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Militancy across religious lines, not social

Reader comment on item: Militant Islam Is Put In Class With Communism, Fascism

Submitted by Mark Eric Stein (United States), Aug 27, 2002 at 10:08

Just in case avid readers of Dr. Pipes think that only those perceived as foreigners, such as Mr. Khawaja, see the parallel between militant Islam and the militant Christian Right, permit me to emphasize that it is not so. The militancy of white Christian supremacy movements should be every bit as frightening as the domestic threat of militant Islam to the perceptive - viz., women's health clinic bombings, anti-gay backlash, increasingly virulent anti-Semitism in all quarters of American society, and the erosion of the First Amendment worked by the rising encroachment of the militant Christian right's agenda on the US social and political landscape.

I also take issue with Dr. Pipes' dismissal of poverty as a factor in Islamic militancy. In Saudi Arabia the wealthy elite finance the madrasas that teach militancy for one simple and eminently pragmatic reason: If the repressed population has a target for their bitterness and outrage in the foreign *other,* they will not turn their wrath upon their own government. The oil-soaked Saudi regime uses militant Islam calculatedly, to shift blame away from their own policies of concentrating wealth and maintaining a closed society in which dissent from the royal family's agenda is unheard-of. Thus poverty, both material and intellectual, is an instrument by which Islamic militancy is propagated in the ruling elite's bid to consolidate its power.
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