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Reader comment on item: The Arabs as Seen Fifty Years Ago
in response to reader comment: Islam was indeed different 50 years ago

Submitted by Rohit Patnaik (India), Mar 7, 2012 at 02:50

Post 9/11, there has been an extremely disturbing tendency to humanize or even understand the fundamentalists who plague Islam. It's a view that's popular in the West and even in the White House, for reasons that I can't understand, no matter how much I read or think about it. Maybe it's because of my up-bringing or culture.

Your statement about a 'liberal' Arab world fifty years ago is as mistaken as it is romantic. Radical Islam had it's origins 1500 years ago when the Prophet Muhammad declared war on the infidels of Mecca; and even though Americans and Europeans didn't feel it's effects till 9/11, India and the ertswhile USSR have been dealing with it since the 1950s. Terrorism in the Holy Land started when Israel was established- far earlier than your claim of 1979. No wonder, both India and Russia are not part of the War on Terror- even though their armed forces are the most experienced in such matters.

In my opinion, your statement is just part of a malady that is the direct effect of national blindness over the shortsighted American policy of the past 50 years. Radical Islam has been traditionally the US's closest ally- even now the Pentagon is extremely eager to drive a deal with the Taliban and the Shia rebel factions in Afghanistan and Iraq respectively; so much for 'democracy' and 'freedom'!

The Americans saw the Soviets, the Chinese and the Indians and these brave desert warriors engaged in a struggle against Communism and Socialism. The US and NATO never realized that they were fighting against us simply because we, at least, believed in democracy, in free speech, allowed girls to go to school and frowned upon murdering 'infidels' on the streets.

No matter how many times they may have had a fling with democracy; such radicalism is only to be expected when the people themselves don't understand their situation. The 'Arab World', ridiculed in this article, spoke the truth- in a way. The leaders then believed in the Modern civilization; and they weren't reluctant to force their views into their subject's throats- a move that the preachers and the man in the street didn't enjoy. The power vacuum you spoke had always existed- the British simply used to kill everyone who tried to muscle into it.


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