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There's a drift, but it doesn't run between countries...

Reader comment on item: How the Cartoon Protests Harm Muslims [by Leading to a Separation of Civilizations]

Submitted by Farid H. (Germany), May 13, 2006 at 15:12

There's some truth to this article... but I don't see the cartoon episode as being the chief cause for this. It's a symptom of a deeper unease of two worlds that are currently undeniably driving apart. However, contrary to the impression that most posters here seem to have, the gap between both sides doesn't run between countries (say, the West on one side, and Muslim countries on the other side). It runs within countries.

In Europe, for example, you have both fully integrated "western" muslims who don't have any problems mixing in within the mainstream on one side, and you have the radical islamists and traditionalists, that reject everything western and try to establish their own parallel world on the other side. Exactly the same drift can be seen in Muslim countries: there's an absolutely pro-western part of society, that doesn't care less what those Imams and other religious types are preaching, and there's a growing group of radical islamists (we call them "les barbus" [the bearded] and "les ninjas" [the women wearing black veils]).

So, in a sense, Daniel Pipes is right with his analysis: the drift between the "Muslim world" and the rest of the world is growing wider apart. But what constitutes that so called "Muslim world", this is not so easily clean cut. I'd rather say, that there's a drift running INSIDE the "Muslim world", a drift that could very well tear those societies apart.

I have no solution to this problem. Perhaps it would get worse, before that wave of radical islamism breaks down in thousand little shards. I sure hope it will; and perhaps those cartoon provocations, as despisable as they are (not because they show Mohammed as terrorist or something similarly silly, but because they can be perceived as a virulent form of undifferentiating xenophobia), will, in the long run, help speed up those islamists' demise. Perhaps these cartoons, among others, would in the long run help stabilize the "Muslim world" instead of breaking it apart. I'm sure though that this would not have been Jylland Posten's intention. :-)


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