While we—are—the—world politically correct naifs, including President Bush, babbled that September 11 was merely the work of a few disgruntled, unrepresentative Moslems and that most Moslems are really and truly willing to accept others and live in peace, such events as the bombings in London and Spain, riots in Paris and the violent reaction to the mild Danish cartoons are indicative of a harsher, another world mind set analyst Martin Kramer argues.
The secular West had flattered itself, believing it had pulled the Muslim world into modernity. Yes, Islam has sent forth suicide bombers and terrorist insurgents. But they and their sympathizers were in the minority —— so the pollsters and analysts told us: "Don't judge Islam by the acts of a misguided few." This faith in the pragmatic Muslim majority has underpinned every Western policy, from the Israeli—Palestinian "peace process" to the Bush administration's democracy promotion. The Muslim masses, the assumption goes, will choose peace and freedom, if given the chance. But they haven't. 9/11 could be attributed to a fanatic minority. Not so the Danish cartoon protests: Millions have taken part.
What about the Iranians who elected a president openly bent on confrontation with the West? What of those Egyptian voters who gave the Muslim Brotherhood a stunning success in parliamentary elections? And what about the supposedly secular Palestinians, who have swept Hamas into power? A poll conducted last year showed that 60 percent of Jordanians, Egyptians and Palestinians want Islamic shari'a law to be the sole source of legislation.
In other words, this is a clash of civilizations that can lead to "a war of the worlds." Can it be averted?
But they lack power, resources and weapons. Today they burn flags; a united West can still deny them the means to burn more. It can do so if it acts swiftly and resolutely, to keep nuclear fire out of Iran's hands, and to assure that Hamas fails.
Now will we have the resolve to heed the message or play Neville Chamberlain for a phony "peace in our time"?
Ethel C. Fenig 3 12 06