Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fouad Ajami - Islam's Encounter With America

An excellent piece in the WSJ...here's a slice:

From his recent travels to the Persian Gulf—sponsored and paid for by the State Department—Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf returned with a none-too-subtle threat. His project, the Ground Zero Mosque, would have to go on. Its cancellation would risk putting "our soldiers, our troops, our embassies and citizens under attack in the Muslim world."

Leave aside the attempt to make this project a matter of national security. The self-appointed bridge between America and the Arab-Islamic world is a false witness to the sentiments in Islamic lands.

The truth is that the trajectory of Islam in America (and Europe for that matter) is at variance with the play of things in Islam's main habitat. A survey by Elaph, the most respected electronic daily in the Arab world, gave a decided edge to those who objected to the building of this mosque—58% saw it as a project of folly.

Elaph was at it again in the aftermath of Pastor Terry Jones's threat to burn copies of the Quran: It queried its readers as to whether America was a "tolerant" or a "bigoted" society. The split was 63% to 37% in favor of those who accepted the good faith and pluralism of this country.

This is remarkable. The ground burned in the Arab-Islamic world over the last three decades. Sly preachers and their foot soldiers "weaponized" the faith and all but devoured what modernists had tried to build in the face of difficult odds. The fury has not burned out. Self-styled imams continue to issue fatwas that have made it all but impossible for Arabs and Muslims to partake of the modern world. But from this ruinous history, there has settled upon countless Muslims and Arabs the recognition that the wells are poisoned in their midst, that the faith has to be reined in or that the faith will kill, and that the economic and cultural prospects of modern Islam hang in the balance.

To this kind of sobriety, Muslim activists and preachers in the diaspora—in Patterson, N.J., and Minneapolis, in Copenhagen and Amsterdam—appear to be largely indifferent. They are forever on the look-out for the smallest slight.

Islam in America is of recent vintage. This country can't be "Islamic." Its foundations are deep in the Puritan religious tradition. The waves of immigrants who came to these shores understood the need for discretion, and for patience.

Read the rest here

please donate...it helps me write more gooder!


Claudia said...

So Imam Rauf wants to build bridges, by building a mosque against the wishes of a great majority of Americans. I thought building bridges was, specially, to understand each other. But that's quite the opposite to impose your views on others.

Anyway, someone who supports Sharia Law or Islamic theocracies, as imam Rauf does, can't be really for building bridges...

PS: So his recent travels were sponsored by the State Department, hein? I would like to know why...

louielouie said...

i take this with a grain of salt.
the author imo is displaying taqiyya(sp).
the author states:

hijacked at times, by a militant breed at war with the modern world.

islam has indeed been hijacked. it has been hijacked by the moderate muslims.
in the authors next paragraph, he begins asking questions about the development of islam.
there is no development in islam, or cultural enhancement.
if mo' came back today, he would begin lopping off heads right and left, of these "so-called" moderate muslims.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hey Louie,
How are you?

Actually, Fouad Ajami is a pretty sharp fella, although I don't agree with him on everything.

What he's saying is that there are strong currents in the Muslim world that yearn for western type freedom but are being repressed - and unfortunately, we're helping by promoting wahabi Islamists like Rauf.

He's a pro-Western Persian Shi'ite who grew up in Lebanon and has always insisted that the Muslim world has to modernize and embrace free societies or continue to wallow in its own mire...even to the point where he's pro-Israel ( he basically feels that the Muslim world uses Israel as an excuse for repression) and anti-Obama.

Read 'The Foreigner's Gift: The Americans, The Arabs and The Iraqis in Iraq' sometime.

He differs from you (and Samuel Huntington) in thinking that a clash of civilizations is not inevitable, and he differs from both of us in thinking that a moderate, pro-Western Islam is possible.

Time will tell who's right.