Thursday, May 24, 2007

Conservative/Muslim Alliance?

Dinesh D'Souza has written a book (The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11) guaranteed to offend everyone. His thesis is that the terrorist attack on the U.S. is the fault of those who have debased our culture over the last forty years and that American conservatives have more in common with Muslims than with western liberals.

Well, it's true that liberal nostrums have had a deleterious effect on our popular culture, and it's true that the Muslim critique of American culture is one which conservatives largely agree with, but that's not the problem.

The problem is that conservatives and Muslims envision widely disparate remedies for the diseased portions of our popular culture. Muslims believe that the only solution is to embrace Koranic law whereas conservatives tend to believe that the answer lies in a return to traditional Christian values, and in many ways those two solutions couldn't be more different.

The fact that both Muslims and American conservatives see the same problem does not entail that we share in common the values and beliefs necessary to address the problem. After all, Mohatma ghandi and Joseph Stalin both saw Adolf Hitler as a problem but it requitres a great deal of rhetorical flexibility to stretch to the conclusion that therefore the two men had a lot in common.

Anyway, Cathy Young dissects D'Souza's argument at Reason magazine.