Today the Boston Globe editorializes on a truly horrific story: in Afghanistan, a young woman flees an undesired arranged marriage to run off with her lover (who happened to be married). The local authorities chased the two down, brought them back to their home village, and executed them both. This is, to the Globe, a reminder of just what kind of evil we are facing with the Taliban.
But there is a single word missing from the piece:
The Globe didn’t think it worthwhile to go into the justification the Taliban uses to justify such heinous conduct: they are following the tenets of a certain interpretation of Islam, which believes in applying Sharia law in such matters.
Yes, this is certainly an extreme form of Islam. But only in one sense — that the conduct is extremely savage and extremely brutal and extremely inhumane.
But in another sense, the form of Islam practiced by the Taliban is hardly extreme at all. And that is in the sense of popularity.
The Globe, like a lot of other folks, likes to talk about Muslim moderates. They are lauded as the hope for Islam’s future, and cited as being unfairly tainted by the actions of other Muslims. But they are relatively few and weak in influence. Hell, it could be argued that they are the “extremists,” as they don’t practice the most popular form of Islam. In that context, the call the Taliban “extremists” is like calling the Pope “an extremist Catholic.”
Sharia law is far more predominant in the Muslim world than secularism. In most Muslim nations, Sharia law holds sway — not to mention Muslim societies.
The Globe, by omitting the source and justification for the Taliban’s savagery, is trying to pretend that there is no connection between Islam and brutality. That Sharia law is just some kooky thing that sprang up from nothing, and has no ties or roots in anything else. They don’t want to acknowledge that it is directly derived from Islam, is considered by a large number of Muslims as an inherent part of their faith, and its implementation is a goal of many Muslims worldwide. It is the driving philosophy in Iran, in the Taliban, in Al Qaeda, in Hezbollah, in Hamas, in the Muslim Brotherhood, and in many other places and groups.
…whoops, I think I just wrote myself into a corner here.
And this piece was going so well, too. Dang it.