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What is the Opposite of Fantasy?

Reader comment on item: The Arabs as Seen Fifty Years Ago

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Mar 6, 2012 at 12:24

It is startling and sobering to read in a major mass publication of wide Western readership from 50 years ago the degree of air-headed fantasy regarding the Arab World.

I am by no means certain that such air-headed fantasy doesn't continue to rule the view of the Arab and Muslim Middle East in many Western minds, including those at the top of all Western Governments, even Israel's.

For instance, how many consider that there may never for a moment have been, and is not now, the slightest possibility that the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular will genuinely accept peace with Israel or the formation of a Palestinian State on any terms that Israel could safely accept, or that any friend of israel should ask it to accept.

But the 'Opposite of Fantasy' about the Arab World is something much more profound. It is the sober and serious question whether a genuine and lasting Peace among the Arab and MME countries and between those countries and the West is possible without the decline and even collapse of the religion of Islam and it's symbiotic component, Sharia law.

Perhaps the strangest element of Western and even Israeli fantasy 50 years after 1962 is the bone-deep (and bone-headed?) taboo against asking, pondering, and above all publicly debating whether Islam and Sharia law could EVER be compatible with a reasonably peaceful and globalized world?

There's something truly absurd about listening to the endless pouring out of hatred from the Islamic world against Israel, Democracy, the United States and the western style of life generally (all charges we, or most of us, think are entirely wrong). And yet we demurely keep our lips sealed against the slightest conversation about whether the highest truth of this conflict of world views is the exact opposite.

Which is, that it's the Islamic and Sharia world that is incompatible with either peace or the hopeful forward march of the human race.

Perhaps if we could allow ourselves to question the moral legitimacy of Islam (essentially the product of the malignant mind of one man who founded an ideology of extreme violence and died full of hatred and the grandiose ambition to submit the entire world to his will alone).

Without questioning this political ideology - and it is far more in practice political than religious - we not only insulate ourselves from any awareness of how much latent opposition there may be in the Islamic and Sharia to its fundamental suffocation of life, but we cut off that opposition from any aid and comfort our confrontation with the totalitarian reality of life under Mohammed's Islam might provide.

In other words if we confronted Islam and Sharia with critical thought and principled opposition, as we did Communist totalitarianism, we might not have to think about nuclear war with Iran. And we might not have slipped into the folly of trying to 'nation-build' Arab states that cannot possibly reform while self-enslaved by the frozen mental tyranny of the Koran and Sharai law.

To take the most current example of the extent of our unchanged fantasy about the Arab world, consider that in the aftermath of the burnt Korans in Kabul, we remain focused on the burning, and making groveling apologies, while we should have become completely outraged at the mass rioting and the ambush murder of six American soldiers. Very probably, we should have used this outbreak of barbarism as an excuse to instantly leave the country, while at the same time promising to return and blast again to rubble any succeeding government that hosted another terrorist threat to the outside world (the only apology we should give would be to the women we would leave behind to the barbaric misogynism of Muslim men in the grip of an evil ideology, and whom we put at risk by showing up in the first place for any other reason than to take down the Taliban).

Therefore, in terms of guessing about Dr Pipes' influence 50 years from now, that future judgement may rest on how opposite his reporting and interpretations became from the fantasy of the 1962 publication he has usefully brought to our attention.

Ron Thompson


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (39) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
< In 2062, tell me how Im doing > [6 words]Jay1Mar 12, 2012 21:24194308
2The dark age [67 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
YovenMar 10, 2012 14:29194229
1Dominant religion [116 words]UgriMar 12, 2012 04:10194229
15Cairo and Egypt almost fifty years ago [409 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
dhimmi no moreMar 8, 2012 10:23194157
Arabs' imperial past [58 words]BenMar 7, 2012 09:18194079
6Islam was indeed different 50 years ago [133 words]saraMar 6, 2012 19:43194036
9Re:Sara [384 words]Rohit PatnaikMar 7, 2012 02:50194036
2Going out to the kings of the earth [178 words]UgriMar 7, 2012 03:10194036
from exotic to unicultural [117 words]mythMar 7, 2012 07:23194036
2This was a miniscule liberal elite [84 words]AsokMar 7, 2012 12:19194036
1Response to Rohit [269 words]saraMar 7, 2012 18:22194036
I agree, Rohit, with some caveats [558 words]saraMar 8, 2012 17:23194036
11Sayyed Qutb and el-ikhwan [504 words]dhimmi no moreMar 10, 2012 07:29194036
1Historical details [265 words]saraMar 10, 2012 17:45194036
What lands? [55 words]Amin RiazMar 23, 2012 14:44194036
2Lands that were at any time considered Muslim lands [85 words]saraMar 26, 2012 19:00194036
5You also forgot [174 words]Peter HallMar 26, 2012 19:57194036
taqqiya [12 words]cmtljnpkirptsvji1683Jul 7, 2013 08:14194036
Go back 92 years [22 words]smg45acpMar 6, 2012 19:20194034
The Arabs as seen over a century ago [618 words]Isa AlmisryMar 11, 2012 00:30194034
Isa, your comment just doesn't make sense! [18 words]Peter HallMar 14, 2012 03:59194034
This Was My Comment. [303 words]Isa AlmisryMar 16, 2012 00:29194034
9I guess it took a while, but you have shown your true position [547 words]Peter HallMar 16, 2012 20:33194034
Colouring Racism [242 words]Amin RiazMar 23, 2012 15:03194034
8... Amin, the master of double standards. [483 words]Peter HallMar 24, 2012 05:30194034
1peter [91 words]cmtljnpkirptsvji1683Jul 7, 2013 08:48194034
2Your Views are rather narrow! [292 words]Peter HallJul 8, 2013 20:53194034
Fifty Years Ago [188 words]Peter HerzMar 6, 2012 18:55194029
The Arabs As Seen Fifty Years Ago [196 words]JudithMar 6, 2012 14:28194014
1I can only wonder who had funded such misinformation. [80 words]David FiresterMar 6, 2012 12:30194007
The Arab World [47 words]Karla PoeweMar 6, 2012 12:28194006
5What is the Opposite of Fantasy? [698 words]Ron ThompsonMar 6, 2012 12:24194005
2The coming dark age. [134 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Asif W.Mar 6, 2012 12:22194004
Ahab [44 words]AlbertE.Nov 4, 2014 15:12194004
1Islamic tolerance [35 words]trans-parereMar 6, 2012 11:59194000
The Arabs as Seen Fifty Years Ago [213 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Matthew NicholasMar 6, 2012 09:33193983
Daniel Pipes Seen From 2062 [51 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
DaveMar 6, 2012 09:10193982
12012-onward will make the 60's seem like the 50's [24 words]Michael Hanni MorcosMar 7, 2012 00:21193982
1Camel [28 words]AlbertEl.Mar 10, 2012 17:17193982

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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