Jonah Goldberg notes that there is more than one type of globalization -- not just Americanizing, but Islamicizing. And the latter is a movement fed, hosted, appealing to, and driven by losers. And the cultural cost is enormous. Here's how:
The Wall Street Journal recently reported the sad tale of the demise of Mak Yong, an ancient form of dance and theater in Southeast Asia drawn from pre-Islamic faiths[.] But such traditional cultural influences are now considered "un-Islamic." "Many Southeast Asian Muslims now navigate by guideposts from the Arab world," the Journal reported. "Young men in Indonesia are starting to wear turbans and grow beards. In Malaysia, Malays have adopted the Arab word for prayer, salat, to replace the Malay word, sembahyang, which literally means 'offer homage to the primal ancestor.' "
This is merely an extension of trends that have already transformed the Middle East. As Fareed Zakaria writes in "The Future of Freedom," until the 1970s most Middle Easterners "practiced a kind of village Islam that adapted itself to local cultures and to normal human desires. Pluralistic and tolerant, these villages often worshipped saints, went to shrines, sang religious hymns, and cherished art — all technically disallowed in Islam." This indigenous form of Islam was bulldozed by urbanization and radicalization. The Iranian Revolution was a harbinger of the transformation toward a more "universal" Islam that was also more doctrinaire: "Islam of the high church as opposed to Islam of the street fair," Zakaria writes.
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Although Western-style globalization may force certain technological and economic changes on indigenous cultures, it also provides those cultures with the tools and flexibility to keep much of their culture. The hard Islam coming out of Riyadh and Tehran offers no such freedom. Recall that Afghanistan was a Muslim country for centuries, but it wasn't until the jihadi thugs of the Taliban took over that the historic Bamiyan Buddhas were deemed an offense to Islam and destroyed.