Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Science Fiction and Islam, Continued

Warning: the following will only make sense if you've read Gordon Dickson's Childe cycle books

Last month, I mentioned that today's Muslims resemble the “Friendlies” in Soldier, Ask Not by Gordon Dickson. Yes, I know they sound like Fundamentalist Protestants but they act like Muslims. (On the other hand, Dickson was the co-author of “Undiplomatic Immunity” in the Hoka series which mentioned that the planet Bagdadburgh was an originally-puritanical Scottish–Arabic colony and presumably involved a merger between Calvinists and Muslims.)

In particular, the character Jamethon Black was not a fanatic himself but he was reluctant to believe that his religion was led by fanatics. A generation later, the non-fanatics had learned to distinguish themselves from the fanatics. Right now, moderate Muslims are just starting that process.

But wait, there's more. In Soldier, Ask Not, the character Tam Olyn comes to the same conclusion as Anne Coulter—that those fanatics must be eliminated. In The Final Encyclopedia, the Friendlies that Tam Olyn tried to destroy turn out to be essential to resisting the takeover by the Others. I suspect that Muslims wil be essential in the future although I'm not sure how.(Maybe they'll be last-ditch resisters of a tyranny that hasn't been invented yet.)


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