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IS the problem Arabs or Islamists?

Reader comment on item: Islam and Islamism: Faith and Ideology
in response to reader comment: Support of Islamist parties

Submitted by Schills (United States), Jun 29, 2012 at 18:45

Sara,

I am not sure what corruption and cohersion you are referring to, and how this differs from the cohersion and corruption that existed generally in the Middle East long before Islamists were a major political force.

From the 1940's through the 1960's, secular nationalists were the predominate political force, followed by socialists from the 1960's through the early 1990's, with the Islamists taking prominance in the 1990's to the present. If all the political movements in the Middle East are corrupt and coheresive, if they all have committed acts of terror against America, if they have all repressed their people, then why single out Islamists? Why not simply draw the conclusion that Arabs are not fit to govern themselves? This was the conclusion which was drawn by the western foreign policy establishment in the past. It was a conclusion that left violence as the only mode of political expression. I do not believe returning to this pre-9/11 mindset, updated only by editing out Arab for Islamist is a path to successfully confronting terrorist violence. Other forms of political expression are preferable to me, even if they are imperfect.

And I specifically separated Jihadists from Islamists precisely because there is no point in approaching Jihadists.

Submitting....

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