Saturday, February 23, 2008

We Are In Need

Barry Rubin of GLORIA Center is taking a look at the latest call to arms by Hamas. If it is to be believed, it sounds like a last desperate message from a cut off segment of the army hoping the cavalry will arrive soon. From the looks of things the cavalry is not coming. In fact it may not even exist. Barry quotes Fathi Hamad, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

"Where is your valor? Stop being such cowards. The time has come for you to awaken from this deep slumber. The time has come for your honor, dignity, and valor to awaken. Where are you, Muslims?...As a sign of your love for Allah and the Prophet, you should sweep away the borders, which were created by imperialism. We are in need of weapons, we are in need of food, we are in need of moral support, as well as support by the media, economic support, medical aid, and support in weapons."
Note that his request for aid has brought no response. The Arab states are not interested in helping Hamas because they recognize it as part of a radical Islamist threat to them. And they are not very much interested in confronting America or fighting Israel either. Ironically, the West is far more concerned over the welfare of Gaza's Palestinians and aiding them than are other Arabs or Muslims.
Evidently honor has taken a back seat to profits. The leaders of the Arab world have finally figured out that overt war against the West is not profitable.

What is left is covert war. Covert war requires intimate contact. Spies and observers in the enemy camp. Essentially this is what brought down the Soviet Union. Intimate contact with the West ruined their self confidence. The Arabs in particular and Islam in general does not have the advantage of an Iron Curtain especially in the 'net age.

I think the advance of pornography in Muslim/Arab culture which I have been following is instructive. The Arab/Islamic cultures have strict prohibitions and yet it proliferates. Reports say that 70% of cell phone users have pornography on their phones. The thing to keep in mind is that this is only one vector and important only because it can be easily tracked because people pay attention to it.

There are other vectors which although "silent" are never the less powerful.

...all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

What may be most seductive is that the West offers its adherents ease in this life. No need to await the next. Materialism weakens any religion based on a better life in the hereafter. American churches have adapted. Many offer their religion as a path to material success as well as goodness in this life. Islam, so far, has not adapted.

What has made the West so powerful is doubt. Doubt the State. Doubt the Church. Doubt received Wisdom. Science applied to every facet of life. All Islam has to offer is faith. Faith is not enough. It must be coupled with doubt. Or as some wag once put it:

"The Truth is out there"


Snake Oil Baron said...

"We are in need of weapons, we are in need of food, we are in need of moral support, as well as support by the media, economic support, medical aid, and support in weapons."

Funny, they have been getting all of that and more. All they were able to accomplish with it is a civil war and some creepy antisemitic and anti-Israel children's T.V. programing. I guess the bloom is off the Hamas rose - except in the eyes of the media maybe.

Snake Oil Baron said...

And as you mentioned the proliferation of pornography which is a bottom up trend, new ideas will become easier to proliferate as the translation of foreign language works into Arabic gains speed through top down efforts. The ability of Arabic and Persian people to access European and Asian cultures and to encounter concepts and ideas from outside the insular world of Arab/Islamic chauvinism and revisionism and to see what other people really believe instead of what the imams tell them we believe will be extremely valuable.

LarryD said...

Oh, Islam promises success in this life too.

But Allah is not a loving god.

The God of the Jews and Christians is.

And with Islam, there are no secondary causes. The universe is sustained moment to moment by Allah's whim.

In the Judeo-Christian theology, the universe is a creation that humans can, at least in part, understand.