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    « Ingraham With Robert Francis | Main | Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down on Lebanon; But Not So Fast »

    August 16, 2006

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    andre

    the myopia is very true.
    an extension of the fact is why do we have imams of mosques all over the world coming from arab and asian regions, while in the quran ,Allah , tells us , the holy book has been made easy to understand.
    Also who gave the king titles like the custodian of the holy mosques, those are just mere innovations in relgion.
    i guess the center will no longer hold for long, the hypocrites will soon be discovered.

    Yoshitoshi

    To begin, I would like to recommend an article entitled "An anthropology of Islamist terror" by Anna Simons in The American Interest of Summer 2006. A fresh, insightful and detailed analysis of factors/variables that contribute to building "terrorists."

    I must admit that I am sick of the superficial analysis that inundates TV screens, newspapers and of course blogs these days. The rhetoric of the left, the venom of the right, are repeatedly picked up, chewed on, and regurgitated by folks like Manji and Provenzo, wrapped in a bow to give their shoddy analysis the scent of something new. If your target audience is the working class person with little or no time to learn the nuances of economics, foreign policy, history, anthropology, culture and religion, then great, you've both done your job further polarizing the world. However, if by any chance you are making intellectual arguments to somewhat learned observers of the world, please stop. You guys are neither intellectuals nor moving writers. Manji in particular has been riding an opportunistic wave that could actually last a very long time if this "clash of civilizations" continues to widen, actually not a bad strategy, perhaps I am just envious! Fair enough, ride the wave Manji, but please do spend some time catching up on your history, politics, religion, economics ... just re-enroll into an undergrad program somewhere and gather some depth. And learn how to make logical, sound and grounded arguments. Ever heard of the hypothesis-driven approach?

    That said, if I disregard the means Manji uses to illustrate her point, I do agree with her central thesis in her latest NY Times Op-Ed i.e. it is time for the Muslims to do some major introspection and self-critique, it was time a long time ago. It is incumbent upon Muslims, to find their soul and voice its kinder and gentler opinion, it is time to speak out, nay scream out that any extreme ideology, any fringe movement that suggests violence is utterly against the religion of Islam. It is time for the "silent majority" of peaceful, moderate Muslims, to end their silence. Islam is fundamentally a religion of peace, a religion that has taught me moderation and balance all my life. A religion that has equipped me to always use the forces of rationality and justice to assess and re-assess ideas, and to challenge anything thought or act that is fundamentally against the grain of humanity, against the grain of life ...

    But while I urge Muslims around the world to challenge the radical views that are emerging from within, I also challenge humans of the world to ask the right questions, to try and understand why the 21st century has become a century of terror, why the last few decades of the 20th century increasingly inspired the ideology of terror, and why there were hardly any traces of such fanaticism [in Islam] a hundred years back? What are the underlying drivers, the root-causes, the social, economic, and political realities that have given rise and refuge to such a system? And what are the variables that we need to learn and manipulate in order to find the new world order? Perhaps the “terrorists” of the past – Christians, Jews, Hindus, Native Americans … Fascists and Communists – can also help us understand the variables that really matter, help us break the boring, stalemate rhetoric of today and force us to ask more pointed and bolder questions to gain a fresh, pragmatic and hopeful new perspective.

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