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To: Muhammad Ali

Reader comment on item: How the Cartoon Protests Harm Muslims [by Leading to a Separation of Civilizations]
in response to reader comment: I disagree with all your points

Submitted by J Pincus (United States), Feb 14, 2006 at 18:03

MA: "Trade: Boycotts are only on Denmark goods. It is done by ordinary people. The effect of this is very minimal. It is temporary. The boycott will die soon."

That's not necessarily true. The Arab boycott of Israeli goods lasted for years, and Muslim governments, not only "ordinary people," are refusing products from countries that allowed the cartoons to be printed. Some countries have now declared that they are going to refuse even medicines from those countries. I can't see how refusing medicine is going to help Muslim babies survive any better than they are now. Most of the aid that has poured into Pakistan after the quake in Kashmir came from outside the Muslim world.

If Muslims can't take care of Muslims, even in Pakistan, an important and powerful country, then what does that say about the Muslim world's capability in disengaging from the west? Many Muslim governments are in power because they receive money and support from outside the Muslim world.

I agree with your comments, however, about consumer items. Muslims eating at places that observe halal and make modest dolls for girls is a very good development. May there also be more kosher restaurants, as well.

MA: "Financial investments: Muslim countires have a problem only with the United States. There are a lot of alternatives. Europe, China, India, etc.."

Muslim countries have problems only with the US? Are you joking? Half of eastern Europe is at war with Muslim factions, from Kosovo to Chechnya. Russia seems to get an annual present of one bomb or another from people allied with Al Quaida. France had mobs burning cars and houses not too long ago, if you remember. Turkish workers are constantly being beaten up or shipped out of Germany by an increasingly angry German working public. India? They're on the verge of a nuclear holocaust with Pakistan every other year. Al Quaida has threatened to extend their war into China. If you think the US has been brutal, just wait. As a Chinese friend of mine recently, put it, "My country has no problems with human rights because we don't have any. Let them come."

MA: "Emigration: 9/11 caused a significant increase in obstacles to Muslims traveling to the West, so fewer Muslim business executives, students, hospital patients, conference goers, and workers are reaching there."

All I can say to this is Dr. Pipes' may have illustrated his claim a bit, but it is certainly true that conservative, anti-immigrant political parties are growing all over Europe. And they are starting to be felt, in France and Germany especially, The backlash against the Islamification of Europe is only starting.

And finally, you disagree with his assessment that disengagement will be worse for the Muslims because America is more hated than those in the Muslim world.

First of all, that logic doesn't even make sense. He wasn't talking about who is the bigger bully, he was talking about who will be most adversely impacted by a greater divide splitting the world. There is absolutely no question that the Muslim world is in deep crisis. A myriad of regimes are only just clinging to power, mostly through oppression and brutality. I once saw a statistic that
amazed me: The GDP of Israel is greater than the GDP of the entire non-oil producing Muslim world. Even if that statistic is no longer entirely accurate, it speaks volumes to think that 1/6th of the world's population was once equivalent to the producing power of several million people. What does this tell us? If Islam doesn't modernize and start teaching people how to read and to run their own countries without massive aid, they are going to sink faster and faster into anger, poverty, and despair.

And I also disagree with your assessment of the survey. The US government may be feared for reasons that are obvious. But governments change. If you polled Europeans or Americans or Buddhists or Jews or Africans or Hindus or .. well.. most of the rest of the world and asked them which class of people they fear most, Muslims would be at the top of the list, mainly because those classes of people are in conflict with Muslim armies, terrorists, and governments all over the earth.

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