Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Friday, April 25, 2003  

Care for a different view?

"While internally Iraq seems on the edge of chaos, the much-heralded clash of civilizations between the Muslim and Judeo-Christian worlds has yet to become apparent."

What much-heralded clash, you say? You thought it was just a few wild-eyed alarmists who spouted that, didn't you? (Incidentally, that link, which is probably broken, is the top blog of the archive beging 3/23.) It's wild-eyed only here in America, where reality comes in a totally different flavor. The editorial continues:

Nevertheless a “Cold War” between much of the Muslim world and the West is certainly in full swing. Winston Churchill who coined the phrase “Iron Curtain” was not the inventor of the “Cold War.” That, “La Guerra Fria”, was the term used by 13th century Spaniards to describe their complicated and uneasy relationship with the Muslims of the Mediterranean.

Fortunately, the article isn't as gloomy as these excerpts sound. Rather, it's a fairly hopeful piece about how the "Muslim world" isn't, and how things will probably play out differently than anyone expects. Of course, it comes to slightly different conclusions than our own neo-con hawks.

Islam, as Christianity before it, is evolving at a rapid pace. St. Thomas Aquinas advocated putting heretics to death and the Protestant reformer Jean Calvin had one outspoken dissident executed. And it is only a generation ago that political observers used to note that the Catholic countries of Southern Europe and Latin America were constitutionally and philosophically unable to take to democracy. But Islam is changing very fast. It is more than beginning to think about democracy.

If the Islamic world is as potentially dangerous as is suggested, then the best long-term counter weapon is not added security in the Western world or war-making but removing the main cause of friction — America’s over dependence on Middle Eastern oil, American soldiers based in the Gulf and the lack of a viable homeland for the Palestinians — together with the vigorous and credible pursuit of human rights, the backbone of freedom for people of every religious persuasion.

| link |

posted by Jeff | 4:39 PM |
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