American leaders say the fight against Osama bin Laden is not a religious war, but are they right? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the deep divide between fundamentalists and the secular world. Also, a look at true believers in America - from the Holy Rollers of Appalachia to a groups of Hasidic Jews in Iowa.
New York Times Magazine writer Andrew Sullivan talks with Steve Paulson about his essay "This IS a Religious War." He says the real conflict is between religious absolutists with a medieval mindset and the cultural values of the West - freedom and individuality. You can read his essay at www.andrewsullivan.com. Also, political scientist Chandra Muzaffar, deputy president of the National Justice Party of Malaysia, tells Steve Paulson that the war is not about Islam. Nothing in Islam validates the terrorism of September 11th, and Osama bin Laden has done nothing for the Palestinians.SEGMENT 2:
Stephen Bloom is a Jew from California, now living in Iowa City, and the author of "Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America." Bloom tells Jim Fleming that the Orthodox Jews who moved from Brooklyn to Postville to run a kosher slaughterhouse have no interest in assimilating and becoming Iowans. They are aloof to the locals to the point of rudeness, and not the kind of Jew Bloom is or has any interest in being.SEGMENT 3:
Writer Ginah Nahai grew up in Iran under the Shah and watched the growing strength of Islamic fundamentalism. Her latest novel, "Sunday Silence" is set in Tennessee, among a community of Appalachian Holy Rollers. Nahai tells Jim Fleming what the two groups of fundamentalists have in common. Also, provocative scholar and literary critic Stanley Fish tells Steve Paulson that he admires the bluntness and strength of conviction shown in the writing of John Milton. Fish says he likes anyone who's an absolutist and a dogmatist. Among his many books is "How Milton Works."Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 01-11-18-A.
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