Culture and Religion

“This head scarf ban is directly targeting Islam, demanding that Muslims bow to secular demands, undermining their belief. The elite sees that Islam is the only faith that is robust, producing healthy, moral citizens. They fear that Europe will slowly be Islamicized as more immigrants come and shape European culture in moral terms away from its present moral decay,” Eric Walberg told IQNA.

How one reacts to the ongoing sex-gender cultural revolution in the West has become a kind of mock litmus test for one's humanity. Is it the final hole in the mighty Islamic dyke holding back millions of tortured souls in their Islamic prison? Can the millions of Muslims living in the secular West be liberated from their chains, freed after so many centuries of false bigotry?

This is how many happy western secular campers see things. It helps explain how the collective West became enamored by a bizarre ideology which urges men to be women, women – men, or some inbetween nonbinary status, where you can change your 'gender' any time you please, indulge in a whole potpourri of sexual techniques, all in the pursuit of the greatest happiness for the greatest number. If you can force Islam to accommodate that, you've done the trick.

The stars are like letters which inscribe themselves at every moment in the sky. Everything in the world is full of signs. All things depend on each other. As has been said, 'Everything breathes together.' (Plotinus)

All very nice, but scientific? Nonsense, you retort. Well, it is the oldest profession, mother of all our sciences. Until the 17th century, astrology was considered a scholarly tradition, and it helped drive the development of astronomy. 

It was originally for the ruler and his wars and lineage. Only with the gradual emergence of horoscopic astrology, from the 6th c BC, were the techniques and practice of natal astrology developed. Ptolemy's work the Tetrabiblos laid the basis of the Western astrological tradition, and 'enjoyed almost the authority of a Bible among the astrological writers.' Ptolemy was so obsessed with getting horoscopes right that he began the first attempt to make an accurate world map (maps before this were more relativistic or allegorical) so that he could chart the relationship between the person's birthplace and the heavenly bodies. While doing so, he coined the term geography. Yet Cicero's De divinatione (44 BCE) rejects astrology and other allegedly divinatory techniques.

Religious conversions later in life are generally greeted as evidence that something terrible must have happened to the converter. The Onion published a satire in 2016, ridiculing Paul D'Amatol, who took up a life of Christian piety in late middle age. It must be 'drugs or maybe he killed someone in a car accident. Something super messed up.'

No room in satire for something good as the cause. Interestingly, it's not Protestant evangelical born-again-ism but the Catholic bells-and-smells and Islamic mysticism that attract those interested in spiritual growth as they approach the end, despite (because of?) Rome's/ Islam's hard teachings on divorce, homosexuality, the ordination of women. Catholics and Muslims take their religion seriously.

From fire by water: My journey to the Catholic faith, a memoir by Iranian American Sohrab Ahmari, is provocative, to say the least.

Conspiracy is not the way out of our deadend, nor is quasi-Marxist wokeness. Huxley's vision is new-old, a rediscovery of spirit-soul, the other dimension in life denied in our age of scientism. Simple truths which are found in all the great religions, but have been shelved, blinded as we are by the dazzling smoke and mirrors of technology.

Grandson of Thomas Huxley, notorious critic who declared Darwinism was becoming a religion, a cult, younger brother of Julian Huxley, atheist and popularizer of science, Aldous trumps them with his quiet pacifism, his spiritual quest, looking for truths in the ancient past, not the slick, exciting world of atomic bombs and miracle cures. What's the point, if we are doomed to extinction through world war?

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here