«During the age of emergence of the world religions, stress shifted from lived ritual to transcendent doctrine, and it looks as if the wheel has come full circle, and that where religion contains some vigor, it does so by becoming civic once again. In North America, religious attendance is high, but religion celebrates a shared cult of the American way of life, rather than insisting on distinctions of theology or church organization, as it once it did. Apparent exceptions to the trend towards secularization turn out on examination to be special cases, explicable by special circumstances, as when a church is used as a counter-organization against an oppressive state committed to a secular belief-system. It is possible to disagree about the extent, homogeneity, or irreversibility of this trend, and, unquestionably, secularization does assume many quite different forms; but, by and large, it would seem reasonable to say that it is real.
But there is one very real dramatic, conspicuous exception to all this: Islam. To say that secularization prevails in Islam is not contentious. It is simply false. Islam is as strong now as it was a century ago. In some ways, it is probably much stronger.»
-- Ernest Gellner, Postmodernism, Reason and Religion
And speaking of things that are simply false:
«"At no time in history has a whole people been violated... by propaganda that has been proved false," Sheikh Awad al-Qarni, one of the scholars, told al-Arabiya TV.»
«"Right now the West sees all Islam as a kind of monolith and wipes away all nuances,'' said Ahmed. "Some want to draw boundaries around Islam in Europe. Other Muslims want to deal with non-Muslims in a broad and tolerant way. It's not new to Islam. It's just new to Europe.'' »
What, tedious religious wars are new to Europe? Ahem.