September 10, 2003

Two views

Cinderella Bloggerfeller, excellent as always, provides a translation of an interview with Andre Glucksman well worth reading, on the nihilism at the core of Islamism. The whole thing is worth reading, so I won't excerpt it, but it does get to something I had wanted to say about the Najaf bombing. A Muslim friend of mine, on hearing the news, was convinced right away it was al Qaeda: "They're atheists," she said to me. "They believe only in themselves."

Meanwhile, the Arab News publishes an editorial drawing a slightly different conclusion on al Qaeda -- that their attacks were justified after all:

The injustices which the killers use to justify their crimes and extract support cannot be left unaddressed. The greatest of these injustices is the crime that has been perpetrated for decades by the Israeli Zionists against the Palestinians. As long as America supports brutal Zionist repression with one hand, it will be pumping air into the lungs of terrorism even while with the other Washington is trying to strangle it.

So Sept. 11 was a justified attack after all, and all that's needed is a Munich-style act of appeasement to solve everything...

Posted by Ideofact at September 10, 2003 11:49 PM

one effective counter to the "America supports Zionists" meme is to point out that Egypt gets almost as much money as Israel does. To which they inevitably respond, "yes, but EGypt isn't brutally occupying ... " etc etc - to which I respond "no one left to brutalize!"

Its dishonest of me ion certain respects, but I take a certain pleasure in bursting these sorts of bubbles.

Posted by: Aziz at September 12, 2003 10:19 AM

Aziz, are you saying the U.S. does not support zionism?

Any intelligent observer knows that two things: the Egyptian dictatorship is no friend of so-called Islamist Muslims (in fact it jails and tortures them in large numbers) and second, the only reason Egypt gets the aid is because it agreed to make peace with Israel.

Posted by: Abu Noor al-Irlandee at September 14, 2003 08:45 PM

Whether it is nihilism or not I don't know -- but there is definitely something like that in the action of extremists who engage in seemingly random acts of violence, obviously.

To say that this is characteristic of Islamists though is simply to show either complete ignorance of the Muslim world or a desire to present everything through a certain ideology despite the fact that one knows it to be inaccurate.

Those who engage in such violence are a tiny percentage of people who would be called Islamist, i.e. those who believe that Islaam should be dictating the way in which societies of Muslims are run.

Posted by: Abu Noor al-Irlandee at September 14, 2003 08:50 PM