The 'Closed Circle' of the Arab

Viewed through the prism of the West, which draws its sustenance from the twin fountains of Athens and Jerusalem, the character and plight of Arab existence has been viewed as romantic, tragic, and uniquely foreign to our sensibilities.  The fact that its spirit is wholly antithetical to ours has been a point of contention between advocates of multiculturalism and those jealous of the West's rich patrimony. That the Arabs are a civilization deeply stratified along lines of family, clan, and tribe is a fundamental observation.  If, however, one overlays the Arab's psychological predisposition to the "power/challenge," money-favoring, careerist, and "shame/honor" dynamics of culture, we in the West cannot hope for any genuine alliances based upon anything more solid than contingencies of transitory mutual advantage.  Moreover, the liberal West must come finally to the stark realization that the Arab world is a zone where democracy and human rights, as we view them, cannot...(Read Full Article)

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