Sunday, May 04, 2008

Cultural Comparisons

Arabist links to a New York Times article with this ridiculous, if predictable, conclusion:
"Clearly, this is a debate of importance not only to Muslims but to non-Muslims as well, and for a Westerner listening in, the best way to understand it may be to translate it into the language of European history. Irshad Manji sees herself as moving Islam into the 16th century; Ayaan Hirsi Ali wants to move it into the 18th. It’s as if Luther and Voltaire were living at the same time."

Comparisons like this are horrid even as a teaching tool. That cultures can't be compared with each other in this way has been known since Franz Boas.

Has "The West" developed its Confucius yet, by any chance?



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