02 Feb 2009

What Extraordinary Muslims Exactly?

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Some ordinary Muslims

The curmudgeonly traditionalist editorialist for Asia Times who signs himself Spengler demands to know.

‘My job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives,’ United States President Barack Obama told an Arabic television channel on January 26. Really? What are their names? Word has come to the West of no extraordinary Muslim thinker since the 12th century.

Read the whole thing (and, if you’re liberal, be sure to take your apoplexy pill first).

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Scott D

Perhaps we need more departments of Muslim studies? Or maybe add a Muslim History Month so that we can discover, elevate and laud insignificant contributions the world has somehow overlooked. Then there would be Muslim self-esteem programs and a Burqas are Beautiful parade. Making people feel good about self-destructive behaviors has sure worked well in the past.



Art

“In dozens of essays during the past five years, I excoriated former president George W Bush for imaging that he could fix the problems of the Muslim world by promoting American-style democracy.”

Actually, Bush was not promoting “American-style democracy”. Read his speeches. He recognized that the West’s desire for regional stability was stifling reformers in the Middle East. Policies designed and pursued to encourage “stability” had entrenched despots throughout the region. These policies pushed people into the arms of radical clerics whose consequent popularity and willingness to blame the West for the regions troubles, as opposed to their own governments, insulated them to some degree from the oppression of the state. Bush wanted to offer an alternative to this dysfunctional model.

Neither Iraq or Afghanistan have adopted American-style democracies. They have, however, recognized that government draws it’s legitimacy from the consent of the governed. Other countries in the region, like Kuwait and Bahrain, are beginning to “liberalize”. If this democratizing continues, the people of the region will develop their own interest in stability and reject radicals who threaten that interest.



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