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Word Du Jour Fear

Reader comment on item: The Mystical Menace of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
in response to reader comment: Muslims vs Fear?

Submitted by K.H. Ahmed (United States), Oct 29, 2006 at 07:03

Dear g mcme,

I don't know where to begin with you. I was responding to Mr. Pipes article on mysticism and its impact on Mr. Ahmadinejad political positions. I was making the point that Mr. Ahmadinejads wacky religious beliefs were no more wacky than Mr. Bush's. They are both waiting on their own version of the Mahdi. So lets forget all the crazy religious chatter and get down to finding a solution to the problem.

Like so many others you seem incapable of understanding the language of the Middle East. It is full of subtleties and references to religion, but not all of them have great meaning. They often have more than one meaning depending upon the context. But like most Americans, myself included, we like things in black and white, it is a function of our language. However, no where is it written the world has to agree with us.

Is there a virulent form of Islam out there. One would have to be blind to deny it. Islam is going through a reformation of its own that is just beginning. Christianity went through the same reformation, burnings at the stake, beheadings, revolutions, crusades a fairly bloody mess. Like most Americans your view of Islam falls somewhere in the Bill O'reilly school of education. I would suggest you read Karen Armstrong's work on a History of God or her history of Muhammad, it might help.

As to Democracy in the Middle East it is not something that comes naturally to the area. I am third generation of Turkish descent in this country and I know of the difficulties that Turkey went through to get to even its current level of democracy and it still remains a struggle. If it were not for the dedication of the Turkish military to the seperation of religion and state Turkey would be going through the same problems faced by other middle-eastern countries. You and I may love our democracy but ours is a very young country and theirs are very old countries with a very different view of what the purpose of the state is, we need to recoginize these differences and bring about democracy in a manner that they can recognize.

As to your last line regarding biting the hand that feeds them. That is American arrogance on display. We feed them - we don't feed them. For years we ripped off their oil and now they are getting theirs - that is the American way. We are not talking Africa here. We are talking some fairly wealthy countries who have better safety nets for their people than we do. That statement, "biting the hand that feeds them", is what is wrong with our foreign policy. These people want to be spoken to on equal terms, not spoken down too. Their culture is older has been around much longer, is just as sophisticated and just as educated as our own. We need to act like conservatives, find a common ground and cut a deal.

As to the "eh Ahmed!!!", I could be wrong but I get the impression that somehow that was suppose to be a put down. So for your edification Ahmed is a name that signifies a lineage back to the prophet. However, seeing everyone wanted to show they had a lineage back to the prophet the name became with varaitions in spelling as common as Smith. So you could try Eh Smith!!!. Regardless, I would suggest you give up right wing radio talk show hosts and try finding true conservatives to read. Skip the clown in the White House because he's no Barry Goldwater.

Submitting....

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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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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