Letter to Globe and Mail

Dr. Andrew Wender has a letter to the editor in the Globe and Mail this week!


Aug. 26: From the top down – and other letters to the editor

False dichotomy

Re Destroying Their Way Back To The Garden (Editorial, Aug. 24): One empathizes with The Globe’s attempt at making intellectual sense of the horrors wrought by the Islamic State.

However, reducing “modernity” to the supposed good actor in a struggle between those who adopt an enlightened view of historical progress, and those who pine for some mythic, bygone ideal is a dangerously misleading and self-aggrandizing rehash of the false dichotomy between “civilization” and “barbarism.”

Within the overall context of Islamic history, and in some respects world religious history more broadly, the brutal chauvinism and narrow scriptural literalism practised by IS militants are a quintessentially modern emergence. The history of modernity has often enough been typified by “secular” ideologues (the French revolutionaries’ reign of terror, Nazism, Stalinism, Maoism) invoking progress toward eternal truth as justification for bloodshed rivalling or exceeding that wrought by any theocrat.

Andrew M. Wender, Victoria

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