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Very Insiteful Commentary

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

Submitted by Ted Exstein (United States), Jun 11, 2002 at 09:15

This is the first article that I have read on the Front Page Magazine site that I feel has been well researched, written, and truly persuasive. However, not all of the Muslim world immediately sided with Osama bin Laden after September 11. Within a week after September 11 there was a non-denominational service in the Cathedral in Rabat, Morocco which included the highest positioned clergy from the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish segments of society. This service was specifically positioned to publicly express the horror and repudiate the tactics employed by extremist elements in Islam and support the United States. Unfortunately this was not reported in the West where yellow journalism preferred to show anti-western demonstrations in the Islamic world in order to help in the traditional sabre rattling so popular with governments before setting off to war. This tactic has been employed from time immemorial and is used to villify the other side. But you were explaining the Muslim viewpoint, and I think you did it well.

I think that you are right that we need to provide support to Muslims who want to promote democracies in their homelands. I feel that the Western dependancy on oil has infected too many of decisions when it came to the Middle East. We often sold out our stated politics in order to not alienate those governments that will sell oil to us. We need to change that foriegn policy. If we can minimize our appetite for oil we can minimize our reliance on supporting governments that do not promote democratic principles in the Middle East and at the same time help promote those people who in Islamic society can effectively bring change into their local society without having them appear as puppets of the West. It is profoundly interesting to look at Kuwait, a country with a dwindling natural resource that is not investing heavily in alternate sources of income when, eventually their current source of wealth disappears. At the same time they are thumbing their nose at us and looking seriously at imposing sharia—fundamentalist Islamic law upon their citizenry. But with a certain hypocracy as they have no problem in buying Western luxury goods in the United States and Europe, including those proscribed by Islam. I guess everybody needs a vacation, even from religion. Another interesting fact is that Kuwait in demonizing the West forgets that it was the West (specifically the United States) that came to their aid when Iraq invaded. Nothing like biting the hand that saved you...
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