Apologies for the shortness of this newsletter,
I am traveling in the U.S.
Ethnocentrism or liberalcentrism(Ethnonetralism)
September 16th, 2007
Seth J. Frantzman
A big theme of many books that discuss history is the question of ‘ethnocentrism.’ Just glancing at a recent history of Maine entitled ‘The Pine Tree State from Prehistory to he Present’ one is greeted with a discussion of the wicked ‘old’ history of Maine in which ‘ethnocentric’ Europeans viewed the various Maine Natives as one ‘tribe’ rather than a vast collection of bands and federations with all the nuances. Surely it is true that the first white historians of the Indians of Maine did classify them differently. But one might also remark on the fact that at least they took the time to classify them and record their existence and habits and culture. They could have just done what Islam did to all the minorities of the Middle East and exterminate them as ‘heathens’ and never record their existence.
In fact most of the Indians were killed anyway through disease and war. But what is wrong with a little ethnocentrism here and there. The Indians were also ‘ethnocentric.’ After all didn’t they call the Europeans ‘white eye’ or any number of nicknames. They didn’t spend time setting up universities to study all the inequalities and differences between the Europeans who invaded their world. Did they understand the difference between the puritan culture of John Adams and the patrician culture of Thomas Jefferson? No. Should they have? No.
The theory of liberalcentrism would make us believe we must understand other cultures better than they understand themselves. Liberalcentrism doesn’t really negate ethnocentrism, it merely replaces it with a new set of values modeled on another western view of the world. The liberalcentric view classifies Indians in a new way. It creates new rules about what a tribe is and what defines a tribal group. It labels certain places ‘cult centers.’ But the Indians didn’t call anything a ‘cult center.’ The models provided by anthropologists are just as arrogant and ridiculous, more so, than the ones contrived by the Europeans of the 19th century. If anyone reads an anthropological account or an archeological account of the Indians of North America they are treated to a whole litany of terms for these poor people that the people never used for themselves. Once again the westerner is applying his view, except now it is under the guise of academia and the liberalcentric worldview, rather than the ‘bad’ white ethnocentric worldview.
But what does the liberal base many of his assumptions and study on? He reads the old ethnocentric history and creates new models opposing it. But he uses the same source material. Rarely does he consult the native.
The truth is that ethnocentrism was honest. It was also better than the liberalcentric model. Every culture is ethnocentric and it should be. Why should it strive so had to understand others more than they understand themselves? The liberalcentric worldview is at the root of the liberal’s embrace of Islam. Liberals speak of knowing the ‘real’ Islam. They say things like ‘Islamic terrorism is based on a misreading of the Koran.’ But who’s misreading? The liberal claims to know the Koran better than the wisest Imam of Arabia. He claims to know that Islam is inherently peaceful. He claims to know that feminist Islam and Sufi Islam are the ‘real’ Islam. Liberals like Karen Armstrong imagine a Mohammed of peace who may have married a six year old but did so out of charity. It is the liberalcentric worldview that has allowed this fabrication to take place. But perhaps its time to let others speak for themselves and to be known by their actions rather than always allowing the liberal in his ivory tower to tell us how to classify and model the behavior of others.
Ethnocentrism is not racism. It is the response to a liberalcentric world. We do not want a world in which we must know others better than we know ourselves, in which our religion is replaced by world religions, in which we go to mosque before we go to our own place of worship. We do not want to know the ‘other.’ Let him remain the other. Let him remain diverse. Let us stop quoting Islamic law to the Muslim. Let the Maine Indians stay what they were in the 19th century, before they had ‘cult centers’ and all manner of models that were not their own.
It’s Ramadan in America
September 16th, 2007
Seth J. Frantzman
Its Ramadan again in America. The New York Times reminds us on its second page. PBS has a special program on it featuring an American woman who has converted to Islam. Who better to introduce us to Islam and Dhimmitude than one of our own. Her silky white liberal voice comes through the radio beckoning all of us to convert. She speaks of feminism and misogyny, and all these liberal terms, and then she speaks of god, that decidedly unliberal concept. But the leftists at PBS lap it up. When a Muslim speaks of god it is wonderful. When Jerry Fallwell spoke of God they grimace. The brilliance by which leftist-liberal women convert to Islam shows the true genius of Islam. Islam should appeal to men, since it is a religion of, by and for men. A religion with polygamy, like Mormonism. A Religion where a woman’s testimony is half a mans. A religion where beating your wife and murdering others are central tenants of the faith. Is it a surprise that this is the religion of the left? Communism and Nazism wee just such religions.
There will be no New York Times picture and special for the beginning of a Hindu holiday this year. There will be no interview with a Hindu or a Sikh on PBS this year. There will certainly be no interview with a Chabad Rabbi before Yom Kippur. But Avraham Burg is writing from Europe telling us all that Europe should be ‘impregnated with Islam’ and that Jews should encourage the Islamification of Europe because Muslims are the new ‘other’ of Europe and encouraging their acceptance would be to have Europeans do for Islam what they did not do for the Jews and other minorities. The idea is clear. Jews should help Europeans love Islam because Europeans didn’t love Jews. That way the mistakes of the past will not be repeated. So Islam must benefit from the suffering of Jews. Avraham Burg is a genius on the level of PBS.