Sam Harris: The Muslim Problem

June 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

In the course of a long distance argument with a friend who believes my objections to the Obama administration’s policies concerning the “War on Terror” are misguided, he forwarded to me a post from Sam Harris’ blog entitled “Islam and the Misuses of Ecstasy” .  Here is a link to that essay.

The essay is long and includes embeded links to several religious rituals and ceremonies related to Islam and Hinduism.  I found it interesting.  I have appended the rest of my friend’s dissent in the form of comments to my post entitled “The Prism of Work”.  That won’t do justice to this Sam Harris essay because, when the forwarded email he sent me with a link to the essay is copied into the “Comment” section of my post, the embeded links don’t work.  So, I am including it as a separate post.

In case you are not familiar with Sam Harris, he is a very well known author, philosopher and neuroscientist.  His book “The End of Faith” is a broad and scathing attack on religion.  He regularly appears in public forums debating issues with theologians and other scholars.  As you will see if you read his essay, he is especially hostile toward and concerned about the extreme form of Islam.  His arguments support the defensive measures adopted by the United States in the “War on Terror”, primarily because he believes Islam now confronts us with a unique type of enemy:  One that has no fear of death and is oblivious of reason.

He was born in 1967, and thus has no  memory of our fear when the Japanese sent Kamakeze pilots to sink our warships and launched suicide attacks on our troops in the Pacific Theater during WWII.    He has only read about the suicide “human wave” attacks our troops in Korea faced during the Korean “Police Action” after China entered the war.

I respect Harris’ scholarship and I have learned from his research but he has not persuaded me that the threat we now face justifies the kind of defensive policies adopted by and approved by the Obama administration.


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