The West’s Failure to Understand Religious Triumphalism Puts It at Risk

Feb. 12 2016

Religious triumphalism—the idea that those with true beliefs about the divine ought to dominate politically those without them—has largely faded from Western societies, writes Richard Landes, but maintains currency among many Muslims. Westerners at a loss to understand this set of beliefs are especially susceptible to its dangers:

In the world of victimization discourse so prevalent on campuses today, . . . triumphalist Muslims have learned that, when attacking the West, they can lead with their glass chin: how dare you offend us so? They can, thereby, maneuver a conflict-averse Western culture into conceding and placating them. . . .

As a result, there’s a significant and troubling overlap between Western sensitivity to minority feelings and Muslim triumphalist attitudes toward infidels. . . . [W]hile Westerners think they’re being generous, triumphalist Muslims see them complying with their demands, behaving as proleptic dhimmi [protected but subjugated religious communities], who submit without even being conquered.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: History & Ideas, Islam, Radical Islam, Religion, Western civilization

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship