Friday, July 29, 2005

Has Islam awakened a "Western tiger"?

Little Green Footballs pointed out yesterday an extraordinary opinion piece in the Middle East Times. Youssef M. Ibrahim writes with shocking bluntness about another side to the current conflict between the west and Islam: the potential for a massive, coordinated, and highly effective western backlash against the Muslim world. The historical precedent he invokes is the fight America and western Europe waged against the Communist empire for nearly half a century, until it achieved the empire's collapse and disintegration. He sees on the horizon a similar "cold and hot war" not only against the amorphous enemy of jihadi organizations but against the religion that continues to spawn them. One problem with this analogy is that western Europe did not uniformly stand together with America in the long effort to stop and reverse the spread of Communism. But Ibrahim's premise is basically correct. In fact, a new western alliance against the spread of political Islam could eventually grow stronger than any previous alliance, as Islam persists in demonstrating that it is an engine for human rights abuses, corruption, and terrorism everywhere it goes.

Ibrahim is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, which means that some on the paranoid-schizophrenic edges of the political spectrum regard him as a tool of the secret effort by America to create a "New World Order." Ibrahim's authority to write about Islam is unquestionable, however, not because he is Muslim but because he has covered the Middle East as a foreign correspondent since 1979, when he was in Tehran for the revolution. His essay does suffer from the kind of childish moral reasoning we see today all over the Muslim world. In this case, rather than state simply that the Muslim world has a problem because its faith has metamorphosed into a worldwide cult and incubator for psychotic killers, Ibrahim suggests that the Muslim world has a problem because it has misbehaved and is about to get punished. Nonetheless, it is well worth reading. Here's an excerpt:

What is more important to remember is this: When the West did unite after World War II to beat communism, the long Cold War began without pity. They took no prisoners. They all stood together, from the United States to Norway, from Britain to Spain, from Belgium to Switzerland. And they did bring down the biggest empire. Communism collapsed.

I fear those naïve Muslims who think that they are beating the West have now achieved their worst crime of all. The West is now going to war against not only Muslims, but also, sadly, Islam as a religion.

In this new cold and hot war, car bombs and suicide bombers here and there will be no match for the arsenal that those Westerners are putting together - an arsenal of laws, intelligence pooling, surveillance by satellites, armies of special forces and indeed, allies inside the Arab world who are tired of having their lives disrupted by demented so-called jihadis or those bearded preachers who, under the guise of preaching, do little to teach and much to ignite the fire, those who know little about Islam and nothing about humanity.

Read the whole thing.


Post a Comment

<< Home