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Reader comment on item: A New Round of Anger and Humiliation: Islam after 9/11

Submitted by Wayne Wagner (United States), Jun 10, 2002 at 23:34

The question not answered is, why does Islam react so violently to the West, yet several other cultures with superiority complexes, like China, do not?

Japan had a similar attitude and it took a crushing military defeat and an enlightened postwar occupation to turn it into a peaceful democracy. The Japanese felt that God was on their side -- the Emperor WAS their god -- as long as they were winning -- as long as they belonged to a movement nothing could stop. Japan went from success to success in a straight line from 1905 until the Battle of Midway.

However, I do not think the parallel is complete. The Islamic World has flirted with many political movements. My current hypothesis is that many Muslims and Arabs employ an axiomatically flawed reasoning process -- one with very deep cultural roots -- that serves to blind them to what we Westerners would call reality. While difficult to grasp, this view eliminates many of the contradictions and mysteries that Mr. Pipes describes in this essay, and suggests ways to effectively combat -- actually, to neutralize -- extremist Muslim ideology.
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