Sunday, December 30, 2007

COMMENT: Bin-Ladins on all sides ...

The following sentences are lifted from page 16 of Jason Burke, a reporter for The Observer, from his most recent (published in 2006) book On The Road To Kandahar: Travels Through Conflict In The Islamic World ...

Perhaps the most depressing characteristic of the clash-of-civilisations argument, which would be ironically amusing if it were not so dangerous, is the coincidence of in views and ideas of its
proponents in both the Islamic world and in the West.

In the West newspaper columnists talk about ‘the Islamic world’ as a monolith, Muslim conservatives make similar statements about ‘the American-led West’.

There is talk of ‘the Arab’ or ‘the Islamic mindset on one side, Western, Christian or Jewish ‘mind’
on the other. In the West, American senators talk of bombing Mecca as a reprisal for attacks on the USA while in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere radicals talk of bombing America as a reprisal for attacks in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, Iraq and Afghanistan.

And all of them believe they belong to a discrete religiously defined group that must battle violently in a Hobbesian competition for the earth’s scarce moral, intellectual and physical resources and that they are engaged in a last-ditch, gloves-off, no-holds-barred battle against a fanatical and irrational enemy which is aggressive, belligerent and intent on expansion until all alternative cultures, societies and belief systems are eradicated.

All deploy a range of spurious historical and cultural references to justify what are fundamentally prejudiced and ignorant views and all twist actuality to fit their ideas.

It is interesting to note that, even after outlining his travels through Muslim communities in such disparate places as Iraq, Pakistan and Thailand, Burke's opinion doesn't change. It also doesn't change after he was reporting in London at the scene of the July 7 2005 London bombings.

Words © 2007 Irfan Yusuf

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And he is absolutely right on all counts.

Happy New Year to you and your family :)

Ya Haqq!