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Reports of Moderate Islam's Existence Have Been Greatly Exaggerated ^ | April 22, 2002 | C.T. Rossi

Posted on 04/22/2002 6:38:40 AM PDT by Stand Watch Listen

History just may remember George W. Bush as the American Caesar; not for founding a hegemonic empire like an Augustus nor, like a Marcus Aurelius, for subduing the barbarians bent on the destruction of his people. No, Bush Secundus, in the mold of Julius, might be infamous for his poor choice of friends - in this case his embracing of the countries of "moderate Islam."

It grows ever increasingly apparent that to ally with "moderate Islam" is about as effective as coalition building with the lands of Narnia, Middle Earth and Utopia. In contradistinction to erroneous stories of Mark Twain's death - reports of moderate Islam's existence have been greatly exaggerated.

First and foremost amongst our chimerical comrades is the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. There is no doubt that if King Fahd bin Abd al-Aziz Al wasn't sitting on a quarter of the world's known oil reserves, Saudi Arabia's horrid human rights record would earn it a reputation in America lower than the enormous amount of phlegm needed to pronounce the desert monarch's name. Grown bold with oil wealth, the Saudis don't hide the fact that they provide "charity" to the widows and orphans of suicide bombers. But perhaps the greatest effrontery from a Saudi official came this month in London.

Saudi ambassador to Great Britain Ghazi Algosaibi, who is also a poet of some renown in Arab circles, penned an elegy, entitled "The Martyrs" in honor of the first female Palestinian suicide bomber. The poem was published in the London-based Arab newspaper Al Hayat.

Algosaibi's poem calls Ayat Akhras, who upon exploding herself in a market killed two Israelis and wounded 25 more, "the bride of loftiness" who "embraced death with a smile, while the leaders are running away from death. Doors of heaven are opened for her." The Saudi government official's verse likewise provided a puerile existential justification for being a suicide bomber ("May God be the witness that you are martyrs ... You died to honor God's word. You committed suicide? We committed suicide by living like the dead.") and a blind-side swipe at their ally, United States ("We complained to the idols of a White House whose heart is filled with darkness").

Remember, Saudi Arabia is the cornerstone of the administration's moderate Islam nation coalition.

Meanwhile in Egypt, which benefits to the figure of $2 billion annually from the coffers of American foreign aid, the country's leading Islamic authority, Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, also praised the acts of "martyrs" who act against Israel. Tantawi is the Grand Sheik of Islam's oldest and most prestigious university, Al-Azhar, which serves as "moderate" Islam's highest seat of learning.

Mohammed Sayed Tantawi is not an unknown figure to the Western press as he was quoted extensively as President Bush's imam of peace after the attacks of September 11th when he declared: "It's not courage in any way to kill an innocent person, or to kill thousands of people, including men and women and children." Unless they happen to be Israelis.

But what is more symbolic of kinder and gentler Mohammedanism than the Westernized Islamic woman. Soha Arafat, wife of Yassir Arafat, is such a woman. Bleach-haired, bejeweled and business suited, Mrs. Arafat even held an Islamic women's conference (such summits, of course, being the penultimate activity for aspiring feminists) in concert with Jordan's Queen Rania and Sudanese First Lady Fatima Bashir which called for an end violence against women and opportunities equal to their male Islamic counterparts. Putting the latter principle into practice, Soha Arafat showed in a recent interview that she can hold a blood-thirst equal to any man as she gave her approbation of "martyr operations." Mrs. Arafat mused that if she had a son she would approve of him being a suicide bomber - "Is there any greater honor than (martyrdom)? Do you expect me and my children to be less patriotic and more eager to live than the sons of my people?"

Peaceful Islam?

Yes, to his credit the president has not shied away from using the "E" word - "evil." However he has refused to apply it to any sect of organized Islam or its leadership - men and women not evil because their beliefs are different from the Judeo-Christian traditions of the West, but evil because they promote terrorism. If American foreign policy is predicated on the myth that there is a sizable segment of Islam that loves baseball, apple pie and the good ol' USA, then the administration will eventually find itself bloodied and forced to utter quizzically: Et tu, Islam?

C.T. Rossi writes on contemporary culture for the Free Congress Foundation.
Free Congress Foundation

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: caruba; islam
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1 posted on 04/22/2002 6:38:40 AM PDT by Stand Watch Listen
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To: Stand Watch Listen
If you want to know about one sect of moderate Islam, go to
2 posted on 04/22/2002 7:02:17 AM PDT by japaneseghost
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To: Stand Watch Listen
Report from dar al-Harb*:

*land controlled by non-Muslims that forms the Islamic "territory of war"
3 posted on 04/22/2002 7:27:12 AM PDT by My Identity
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To: Stand Watch Listen
Mohammed Sayed Tantawi ... Grand Sheik of Islam's oldest and most prestigious university, Al-Azhar (Egypt): "It's not courage in any way to kill an innocent person, or to kill thousands of people" ... also praised the acts of "martyrs" who act against Israel."

From the Palestinian Violence video:

"Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are.
Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them.
Wherever you are, kill the Jews, the Americans who are like them, and those who stand by them.
They are all in one trench, against the Arabs and the Muslims.
They should be slaughtered. They should be murdered.
Such is the word of Allah."

- an Islamic mufti, broadcast on Pali TV

Muslim "True Believers" see the Arab-Israeli conflict as religious.
Therefore, any compromise with the Israelis is a heresey.
Therefore, any "peace process" that requires compromise is heresey.
Therefore, only complete surrender or complete victory will bring peace.

So far, the US has not let the Israelis obtain complete victory.
Therefore, Israel's only options are surrender or death.
And if Israel goes, the US is next on the islamists' list.
Or as they famously put it: "After Saturday comes Sunday".

If anyone can explain how Islam isn't the issue here, I would be eager to listen.
If anyone can explain how this isn't a clash of civilizations, please post away.
4 posted on 04/22/2002 7:42:45 AM PDT by My Identity
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To: Stand Watch Listen
5 posted on 04/22/2002 7:51:52 AM PDT by firewalk
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To: Stand Watch Listen
In this interview, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz talks about his experience as ambassador to Indonesia:

”…for a very long time I've been impressed by the importance of moderate Islam and I suppose that partly starts with the sense that if there's going to be peace between Arabs and Israelis there have got to be Muslims who see the value of peace.

“…part of what was so engaging about it was the very open-minded, tolerant attitude towards a lot of things including religious matters. There's a large Christian minority which is very influential and very comfortable. They're not quite as good about how they deal with Chinese. The Chinese are the real minority. But even so you have, I remember prominent Muslim leaders in Indonesia who spoke out against persecution of Chinese. I found that a very moving and powerful example.”

…I think both those two countries (Indonesia and Phillipines) and quite a few experiences with others including Arabs makes me convinced that -- and I can't say this is based on polling data. It isn't even necessarily based on the current state of mind, but I think most of them really would like nothing better than to be able to live in a free democratic, prosperous country."

If these views are not based on polling data, or even on the current state of mind in the Muslim world, what, I wonder, are they based on?

6 posted on 04/22/2002 8:30:11 AM PDT by browardchad
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To: browardchad
Wishful thinking.
7 posted on 04/22/2002 11:43:14 AM PDT by swarthyguy
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