Re: Fundamentalism and beliefs

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed Jan 23 2002 - 00:11:29 GMT

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: Fundamentalism and beliefs
    Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 19:11:29 -0500
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    >From: "Lawrence DeBivort" <>
    >To: <>
    >Subject: Fundamentalism and beliefs
    >Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 11:03:27 -0500
    >Theme: The expansion of Western ‘modern’ civilization created in the people
    >affected psychological conditions akin to exile.
    > >From Karen Armstrong, THE BATTLE FOR GOD, NY: Ballantine Books, 2001,
    >p. 8.
    >Armstrong has just examined the repression of the Jews of Spain by Isabella
    >and Ferdinand, Catholic monarchs who defeated the last Muslim rules in
    >Spain. In 1492, the monarchs ordered the conversion by baptism or explusion
    >of all Jews from Spain. 70,000 Jews stayed and converted, though they
    >continued to be held in suspicion and subjected to the Inquisition. 80,000
    >fled next door to Catholic Portugal, and 50,000 travelled overseas and
    >welcome in the Muslim Ottoman Empire -- LB
    Is it true that the word mosque is actually a derisive term etymologically
    related to the Spanish for mosquito? That's what I read in _The Complete
    Idiot's Guide to Understanding Islam_ (by Yahiya Emerick; ISBN 0028642333)
    >Armstong continues:
    >“[The Spanish Jews] were used to Muslim society, but the loss of Spain—or
    >Sefarad, as they called it—had inflicted a deep psychic wound. These
    >Sepharad Jews felt that they themselves and everything else were in the
    >wrong place. Exile is a spiritual as well as a physical dislocation. The
    >world of the exile is wholly unfamiliar and, therefore without meaning. A
    >violent uprooting, which takes away all normal props, breaks up our world,
    >snatches us forever from places that are saturated in memories crucial to
    >our identity, and plunges us permanently in an alien environment, can make
    >us feel that our very existence has been jeopardized. When exile is also
    >associated with human cruelty, it raises urgent questions about the problem
    >of evil in a world supposedly created by a just and benevolent God.
    >“ The experience of the Sephardic Jews was an extreme form of the uprooting
    >and displacement that other peoples would later experience when they were
    >caught up in an aggressive modernizing process. We shall see that when
    >modern Western civilization took root in a foreign environment, it
    >transformed the culture so drastically that many people felt alienated and
    >disoriented. The old world had been swept away, and the new one was so
    >strange that people could not recognize their once-familiar surroundings
    >could make no sense of their lives. Many would become convinced, like the
    >Sephardics, that their very existence was threatened. They would fear
    >annihilation and extinction. In their confusion and pain, many would do
    >some of the Spanish exiles did, and turn to religion. But because their
    >lives were so utterly changed, they would have to evolve new forms of faith
    >to make the old traditions speak to them in their radically altered forms.”
    Thanks. I've read of the Sephardic/Ashkenazi contrast and this helps me put
    a little more context into things.

    And to fast forward into the 20th century when Israel was created (ca.
    1948), there *could* be somewhat of an ironic twist where Palestinian Arabs
    suffered their own displacement (a diaspora or exile if you will) at the
    hands of the people who had suffered their own historic oppressions. I'd
    imagine there has been much difference in opinion amongst the Israeli Jews
    on how to deal with the Palestinian problem, ranging from an ethos of
    peaceful co-existence to the hard-liners who seem to not like Palestinian
    Arabs very much, granted that there may be hardline Arabs (PLO and Fatah)
    and Muslim extremists (Hamas et al) who feel the same about the 'evil
    Zionist' lapdogs of Uncle Sam.

    BTW, how did Ariel Sharon get his nickname "the Bulldozer"? And to add
    Christians into the mix what's the story behind the Phalangists in Sabra and
    Shatilla? Baylis Thomas's _How Israel was Won_ has been quite helpful,
    though I'm holding all sources one the Arab-Israeli conflict at arm's length
    because I fear underlying biases that may attempt to subtely skew my view
    toawrd the author's sacred cattle.

    I've also been reading James Ennes's _Assault on the Liberty_ trying to come
    to terms with tht unwarranted attack on a US ship during the 1967 war. One
    might draw comparisons with the USS Stark though I suppose.

    It's hard for me to know wht the true story behind the USS Liberty incident
    was and how much blame can be placed on Israel for this action. Being a
    US-ian I have definite biases against such things, though it not going to
    color my overall view of Israel. A tragic event nonetheless.

    I'm reading up on the British mandate period in Tom Segev's _One Palestine
    Complete_. Having watched _Exodus_ recently has helped, though I wonder what
    biases may inhere within that movie.

    Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger:

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