The West is not necessarily to blame for Muslim woes

From Husain Haqqani’s “Why Muslims always blame the West“, International Herald Tribune, October 16, 2004:

“The Palestinian issue and the pre-emptive war in Iraq have undoubtedly accentuated anti-Western sentiment among Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia. But the conduct and rhetoric of Muslim leaders and their failure to address the stagnation of their societies has also fueled the tensions between Islam and the West. Relations between Muslims and the West will continue to deteriorate unless the internal crisis of the Muslim world is also addressed.

“…Instead of hard analysis, which thrives only in a free society, Muslims are generally brought up on propaganda, which is often state-sponsored. This propaganda usually focuses on Muslim humiliation at the hands of others instead of acknowledging the flaws of Muslim leaders and societies. The focus on external enemies causes Muslims to admire power rather than ideas. Warriors, and not scholars or inventors, are generally the heroes of common people. In this simplistic “us vs. them” worldview, both Musharraf and bin Laden are warriors against external enemies.

“…Ironically, a cult of the warrior has defined the Muslim worldview throughout the period of Muslim decline. Muslims have had few victories in the last two centuries, but their admiration for the proverbial sword and spear has only increased. …The Muslim cult of the warrior explains also the relatively muted response in the Muslim world to atrocities committed by fellow Muslims.

“While the Muslim world’s obsession with military power encourages violent attempts to “restore” Muslim honor, the real reasons for Muslim humiliation and backwardness continue to multiply. …Ironically, Western governments have consistently tried to deal with one manifestation of the cult of the warrior – terrorism – by building up Muslim strongmen who are just another manifestation of the same phenomenon.”

From Leon de Winter’s

Posted by | Comments Off on The West is not necessarily to blame for Muslim woes  | May 30, 2005
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