Monday, July 16, 2007

Religious fundamentalism debases science

The International Herald Tribune carries an article asserting that religious fundamentalists use science to further ideology, not to challenge core beliefs.

Abu Hanieh, who researches and has close ties with militant Islamist movements in the region, says they have their own scientific perspective in which there are simple questions and clear answers. "They have an equation which is one plus one equals two—Israel is the enemy and its allies are apostates, for example," he says.

"If these are the symptoms then this is the disease," he adds. "They diagnose the West and regard it as their enemy. Their mind-set is hard and their knowledge is based on facts, with one opinion and no room for exchanging views."

It was perhaps inevitable, he and others say, that Al Qaeda would seek to recruit Muslim doctors and scientists into its ideology for tactical reasons as well. Zawahri is reported to have sought recruits who could blend in the West.

"Wherever you go in the Muslim world, those who are most violent and most extremist are the ones who have the most scientific tendencies," Abu Hanieh said. "One could even argue that sciences might contribute to increasing one's radical thinking if the radical finds justifications to his philosophy through science," he said.

No comments: