is ineffectual, and what Catholics can bring to the discussion.
Weigel wryly observes that we are not going to “convert 1.2 billion Muslims into good secular liberals.” As should be obvious by now in Iraq and Afghanistan, we cannot also impose our own democratic systems on people who have never known them and who, at least in Afghanistan, are essentially tribal. What we can and must focus on is respect for pluralism and religious tolerance, respect for the rule of law and commitment to persuasion, not coercion. In Islam the fusion of temporal and religious authority – the theocratic state – is an obstacle; there is no mention in the Qur’an of “rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and rendering unto God that which is God’s” which led in the West, albeit slowly, to an understanding of the distinctive roles of church and state.

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