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news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.


I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The West (and Israel) have mocked the prophet:
    not Muhammad, but Samuel Huntington

So ends Dr. Martin Kramer's piece from The Washington Institute for Near East Policy on the potential of a true Muslim religious crusade emerging.

(pot-aa-tos, pot-ah-tos - I'm not Arabic, and the English word for religious war is crusade - I don't say hong and huang when I talk about the colors of the Chinese flag either. I say red and yellow - ok, actually it is gold, but I don't know how to say gold in Chinese)

Kramer takes to task everyone that has claimed Jihad isn't really about Islam, that Jihad is just a few very vocal and very violent extremist individuals that most Muslims don't listen to.


The Christian Crusades started out with one very vocal man, Pope Urban II, spewing extremist propaganda and inciting the masses, denouncing the Muslims as "a race utterly alienated from God."

If Kramer's piece is incendiary, it is only because it is such a volatile topic. And, as such, the blinders of political correctness need to be banned from the discussion.

Almost a millennium later, Muslim leaders and clerics are using the same language to stir the Muslim masses. They accuse the godless West of defiling the Prophet of God. Khaled Mashal, the leader of Hamas abroad, has demanded that Europe repent for the Danish cartoons. "Tomorrow, our nation will sit on the throne of the world. . . . Apologize today, before remorse will do you no good. . . . Since God is greater, and He supports us, we will be victorious." Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad struck the same note, in a speech marking the 27th anniversary of Iran's revolution: "The Iranian nation is telling you now that although you have Mammon, you do not have God. But God is with us."


The secular West had flattered itself, believing it had pulled the Muslim world into modernity. [...] The Muslim masses, the assumption goes, will choose peace and freedom, if given the chance. But they haven't. 9/11 could be attributed to a fanatic minority. Not so the Danish cartoon protests: Millions have taken part.

What about the Iranians who elected a president openly bent on confrontation with the West? What of those Egyptian voters who gave the Muslim Brotherhood a stunning success in parliamentary elections? And what about the supposedly secular Palestinians, who have swept Hamas into power? A poll conducted last year showed that 60 percent of Jordanians, Egyptians and Palestinians want Islamic shari'a law to be the sole source of legislation.

The experts resort to political and socioeconomic explanations: Syria incites proxies to punish Europe for its support of the U.S. over Lebanon. Iran stirs things up to escape possible sanctions over its nuclear program. Muslim minorities in Europe are protesting against racism and exclusion. Palestinians voted not for Islam, but against corruption.

There are plenty of inequalities in the world that cut against Muslims - enough to explain any outburst. This is the default analysis, reassuring us that there isn't a "clash of civilizations," only a clash of interests. These analyses have their place, but they're not sufficient. The clash goes beyond differing interests. Hundreds of millions of Muslims who live alongside us and among us inhabit another mental world.

Clash of Civilizations, indeed!

So, is the Muslim mind and culture far more superior to the Western mind such that it can resist Jihad, seduced instead by the wealth and comfort of Western living?

And, to answer the obvious retort, the West did not bring this upon itself.

It takes two to tango, bubba. It is time the Islamic world stops getting a free ride on this.


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