Friday, June 04, 2004

Department of Not Getting "Nuanced Out"

This incredibly scary interview with President Bush, from the weekly Christianity Today (thanks, Emily), contains many breathtaking moments.

One is when Bush says that although he is sorry for "those people who were humiliated" at Abu Ghraib, "I never apologized to the Arab world."

Another is this exchange, which follows the comment above:

Q: Do you believe there is anything inherently evil in the way some practice Islam that stands in the way of the pursuit of democracy and freedom?

A: I think what we're dealing with are people — extreme, radical people — who've got a deep desire to spread an ideology that is anti-women, anti-free thought, anti-art and science, you know, that couch their language in religious terms. But that doesn't make them religious people. I think they conveniently use religion to kill. The religion I know is not one that encourages killing. I think that they want to drive us out of parts of the world so they're better able to have a base from which to operate. I think it's very much more like an . . . "ism" than a group with territorial ambition.

Q: More like a what?

A: An "ism," like Communism, that knows no boundaries, as opposed to a power that takes land for gold or land for oil or whatever it might be. I don't see their ambition as territorial. I see their ambition as seeking safe haven. And I know they want to create power vacuums into which they are able to flow.

Q: To what final end? The expansion of Islam?

A: No, I think the expansion of their view of Islam, which would be I guess a fanatical version that — you know, you're trying to lure me down a road [where] . . . I'm incapable of winning the debate. But I'm smart enough to understand when I'm about to get nuanced out. No, I think they have a perverted view of what religion should be, and it is not based upon peace and love and compassion — quite the opposite. These are people that will kill at the drop of a hat, and they will kill anybody, which means there are no rules. And that is not, at least, my view of religion. And I don't think it's the view of any other scholar's view of religion either.


Honestly, I can't believe this man is the president of the United States.