Saturday, May 21, 2005

Arab Parallel Universe in Full Effect

Over at Akbar's a lively discussion has begun around the subject of Islam and its role in terrorist activities around the world. As usual, I have shot my mouth off a little intemperately. Fortunately the discussion also included such a longstanding Iraqi Blogopshere commenter as Louise.

Louise was able push me down into a chair, slap me a few times, and then articulate what my feverish mind was thinking.

akbar, if I may, my friend Jeffrey is very passionate about this, and who can blame him. He is a New Yorker and 9/11 happened on his doorstep. But he and RC have asked some good questions and pointed out several stark hypocrisies that very few Arabs have dared to discuss.

You and a few of the bloggers and some Arabs living in the West (and I should say Muslims, as well, because I know they are not one and the same), are among the notable exceptions who are beginning to speak up.

When I suggested that "who started the Arab/Israeli conflict" is the wrong question, I believe one of the many, many right questions that need to be asked is why can't the Arabs and Muslim people address their inability to examine these questions. It's not as if they have examined them and found the exercise to be useless.

There is no denying that great masses of Arab and Muslim people have heretofore refused to acknowledge that any part of the responsibility for all of these travesties to which RC and Jeffrey allude, could lie within their own house.

This is what the dictatorships of the past 50+ years and centuries of the radical and rigid sects of Islam have accomplished: a complete inability to reflect on ones own behavior, and to take responsibility for it, masked (ie, kept in a state of denial) by an autocratic fixation with a hopeless cause - Israel.

And while I'm at it, I might suggest one of the other questions that should be asked, if the exercise in self-reflection takes its full course, and that is:

What has caused the Arabs to remain so weak, while so much of the rest of the world became modernized and technologically powerful? (It's not just the United States that is far ahead in the game, or even the white skinned, Europeans and their offshoots like Canada or Australia. Think of Japan, South Korea and other places in the Far East.

The Arab world has such great potential. Why have they become frozen in a time that the rest of us left so very long ago? Many of those other terrorist groups you mention were met with loud, persistent opposition from moderate, intelligent people in their respective countries. Yet the governments and many of the people in the Arab world seem to think denial is the proper response when dealing with their own terrorists, or worse, financing and training terrorists. What is that has led to this state of affairs?

And the really big question: Why did so many Iraqi expatriates petition governments in the Western world to intervene on their behalf to topple the tyrant? Where were their own brethren??? And if these brothers had wanted to help, could they have???

The answers to these these questions alone are essential ingredients to a solution to the problems the Muslim world has.

I would love to hear your views on these points. I suspect you may agree that these kinds of questions need to be asked by Arabs of themselves. Frankly, I think the Jeffrey's of the West would become much calmer if these issues were addressed openly, and if, after several years down the road, that has been accomplished, there could well be a substantial shift in the Arab Israeli conflict.

Right now, the way I see it, the Palestinians and the Arabs right now would have no idea what to do tomorrow morning, if Israel just disappeared. They would still have the same problems and would have neither the technology nor the institutions that would enable them to rise up and be part of the family of modern nations. If their governments had spent even half as much effort in the past 50 years developing modern institutions and useful technologies than they did fostering a feeding frenzie of hatred and beating a dead horse (the Israeli-Palestinian thing), 9/11 wouldn't have happened and Jeffrey would not be making such threatening sounds.

Thanks, Louise.


Bobby from Virginia is one of the original Iraqi Blogosphere commenters. Like me, his mind has recently been TWISTED BUT GOOD by the Arab Parallel Universe. He weighs in on the matter over at Big Pharaoh.
Everybody is a hypocrite to one extent or another. We face up to many of our examples every day. But it's too long overdue that people in the middle east do the same.

1. Protesting over a book but not over human lives.

2. Doing the same thing you are upset about by painting our flag on the ground to walk on.

3. Ignoring the fact that religious minorities in the region are under constant assault in many forms.

4. The centers of Islam, Arabia and Egypt, discriminate against Christians in blatant and obscene ways. And they would obliterate Jews if they could, it is even written in the so-called holy Koran.

5. Worrying about a tyrant who degraded and debased the entire world.

6. And now, here we have the great wonderful and illustrious Sunni clerics closing mosques in protest because a couple of their fellow frothing-at-the-mouth inciters of violence have been killed.

People, if you want to excitement, join the discussions now in progress on the comments pages of the Iraqi Blogosphere!




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