a PR firm, not a civilization

Arash of Afghan Voice has often left comments on my blog, but his best analyses are reserved for his own. He addresses the question, are we really in a clash of civilizations? :

First of, what does Osama bin Laden think? "This is a matter of religion and creed... there is no way to forget the hostility between us and the infidels. It is ideological." Pretty clear-cut, right? His effective melding of religious fervor, Muslim piety and a profound sense of grievances into his ideological force is an undeniable accomplishment. So does bin Laden hate Western-style democracy? Yes. Does he hate equality for women? Does he hate Jews and Christians? Does he hate American secularism? The answer is yes. But he has never said these things. Instead he has used the most selective and unpopular policies which have affected the Arab and Islamic world. The troops in Saudi Arabia, support for Israel's harsh policies against the Palestinians, sanctions against Iraq, the bombing of Iraq, the trigger happiness in attacking Somalia, Afghanistan and Sudan, controlling the Islamic worlds resources, and support for the Muslims world's absolutist kings and dictators. These are the average Muslim's and Arab's grievances against the United States. But it's not bin Laden's reason to order the mass-murdering of 3,000 Americans.

(emphasis mine) Much more - go read and comment! The basic point here is that all "clash" or "war" rhetoric is a red herring, to which regrettably many of the liberal bloggers I respect have fallen prey to. But there is no clash or war. As Arash succinctly puts it, "Islamofascism is not a civilization. Neither is Wahhabism or al-Qaeda."

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