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Reader comment on item: "Almost All Western Governments Finance Lawful Islamism"

Submitted by Renox (United States), May 1, 2022 at 23:33

Dr. Pipes' interview touched on a wide range of topics but what I would like to comment on are the contrasts he found in the positions of Russia, the Middle East and China.

In a way, Russia and the Middle East are lost causes. Russia is European, but doesn't want to be – it wants to be a dominating but separate entity on the world stage with Europe as a kind of mawali federation forever dependent on its huge eastern master.....for protection, for oil and so forth. So we get a Europe now in thrall to the giant of the East instead of to the giant of the West. (One wonders where the Swiss will fit into all this).

The Middle East, in contrast, wants the material miracles of the West, but doesn't want to participate in "modernity", one might say. They've been dragged, kicking and screaming into the modern world and don't like it – at all. Accountability, responsibility, the work ethic and so forth – are odious anathema to the "independent" Arab spirit. As such, it will forever remain a backwater on the world stage, gorging itself on the products of the West as long as the money lasts......until it totally disintegrates - I can't predict how – but leaving Israel to clean up the mess.

China, the Zhong Guo, the Middle Kingdom, is, in a word, frightening. In funny ways, though. For example, a couple of years ago, I was told that friends I knew quite well, were having their children learn Mandarin at home with a private tutor. Even I, a linguist of sorts, found that revelation unexplainable. I'm not that close to them so I daren't ask,but it seems so unreal. I mean it's not like they are religious missionaries living in China for decades, or anything. No, nothing like that. Highly educated, yes.....but still....ultimately, midwestern in tastes and horizons.

Then (staying with languages) there's the internet. If there's one language that dominates this platform as far as providing free lessons, books, materials....the whole 9 yards..... in language pedagogy via the internet, it's China (followed closely by Germany). There are literally dozens of sites one can go to to study Chinese on your own, sites with attractive teachers and very well-made productions. Excellent. This has to be fostered, backed and financed by Beijing. No other country does this....not the US, not Russia, and most European languages have maybe a couple of such sites. The Arabic language sites on the internet are a joke......pathetic attempts at relevance run by amateurs if not out and out frauds.

Confucius Institutes, apparently funded by a quasi-government body from China are concerned with teaching Chinese and promoting cultural awareness in several countries, including the US. Although there are suspicions as to it's true nature, these Institutes now number over 400 world-wide.

I could go on: The number of (young) Americans who are fluent in Chinese is an eye-opener. Just go to YouTube, write in "Americans speaking Chinese" or similar, and you'll be amazed. And I mean, really fluent people. Go to similar Arabic sites and you'll come across 1 or 2 at the low intermediate stage......most non-native American Arabic speakers on the internet are still at the "giggling" stage. Can't tell an 'ayn from an alif (and never will).

Bottom line: these guys (China) aren't kidding around. Not only are they all over the place, their products dominate world trade and their language dominates the air waves, or soon will.

History hasn't ended. In some ways, it's just beginning. But it's going to be a vastly different world 50 years from now. (I wonder if I'd even want to be around).

Submitting....

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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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