Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Theodore Dalrymple, anyone?

I've ran into the name Theodore Dalrymple in several places around the Internet, in particular at City Journal (which, BTW, is a pretty interesting site to visit). I've read a few of his pieces there.

On Fourmilog, I ran into this entry mentioning Mr. Dalrymple, who turns out to be a recently retired British physician/psychiatrist named Anthony Daniels. His essays have been collected into the book Our Culture, What's Left of It. John Walker, the author of Fourmilog, is kind enough to link to several of the City Journal essays in the book.

I suggest you read them all (heck, I suggest you read the book), but read "When Islam Breaks Down" first. Given the furor that some cartoons have caused in the Muslim world (can you imagine Christians rioting and burning embassies over Piss Christ?), this is absolutely mandatory reading.

I won't do the essay justice by trying to summarize it, but just to give you the flavor, Mr. Dalrymple makes the case that Islam (and by extension, most Islamist societies/countries) is fated to be a backwards also ran. This is due to its lack of separation of government and religion, along with various patterns of behavior forced on them by their religious beliefs.

Do yourself a favor and read at least this essay. Then I suggest you sit a bit and think.

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