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We've only got ourselves to blame...

Reader comment on item: The Evil Isn't Islam

Submitted by Nico de Lange (Netherlands), Jul 31, 2002 at 06:26

Radical Islamism only appeared with the advent of Arab nationalism.

For centuries the Arab world was dominated by the Islamic Ottomans and Persians - occasionally pockets of Arab resistance flared up, but it was always local leaders who sought to gain power and prestige at the ruling empires' expense. It rarely involved popular uprisings to gain independence for the Arabs.

Only after the Ottoman and Persian Empires started to decline, and their Arab subjects came under Christian British, French and Italian rule, did nationalism awake among the Arab masses. They could tolerate the rule of non-Arabs, but only if they were Muslims.

But to the Arabs, proud of their glorious history, it was anathema to be ruled by the barbaric Christians - the perpetrators of some of history's most terrible atrocities against Arabs, the Crusades, the massacre of the entire Arab population of Jerusalem, the Reconquest of Spain.

That was the moment that Arab nationalism appeared, and with it radical Islamism. After all, what better way of opposing Christian rule than turning to Islam? Who better to help the Arabs throw off Christian rule than Allah?

We've only got ourselves, and our greed, to blame for the rise of radical Islamism.

Oh, and the broken promises. Arab independence, if they revolted against Ottoman rule during the First World War. Arab independence, if they supported the Allied cause during the Second World War. Broken CHRISTIAN promises.

To them, Christians cannot be trusted. To them, the only alternative is Islamism, especially radical Islamism.
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