At Atlas Shrugs I discuss the recent cancellation of the Lady Gaga concert in Indonesia and some of its implications:
Muslim threats last week led Lady Gaga to cancel her planned concert in Indonesia. Because of their disapproval of Lady Gaga, some conservatives in the West have applauded this, noting that Christians there opposed her as well, and asserting that any non-Muslim society with a healthy regard for decent values would not allow to her to perform, either. Society, some argued, should hold the good, not freedom, as its highest value.
Left unexplained, however, is how a commonly accepted understanding of “the good” is to be arrived at, and particularly how such an understanding could be restored in 21st-century America without imposing an authoritarian regime of some kind. Also, one wonders if proponents of such ideas would object to the intimidation and particularly to the death threats that ultimately led to the cancellation of Lady Gaga’s Indonesian show.
Sharia states are oriented toward the good, not freedom, as their highest value. How would the ideal state of these authoritarian Western “conservatives” be different? A young Saudi imam said it a few years ago: “Your leaders want to bring your freedom to Islamic society. We don’t want freedom. The difference between Muslims and the West is we are controlled by God’s laws, which don’t change for 1,400 years. Your laws change with your leaders.” Jihadists routinely deride Western freedom as libertinism: “In essence,” one explained, “the kufr [unbelief] of Western society can be summed up in one word which is used over and over to justify its presence, growth, and its glorification “¦ Freedom. Yet what such a society fails to comprehend, is that such “˜freedom” simply represents the worship and enslavement to desires, opinions, and whims, a disregard for what is (truly) right, and a disregard for the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.”
While many of us might deplore the depravity of today”s pop culture, we should not let Islamic moral critique put us on the defensive. In reality, the freedom at which the jihadists sneer is an essential component of any genuine morality. “Australian law guarantees freedoms up to a crazy level,” remarked the controversial former Australian mufti Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali””but without freedom, even “up to a crazy level,” morality is hollow. The secular West, with all its irreligion and debauchery, provides the only authentic framework for genuine virtue. Without the freedom to choose evil, choosing good is not a virtue. It’s nothing more than submitting to coercion. Islam’s moral critique likewise founders on the divine sanction given to violence in the Qur’an and Islamic tradition….