Islam or Illiteracy?

Is Islam in itself an impediment to democracy or is it the village mind of hundreds of millions of muslims living in third world poverty around the world, barely literate enough to read even Holy Qu’ran, let alone anything that would foster democratic thinking?

We have to be better educated about history and more honest about what literacy is and should be, and how much our freedom is dependent on an advancement of literacy that our pedagogy dosn’t seem able or willing to pursue. Of course I see the women in my neighborhood wearing burkas and I do sometimes wish I lived in Paris. I still insist that we have to manage our democracy and freedom much better in face of what we think we afre protecting in the matters of cultural diversity.

There is no issue or question of disrespect of cultural diversity that must tolerate impediments to issues of gender equality, or matters of constitutionality. Sharia law has no place in America where it violates our laws and our commitement to equality.

Impediments to the spread of democracy may also be found in the United States acting less than genuinely in maters of treaty, policy, foreign affairs of several kinds, whether economic, military, geo-political, et cetera; although I do not oppose the United States violating Pakistan’s sovereignty to kill Bin Laden. Connundrums will always ensue anytime anyone considers any policy or politics as either the former or the latter is implemented or engaged in the world. There is something universal about politics irrespective of country or relgious hegemony or ethnic unity or diversity, whatever have we in the forms of the contexts within which policies are set or politics arise.

Being Muslim in itself does not impede a society’s growth, democraticaly, not nearly as much as entrenchd cultural attitudes that have nothing whatsoever to do with Holy Qu’ran, but have much more to do with human inequality and human narrow mindedness and prejudice, something exiting to a greater or lesser extent depending on the historical experiences of the people concerned. These we cannot mistake.

Misogyny is not a cultural diversity. But enough on the bandwagon of assumed Islamic misogyny. The existenc of such must be addressed by Muslims but never tolerated by us. This is not a privilege for Muslims: to violate the law because of their assertions in matters we confuse for religious freedom. Yes, privilege is not for the elite or the power structure but always for the marginalized.

Democrats are as much to blame for any of our geo-political problems as are our Republicans, neither one more diametrically opposed to the other than let’s say heads is diametrically opposed to tails on any coin you hold in your hand. Do I still believe as Lincoln once thought that The United States is the last best hope for humankind? Yes, I do. But that is going to take greater literacy, and not just the alphabetics the corporate world sponsors through their control of education in America.

We must be clear with Muslim Americans as we have been clear with Orthodox Jews, who do not practice entirely in America what Jewish Law would permit them to do. This necessity for clarity is not practiced by either party and seems endemic to all politicians. But the level of education and real cultural awareness and a literacy that could handle the complexities of the legal and social issues that arise when cultures do clash within a society, when religious freedom comes up against violations of laws or maintaining impediments to the free exercise of a person’s rights, is lacking in our society. The government bureacratic management of education has left us at a great disadvantage.

The feds make no policy in education apart from corporate lobbies. These are the same corporate lobbies that could care less about the hundreds of millions of muslims living in third world poverty, again in illiteracy or semi-literacy, the latter two being soils within which many fanatics and terrorists grow. No. These are the corporate lobbies that throw millions at politicians in Washington, in the White House, in Congress, and care little to nothing for the American worker and his family or their economic plight.

Capitalism is responsible for the  worst slums in human history, some of the direst poverty, the greatest inequitable distribution of wealth, and yet, like most Alpha gorillas, we beat our chest in pride, but a pride based on a lie–we are freer than any people have ever been, or so the propaganda continues, and we have to be grateful for our lives in America because we could be living in China or Afghanistan.

We have to stop comparing ourselves to the third world and start comparing ourselves to what we should be and could be. We’ll see, with the new mandates in education being a way to wean American off the notion that there should be a safety net at all.


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