I really don’t know what to make of Ronan Mullen’s remarks today. Has anyone any thoughts on this?
We have grounds for humility. It took Western Christianity centuries to arrive at the insight that human dignity called for freedom of religion, equal opportunities between the sexes and so on. But Islam’s problem is that it’s not there yet. It does not have the centralisation of religious authority which can both unify people around a coherent set of values and prevent the emergence of extremes. That is a real problem which cannot be explained by American preoccupation with oil, Israeli oppression of the Palestinians or the invasion of Iraq.
I really am stumped. Where do I start?
It sounds like what he is really getting at is Islam – not to mention fundamentalist Islam – is an inferior religion to Christianity. He also seems to suggest there there are not as many extremes in Christianity. Does this strike anyone as just a little ethnocentric?
To follow logically what he is saying –
Christianity (the West) is centuries ahead of Islam (Near East, Middle East) on the human rights front. Islam needs to be more like Christianity, because Christianity is centuries ahead of it. The centralisation of power in Christianity unifies people (surely he means Catholicism, unless he means the Great Schism, Reformation, Counter-Reformation), and prevents the emergence of extremism (can you count the number of extreme Christian movements?).
What this does reek of is cultural and religious superiority. And given Mullen’s track record it is not Christianity he refers to, it is that special flavour (or extreme, depending on your view) called ‘Catholicism’.