It appears to me that the Western mind has become afflicted with theophobia, or the fear of religion. This is apparent in the speech of the scientific community, which posits rationality (aka reason) on a high pedestal, and considers both emotionality and spirituality as inferior or even negative modes of knowing.

And this attitude trickles down to the Western social and personal level, where an individual who displays any spiritual tendency will be frowned upon by his peers - a supposedly tolerant and open-minded bunch, as opposed to the superstitious and fanatic Orientals. This happened to me today, when I innocently mentioned to a friend that I was attempting to cut down on my addictions during the month of Ramadan. The knee-jerk response I got was: "Oh, are you turning religious?" in a clearly derogatory tone.

Pretty soon we'll be back to burning books all over again.