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Very real social and political causes

Reader comment on item: The Evil Isn't Islam

Submitted by Shah F Alam (United States), Aug 13, 2002 at 22:34

I have been following the discussion on this forum with a great deal of interest and amusement. ... The part about abrogation, in particular, reminds me of children who cant wait to show off a new word that they have picked up. ...

There is no mention of the very real social and political causes that have far more bearing on the present crisis than any desire by Islam to dominate the West. Osama Bin Laden has made a career of railing against the West, or as he puts it in his inimatable fashion, against the Crusader armies. Missing in all these diatribes is any mention of the immorality of the West, of pornography, of homosexuality, or even of sinfulness. He confines himself solely to political causes, the US forces in Saudi Arabia or in Iraq, or the Israeli forces in the West Bank or Gaza. Perhaps he feels that immorality is a topic best left to the likes of Jerry Falwell.

There are three factors that have a greater bearing on the Middle East than anything else. The fact that a huge percentage of the population is under 18 and that every country in the Muslim world (including Turkey) is an oppressive dictatorship. The one effect of any repressive regime is that no moderate group can survive or at least speak up. The result is that the only groupd that do survive are the ones whose inner discipline and determination can counter the repressive arm of the state. After all, if I am sophisticated enough to indulge in fancy political analyses, I am sophisticated enough to save my own skin.

The third factor is the biggest failing of the Muslim world and of Islam in general. In its 1400 years of existence, with rare exceptions, Muslims have never figured out how to forge a political consensus, or even how to transfer power peacefully. Due to the notions of human equality inherent in Islam, the divine right of kings never got off to a good start, but there was nothing to take its place either. This is a fascinating legal discussion that is worth a book and no doubt somebody will write one.

In the meanwhile, as far as we (the US) is concerned, I think that we should make ourselves and our trading partners independent of oil and wash our hands off the whole region. The Middle East and to some extent Europe is the past. The future lies in South America and in Central Asia. A much bigger explosion than anything the Middle East has seen is building in Central Asia and that is something that we can defuse.

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