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Summer 2014

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One lesson above all - No Political Islam in any Form

Reader comment on: The Sunni Divide

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Jul 8, 2013 20:45

I feel very well-informed by this in-depth analysis of the various cross-currents of Islam in all the Muslim countries discussed.. Professor Rhode's fundamental conclusion seems to be that nothing good is to be expected from any form of Political Islam - that is if by good we mean, sooner or later, some modicum of respect for human rights, public order, and material well-being. I say Political Islam, which is a little disingenuous because to oppose Political Islam is to inevitably oppose Islam itself. But since there remains throughout the West a bottomless squeamishness about confronting the religion directly, I add the adjective If enough people, or even a few in leadership positions ever decide that all forms of Political Islam can only lead to endless violent quagmires, then perhaps we can give the minority of sane people in the Middle East some hope if we finally come out and say that, and bear that fact in mind in all our policy considerations and decisions. With Political Islam, we can have no genuine allies anywhere in the region except for Israel, only shifting and unstable accommodations of convenience. For myself, I am unexpectedly, wholly unexpectedly, encouraged by the popular revolts against Political Islam in Turkey and Egypt, and four years ago in Iran. I did not believe there was that sentiment in the populations. Without declaring our opposition to Political Islam in all its forms (while avoiding open and candid opposition to the religion directly by means of the fig leaf adjective), we cannot know how much more latent opposition there is to the stultifying blanket of the religion itself, and the even more totalitarian form it takes in direct political power than when it was simmering and smoldering under the military autocracies. Perhaps we're selling ourselves short, not to mention our national interest, by this relentless timidity toward open, explicit, verbal opposition to the various Political Islams, which mutually hate each other and are all doing their best to make perfectly clear the impossibility they will bring, in any of their forms, a decent life to their peoples. And we're certainly selling short that vigorous minority that seems, against the odds, to have a found a voice against being overrun by the immemorial darkness, intolerance, and violence of (Political) Islam. Sadly, the only place where Political Islam is not de-stabilizing its populations and inciting them to internecine violence is ..... in Europe, where it is instead de-stabilizing the indigenous populations because their leaders are in full Appeasement Mode towards the demands and intimidation of the Muslim clerics. Surely our spineless and befuddled leaders are going to see this sooner or later. But how great will be the eventual cost of this long overdue awareness when the realities of Political Islam are on such vivid display in our daily news?


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