by Patrick Appel
John Gray reviews a collection of essays by Timothy Garton Ash:
Isaac Chotiner fires back at Gray.
Equating fundamentalism with terrorism is loose thinking, but the biggest drawback is the loss of historical memory that making the parallel entails. Much of the state terror in the past century was secular, not religious. Lenin and Mao were avowed disciples of an Enlightenment ideology. Some will object that they misapplied this. And yet it is a feature of the fundamentalist mindset to posit a pristine faith, innocent of complicity in any crime its practitioners have ever committed, and capable if only it is implemented in its pure, unsullied form of eradicating practically any evil. This is pretty much what is asserted by those who claim that the solution to the world’s problems is mass conversion to “Enlightenment values”.