Tuesday, April 13, 2010
"You've been on-duty for a couple of weeks now in an ICBM missile silo's artificial atmosphere... it's disenfranchised environment, and your finger is on the BIG RED BUTTON. Apocalyptic "Christianity" helps steady the nerves when the phone rings with the bad news... It's the "GO" code. It IS 'Gods Will', after all... Hail Mary full of... [Click]"
Islamic extremists have certainly committed crimes. So have extremists of other faiths. But no one, as far as I know, has recommended the deportation of Christians and the strip-searching of people who look like they're from Iowa simply because of the Oklahoma City bombing or the killing of abortion providers.
The question here is whether Islam as a religion poses a threat to Europe or to the United States. Outspoken atheists like Christopher Hitchens have argued that all religions pose a threat to humanity. But the arguments of atheists aside, Islam isn't a threat unless you adopt the crusader mentality. Put simply, intolerance and bigotry lie at the root of Islamophobia - that and a thousand years of protracted conflict and bloodshed...
...In the days after September 11, George W. Bush said "this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take awhile." The crusade language, after a barrage of criticism, quickly disappeared. And now, with the Obama administration, the "war on terrorism" has largely slipped out of the language, replaced by "overseas contingency operations." But however much the language has changed, Washington continues to make the same bone-headed mistakes in the global campaign against al-Qaeda and its supporters.
World BeatIn Full @ Foreign Policy In Focus
FPIF's weekly ezine
by JOHN FEFFER
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Vol. 5, No. 14
The Really Really Long War
Let's imagine that the Cold War was a detour. The entire 20th century, in fact, was a detour. Since conflicts among the 20th-century ideologies (liberalism, communism, fascism) cost humanity so dearly, it's hard to conceive of World War II and the clashes that followed as sideshows. And yet many people have begun to do just that. They view the period we find ourselves in right now - the so-called post-Cold War era - as a return to a much earlier time and a much earlier confrontation. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq aren't discrete battles against a tyrant (Saddam Hussein) or a tyrannical group (the Taliban). They fit together with Turkey's resurgence, the swell of Muslim immigration to Europe, and Israel's settlement policy to form part of a much larger struggle.
Welcome to Crusade 2.0.
For those who see Islam as a civilizational threat, the key dates aren't 1945 or 1989 but rather 1683, 1492, 1099, and 732. The very mention of these watershed years stirs the blood of the modern-day crusader. In 1683, thanks to the intercession of the Polish cavalry, Christian forces beat back Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Vienna, preventing Islam from spreading to Western Europe. In 1492, Christian armies recovered all of Spain from Muslim rulers. In 1099, during the first Crusade, the European army seized Jerusalem. And in 732, Charles Martel led the Franks in a victory over the forces of the Ummayad Caliphate, ensuring that Islam would not spread beyond its conquests in Spain.
Today, many Europeans are enlisting in a modern crusade. They see the threat of 732, with Islamic immigrants coming in from North Africa and bringing their culture and customs - like the mosque and the veil - to secular France and multicultural Switzerland. They see the threat of 1683, with Turkey planning to join and then take over the European Union. And they stand with Israel to protect Jerusalem from the demands of Palestinians and their supporters in the Arab world.
In defense of their crusade, they point to acts of terrorism committed by Islamic fundamentalists (the 2004 Madrid bombings, the 2005 London bombings), occasional acts of violence (the killing of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, a rash of honor killings), the fatwa against novelist Salman Rushdie, and so on. These incidents, they argue, add up to a pattern: an attempt to destroy the Judeo-Christian world, reestablish the caliphate dismantled by Ataturk in 1924, impose sharia law, and turn the world into a version of Afghanistan under the Taliban...
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