April 05, 2004

Carey, revisited

A different perspectice on the speech by Lord George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury (I noted it here) on Islam, Christianity and terror:

n trying to understand the roots of present Islamic fundamentalism, Lord Carey makes wrong generalisations and serious political omissions. In spite of his correct starting principle that Islam includes many different nations and groups, he ultimately identifies Islam with Arab or Arab causes which is a total mystification. For example he makes such a sweeping generalization: "1967 [the year of Arabsí defeat by Israel] represents a real politicising of Islam in the hearts and minds of many Muslims." T his is wrong. Maybe 1967 affected some sections of Arab societies to some extent, but not the hearts and minds of many Muslims." In fact when this war happened we as Kurds were suffering from Arab repression in South (Iraqi-occupied) Kurdistan.

We were young students at a secondary school where we were deprived from studying in our own language. So when the Arabs were defeated by Israel we celebrated this happy occasion as Arab oppression had inevitably made the Kurds emotionally and ideologically anti-Arab. I donít think Muslim societies anywhere were much affected by this apart from rulers who usually and hypocritically express tribal solidarity without this meaning anything. But 1967 was indeed a blow to Arab nationalism and threatened to undermine Arab rulers even such charismatic modern revolutionary figures as Jamal bad al-Nasir. Therefore it was Arab nationalist elite which returned to Islam as the ideology of Arabism which is used not only against Israel and non-Muslims but used more aggressively and lethally against colonised non-Arab Muslim nations within Arab countries.

I found this passage especially relevant:

We cannot talk about legitimate political demands in the context of Islam because in the absence of democracy and freedom of expression, thought and opposition in Middle Eastern Islamic societies, it is impossible to know what people themselves think and want, and whose political demands are those projected by fundamentalists and how these demands are identified and enacted. On the other hand, money remains a major factor in the possibility of any extremist Islamic enterprise. Al-Qaida would have been nothing without unaccountable millions of dollars available to it to plan its activities ideologically, organisationally and logistically.

Here we must add another fundamental factor in the success of Al-Qaida which is the freedom available in Western democracies for fundamentalist Islamic groups to organise, indoctrinate and enact their plans in hundreds of mosques and Islamic centres and schools allowed in the West in the name of multi-faith and multi-cultural societies. As these free activities to politicise Islam against state is not allowed in Muslim societies themselves, it is no wonder that they export their radical elements to the West to preach and practise there.

Emphasis added. Read the whole thing...

Posted by Ideofact at April 5, 2004 11:58 PM