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Articles written after 2004
The Arab mind
Who is killing Muslims?
Kepel on the Islamic wars
Decolonization and the Islamic civil war
Another Muslim double standard
Unspeakable Islamic terrorism
The problem is still Islam
The Arab League fails again
The Islamic Wars
Is violence inherent in Islam?
Islam wins
Mubarak, ally of the USA in the war against terrorism
What the Arabs think (report from a trip to the Middle East).
The condition of women in the Muslim world.
Who benefits from Iraqi terrorism
Saudi Arabia: the next Algeria?
Islamic stupidity kills 15 high-school girls in Saudi Arabia
Anti-Arab racism vs Arab nationalism
A grand vision for the Arab world
Best Al Jazeera lies
The Arab countries rank last in everything
Afghanistan: A Blueprint for World War III
Intolerance and modern Islam
Muslims protest US bombings of the Taliban

  • (December 2004) Who is killing Muslims? It is interesting that Muslims worldwide accuse the USA and Israel of killing Muslims, when in reality it is Muslims who kill Muslims. Osama Bin Laden has killed more Muslims in just one day (september 11) than Israel in one year. Various Muslim dictators (from Saddam Hussein to Mubarak) have killed thousands of Muslims. The soldiers who used gas against Kurds and Iranians were Muslims. The current wave of terrorist attacks in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, etc is carried out by Muslims, and mainly kills Muslims (tens of thousands of them).
    It is interesting that Muslims worldwide refuse to admit the obvious fact that Muslims (not Americans and not Israelis) are killing Muslims. That's what the brainwashing of the Quran does: a Muslim is so convinced that all evils must be caused by infidels that he blames the infidels even for the Muslim who is killing him.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (November 2004) Kepel on the Islamic wars The most famous French expert on the Middle East, Gilles Kepel, incidentally author of the excellent "Le Prophete et le Pharaon. Aux Sources des Mouvements Islamistes", published in 1984 (seven years before Sep 11), has made a number of interesting points in his latest book "The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West" (2004) and in various interviews.
    • The strategy of the Jihadists was simple: prove that the empires can be defeated, thus galvanizing the Islamic masses, causing the collapse of the various Arab regimes and their replacement with Islamic republics.
    • The Jihadists think that they have proven how weak the empires of the Infidels are through the war in Afghanistan, the September 11 attacks, and the guerrilla in Iraq. This was true until 2001, but afterwards the consequences of their Jihad have been dreadful: there are now USA soldiers in both Afghanistan and Iraq (there were none before 2001); the Arab regimes (even Libya) have moved much closer to the USA and helped curb the Jihadist movement; the Palestinians have been recast as the "orioginal" Jihadists, the ones who insired Osama bin Laden, and thus totally abandoned by the international community. Now the Jihad looks like an utter failure.
    • A side effect of the Jihad has been to create chaos in Muslim societies and to kill a lot of Muslims, which in turn is alienating the very Islamic masses that the Jihadists wanted to galvanize. Very few Muslim dream of living in a society ruled by this Jihadists. In other words, the Jihad has backfired against the Jihadists, who are losing (not gaining) support among the Islamic masses.
    • The American neo-conservatives, inspired by Leo Strauss, who aim for a democratic Middle East, and the Middle-Eastern Jihadists, inspired by Sayyid Qutb, who abhor democracy as the antithesis of Islam, share a common past, when the "pre-neocons" of the Ronald Reagan era created the "pre-Al Qaeda" Jihadists of Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union. Today, both the neocons and the Jihadists are equally in denial of this fact, the former because they don't want to admit that the USA used the very terrorism that it now despises and the latter because they don't want to admit that the USA was instrumental in winning the Jihad against the Soviet Union.
    • Only "the Muslim masses" can eradicate terrorism, by turning their own society against them.
    • The USA loses the support of the Muslim masses because it, too, can't provide stability in justice in one instance: Palestine. That is where the USA is losing the hearts and minds of the Muslim masses.
    • But the USA is winning the war on terrorism because fighting Islamic fundamentalism in its own land forces Islamic fundamentalism to show its true face to the Muslim masses: as they use brutal methods to fight the USA in Iraq, the terrorists are presenting themsevels as very undesirable masters, so the Muslim masses are turning away from them. Najaf and Falluja were victories for the USA not because the USA killed a lot of insurgents but because they broadcasted to the Islamic world the vision of very undesirable Islamic regimes, the regimes that the fundamentalists were imposing on the citizens of Falluja and Najaf).
    • The Jihadists disappeared in Algeria precisely because they lost the support of the people after the chaos of the civil war.
    • The battle for Europe can go two ways: millions of Muslims identifying themselves with western democracy first and Islam next, and in turn spreading democracy by example to the rest of the Islamic world; or a Muslim population manipulated by Jihadists to create the vision of an Islamic Europe.
    • Abdallah Azzam, the main Palestinian theoretician in Afghanistan, wrote that the Jihadists should turn to Spain and reconquer Andalusia because it used to be Islamic: once Muslim, any land must remain Muslim for eternity.
    • Some Islamic leaders in EUrope support the spread of Islam in Europe through different means (a non-bloody Islamization of Europe), but, while rejecting viiolence, they assume that the final goal is the same as the one of the Jihadists
    • The same Islamic leaders in Europe are hijacking the political agenda of the far left, viewing that agenda as disruptive of western civilization and thus serving the cause of Islam
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (September 2004) Decolonization and the Islamic civil war Samuel Huntington of Harvard University believes we are witnessing a "clash of civilizations" (the title of his 1996 book, which is actually an expression for used by Bernard Lewis in 1957), the West versus Islam, an inevitable clash due to two conflicting sets of values. William Pfaff, instead, a columnist, believes that "There is indeed a war of civilization going on, but it is taking place inside Muslim society". The West, and the USA in particular, would be but "a detonator of explosions" which are actually meant for the Islamic world itself.
    Huntington has created a popular paradigm, but personally I don't see the evidence of this "clash of civilizations": the Far East (including China and India) is largely becoming the USA's main competitor in the field of advanced capitalism; Russia (a Christian country) is creating a considerably different society than western Europe; Britain and Italy often seem to be on a different orbit than France, Germany and Spain (they are all members of the European Union); etc. The "clash of civilizations" only applies to Islam vs the rest of the world.
    Bernard Lewis, in his "Muslim discovery of Europe" (1982), explained the rage of the Islamic world (way before September 11) as originating in the humiliation of being dominated by the Christians that Muslims used to dominate for a thousand years (culturally, economically and technologically). This thesis is credible, but does not explain why Muslims would behave differently than, say, the Greeks after the Roman conquest of Greece or the British after the USA replaced the British Empire as the world power. All decaying civilizations feel humiliated by the "barbarians" that take over, but none has originated the wave of hyper-terrorism that Islam has originated in recent times.
    Yet another view by a major scholar of the Middle East, Gilles Kepel, is that the Arab masses feel trapped between two equally undesirable scenarios: the American neo-conservatives on the one hand, and the international Jihadists on the other hand. The Arab masses don't have a third alternative that would preserve the honor and prestige of the Arab civilization while providing some basic level of secular democracy. But this is unprovable (until democratic elections allow the people to speak up) and, more importantly, a third and many more alternatives could be easily created by the Arab people themselves, if they could only free themselves of their dictators (In a sense, the Iraqi government "is" that third alternative).
    William Pfaff's theory is the more appealing. One can view the current mess in the Middle East as the continuation of the post-colonial turmoil. When the French and British empires disintegrated, dozens of new countries were created. Almost all of them (any exception?) went through decades of sheer hell: brutal (sometimes cannibal) dictators, civil wars, famine. It took 40/50 years for the "decolonized" world to get over the trauma of independence. At the turn of the century, most of the countries that used to be French and British colonies (not to mention the old Soviet colonies) are beginning to develop a self-sustaining economy and democratic institutions. Their regimes (whether in good or bad faith) looked for alternative models (alternative to the West). They lived in denial of their failures for a while. Eventually, they crumbled and the new regimes that replaced them simply adopted the (western) models that the old regimes had shunned. In retrospect, it was simply a matter of accepting the fact that the model of the colonial powers (as revised by the USA) was a successful model: it feeds people, it creates a better life, it guarantees peace among neighbors (see western Europe or the Far East).
    The Islamic world, and particularly the Arab world, is part of this "trauma of decolonization", except that it remained a few decades behind the rest of the "decolonized" countries. The fundamental problem was the same: a prolonged delay in adopting the western model. It was compounded by Nasser's great invention, Arab nationalism, which turned into Khomeini's even greater invention, the Islamic revolution. Together, Nasser and Khomeini pretty much committed the Islamic world to poverty and war, because they basically postponed the adoption of sensible economic and political reforms. Worse: they laid the foundations for the hypocrisy that is still slowing down progress in most of the Islamic world, the hypocrisy that wants the West guilty of all the evils of the world (including the ones created by the anti-western regimes) but then begs the West to solve all the problems of the world (in particular, to remove the anti-western regimes).
    Pfaff's "civil war" is the tension within this hypocrisy: on the one hand, the progressive Muslims who are more interested in building a prosperous, free and peaceful society than in what the prophet Mohammed said; on the other hand, the conservative Muslims who are more interested in affirming their nationalist sentiment than in anything else. The former's hypocrisy is that they are reluctant to state what they want in plain English (or Arabic): they want a western-style society, not an Islamic society. The latter's hypocrisy is that they blame the West (and assorted "infidels") for the problems that they themselves (and in particular their religion) have created (poverty, war, terror). Al Qaeda is calling the bluff of both progressive and conservative Muslims: progressive Muslims are increasingly under pressure to speak up against the terrorists who want to alienate the West; conservative Muslims are under pressure to become terrorists.
    This hypocrisy has cost dearly. Arabs routinely complain that the USA is biased towards Israel. Who wouldn't be? Israel has been a faithful and staunch ally, always on the side of the USA and never criticizing the USA system. The Arabs have consistently criticized everything the USA does, including its own system of life. Who is the trusted ally of the USA? Every USA president has reached the same conclusion: Israel. The Arabs are left with their comical theories of Jewish world domination, and fail to see that they themselves created the problem: Israel fought the first war with Soviet weapons, and the second war with French and British weapons, and got the nuclear bomb from France. Then the Arab regimes (led by Nasser) allied with the Soviet Union and forced the USA to ally with Israel. Then Israel sided with the USA on every single issue, while the Arabs changed their mind a thousand times. The Arab regimes often behave like children who suffer because their father neglects them; but they only have themselves to blame. The hypocrisy of the Arab regimes has been the cause of pro-Israeli foreign policy by the USA; just like the hypocrisy of the Arab masses is the main cause of the mess in Islamic society.
    Bottom line: like everywhere else, it is likely that the Islamic world will get out of the tunnel when it admits the fundamental hypocrisy of its attitude, except that this is taking longer (and is not even a certain outcome) because of cultural attitudes.
    In a sense, the Arab world has been left behind because it never had the revolutions that changed the West: the English revolution (1688), the American revolution (1776), the French Revolution (1789) and the Russian Revolution (1917). After all, the Islamic nation had the most advanced civilization in the world until about the 16th century. Western Europe, on the other hand, was in the hands of small Barbarian states that were fighting each other all the time. How is it that, a few centuries later, those Barbarians ruled the world, and the Islamic world had become one of the poorest and most illiterate areas of the world? How is it that today the Arab world is the least democratic region of the planet? Arabs never had their own revolution; a fact which might also explain why they resent it whenever the USA liberates something: liberating a people from a tyrant is not part of their culture. What should the USA do when new tyrants seize power in Najaf or Falluja? Nothing, absolutely nothing, because that is what Arabs have traditionally done when a new tyrant seized power.
    The problem with all of these theories is that it is very hard to tell what Muslims truly want as long as they live in totalitarian societies. First and foremost, the West should foster a modicum of democracy (including freedom of speech and press) in the Islamic world, and then we could assess the gravity of the problem. It might well be that centuries of oppression and decades of totalitarian regimes have kept Muslims from dedicating themselves to the arts, science and literature like they used to in past centuries. It might well be that they memorize the Quran for the simple reason that they are not allowed to read much else.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (August 2004) Another Muslim double standard Muslims around the world are outraged that France has banned Muslim headscarves from schools. Two French journalists were kidnapped in Iraq by extremists demanding the French government repeals that ban. Arab media such as Al Jazeera have shown sympathy for the demands of the kidnappers (how unusual). There have been protests in several Muslim countries against the French government.
    But not a single Muslim has stepped up and added that the French government has also banned Jewish skullcaps. Muslims are already behaving as if France were a Muslim country and should obey Muslim law: banning other religions from French schools is ok, banning Muslim symbols is not ok.
    Apparently, Islam has an unlimited right to expand. All other religions and ideologies have only one duty: to accept the inevitable triumph of Islam.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (August 2004) Unspeakable Islamic terrorism There is a kind of Islamic "terrorism" that noone reports, a cultural one. It has been going on for a few centuries: the systematic destruction of ancient Islamic monuments. The clerics justify it as a way to remove "idols" from the worship of people. It might also be a way to remove embarrassing clues as to prophet Mohammed's true life and origin (Mohammed prayed towards the Jewish city of Jerusalem, worshipped the Jewish book of the Old Testament, and chose a Jewish shrine in Mecca as the main shrine of his new religion, enough evidence that Mohammed may have been a Jew himself, a fact that modern Islamic clerics may want to hide). (Yes, i know that Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Quran: i am not sure that Mohammed was a Jew, i am simply saying that it is a possibility, and probably today's Islam does not like to grant even the mere possibility).
    Fact is that, while the destruction of the giant Buddhas in Afghanistan and of the World Trade Center in New York have been widely reported, few have bothered to report the destruction of the ancient mosque of Abu Bakr, of the tombs of Mohammed's family in Medina, of the battlefields of Uhud and Badr (where Mohammed fought in person), of the very house where Mohammed lived in Mecca, of the ancient minaret of Imam Ali al Ureidh in Medina. These acts of intellectual terrorism carried out by the Wahhabi clerics of Saudi Arabia have literally erased the history of Islam. Archeologists and historians will never be able to trace back the true facts. Only the false legends spread by the modern clerics of Islam will remain.
    Just like the terrorists are basically cowards, so the Islamic clerics of Saudi Arabia are basically cowards who are too afraid to face the truth about Mohammed's life. In order to hide this truth (whatever this truth is), they have to destroy every possible clue to Mohammed's true identity.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (July 2004) The problem is still Islam. Despite all the talk, nothing has been done to address the fundamental problem of 2004, the cause of the Islamic Wars that are destabilizing the world and may lead to a world war. Nothing has been done by non-Muslims, and very little has been done by Muslims themselves (the recent Islamic conference was a farce in which the leaders of the Islamic world accused everybody else of the problems of the Islamic world).
    Islam brings overpopulation, which brings poverty (as Muslim masses become poorer and poorer than the rest of the world) and conflict (as Muslim masses tend to expand into the territories of non-Muslims). It is as simple as that.
    Islam's imperialist ideology is a consequence of simple demographic trends.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (May 2004) The Arab League fails again to take on its own responsibilities. Arab leaders met in Tunis to discuss the problems of the Arab world. They spent all the time arguing how to "condemn" the killing of 20 Palestinians by Israeli troops and the "brutal occupation" of Iraq by the USA. The Arab League did not find five minutes (or five seconds, for that matter) to mention that up to 50,000 people have been massacred and one million people expelled from Darfur, a region of Sudan. Arab militias backed by Sudan's airforce have killed more people in one year than Israel in 50 years. These Arab militias have killed women and children, not armed men. The victims are guilty only of one thing: they are not Arabs.
    By igniring the biggest massacre of our times, the Arab League has proven to be a racist and fascist organization. No better than Saddam Hussein (who was, after all, a well-respected member of it).
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (May 2004) The Islamic Wars. In 2004, there are about 25 wars in the world that involve Islamic countries or groups:
    • Separatist wars (descendants of Muslim immigrants who now want independence from the countries that welcomed them as immigrants): Philippines, Aceh (Indonesia), Narathiwat (Thailand), Kosovo (Serbia),
    • Ethnic-cleansing wars (Islamic regimes intent at exterminating and expelling non-Muslims from their countries): Algeria (Berbers), Sudan (Dinkas), Sudan (Darfur), Mauritania, Iran (Kurds), Iraq (Kurds), Syria (Kurds)
    • Revolutionary wars (Islamic fundamentalists plotting to overthrow moderate Islamic regimes): Algeria, Saudi Arabia (Osama bin Laden), Afghanistan (Taliban), Jordan (Zarqawi), Uzbekistan, Somalia
    • Occupation wars (Islamic countries that occupy non-Islamic countries): Syria (occupies Lebanon), Morocco (occupies Western Sahara),
    • Border wars (Islamic countries waging wars against neighboring countries): Azerbajan (against Armenia), Turkish Cyprus (against Greek Cyprus)
    • Liberation wars (Muslim countries occupied by non-Islamic countries): Turkestan (China), Palestine (Israel), Kashmir (India), Chechnya (Russia),
    • Terrorist wars (Muslim terrorists waging wars against non-Muslim countries): USA, Russia, Britain, France, Italy, Spain
    • Sectarian wars: Muslim Shiites against Sunnis in Pakistan, Muslims against Hindus in India, Muslims against Christians in Nigeria
    Three of these wars are probably over:
    • In 2002, the Taliban were largely defeated in Afghanistan.
    • In 2003, the ethnic cleansing of Kurds in Iraq was ended.
    • In 2004, Spain accepted the demands of the terrorists.
    Ironically, a large percentage of the Muslims killed in these Islamic wars have been killed by Islamic terrorists (particularly, Al Qaeda), not by their enemies (e.g. Israel killed fewer Palestinians in 2001 than Osama killed on 11 September 2001 in New York).
    In 2004, the only conflicts in the world that do not involve Islam are Sri Lanka, Burundi, Nepal, Georgia.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (April 2004) Is violence inherent in Islam? What is unique about Islam, as far as politics goes, is not that Islam is always wrong (as anti-Islamic racists claim) or that Islam is always right (as Islamic fundamentalists claim) but that a conflict that involves Islam always ends up in a military conflict.
    There are arguments between all sorts of countries, from Southeast Asia to South America, from subSaharan Africa to Europe itself (should Gibraltar be Spanish or British? isn't Corsica obviously a geographic part of Italy and not of France?) but they rarely (almost never) result in a military conflict. On the other hand, whenever an Islamic side is involved, the argument inevitably leads to war. Again, this point has nothing to do with who is right or wrong. But Islam is at war with just about everybody on just about every possible issue, from Morocco to Algeria, from Mauritania to Sudan, from Palestine to the Balkans, from Chechnya to Kashmir, from the Philippines to Indonesia, from the USA to Thailand. Whenever and wherever there are Muslims and they have an issue, some of them will resort to violence and start an endless armed conflict. This pattern has been repeated over and over again throughout the world, in four continents (only one continent does not have Muslims... yet). None of those conflicts have ever ended. Once a conflict is started by an Islamic group, state or community, it seems that it can end only with the total destruction of one of the two sides: either the Islamic side or the other side. No negotiation seems possible. This pattern repeats itself from one end to the other end of the planet, opposing Islamic people to pretty much all the rest of the world.
    It can't be a coincidence. It is easier to reach a peace agreement in the Congo or between China and Britain (Hong Kong) than it is to reach a peace agreement in any of the conflicts that involve Muslims.
    Again, this has nothing to do with who is right and who is wrong. Personally, I think that the Islamic side is mostly right in places such as Bosnia, Kashmir and Chechnya (and mostly wrong in Western Sahara, Sudan, Palestine, Philippines, Thailand). But that is irrelevant. My point is not that one side is right or wrong: my point is that all these conflicts (regardless of who is right or wrong) result in endless armed conflicts, with apparently no possibility of peaceful negotiations.
    The unpleasant result for Muslims is that there is an increasing tendency around the world to deny any concession to the Islamic causes, precisely it is beginning to look like and endless litany of complaints.
    The problem is obvious, and the peoples of the world are kidding themselves when they refuse to face it. Islam mandates the jihad. It is not a matter of choice: it is a matter of religious duty. Islam mandates that every Muslim carries out a holy war against the infidels. That holy war (no matter how it started) is, by definition, "right", and, by definition, can only end with the defeat of the infidels. This concept is so rooted in the Muslim psyche that inevitably thousands and millions of Muslims take it for granted that they have to fight to defend their opinion, that the fight has to be armed, and that the fight can only end with their victory. The idea that there is another opinion, that the two opinions should be discussed peacefully, and that the conflict could end with a compromise is, quite simply, alien to Islam.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (December 2003) Islam wins An Islamic holiday is an Islamic holiday, respected by every human being on the planet. The USA does not enter a mosque or a holy city on a Islamic holiday. Israel refrains from raids. Hindus refrain from Hinduist ceremonies near Islam's holy sites. And so forth.
    On the other hand, people in the West are getting accustomed to conceive Christian holidays such as Christmas in terms of heightened security, of canceled flights and of terrorism warnings. Christmas is slowly becoming to symbolize Islamic terror.
    Christian holidays have become and will remain, first and foremost, golden opportunities for Islamic fanatics to strike at the infidels. It is only a matter of time before Christians begin to cancel all relevant ceremonies associated with those holidays. As long as there are Islamic fanatics willing to give their lives in order to disrupt those holidays, Christians will not be able to ever regain the spirit of those holidays.
    As the prophet (Mohammed) said, "Fight then till strife be at an end, and the religion be all of Allah" (Sura viii, 39-42)
    Christians have lost the war that really matters, and Islam won.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (November 2003) Mubarak, ally of the USA in the war against terrorism. In theory, Mubarak is allied to the USA in their war against terrorism. In fact, Egypt has been remarkable: not a single terrorist attack against westerners and/or western interests, despite the fact that Mubarak is hated by Islamic fundamentalists such as Osama bin Laden.
    The reason is quite simple: he has created a terrorist state himself, and controls his own people so well that no Islamic terrorist can hope to act without being found. It is terrorism fighting terrorism, but one wonders if this is in the long-term interest of the war against terrorism, or if this simply justifies the terrorists.
    Amnesty International's report on human-right violantions in Egypt claims that last year at least seven people died after being tortured with electrical shocks and other systems. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Torture is widespread in Arab countries (and it has always been). If we removed Saddam Hussein because he was a dictator, a murderer and an executioner, one wonders why the rest of the Arab world escapes a similar punishment.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (October 2003) The condition of women in the Muslim world. I have traveled to several Muslim countries and recently visited the Arabian peninsula. It is hard to realize the way women are treated in the Muslim world unless you have spent some time there and witnessed first-hand their customs. The basic principle that governs the life of a woman is that... she doesn't exist. De facto, the law treats her as an object that belongs to a man (the father or the husband). This was not unusual in male-dominated societies of the past. The first major anomaly here is that we live in 2003, not 1003. The second anomaly is that there is something particularly cruel about the way women are humiliated on a daily basis. It's not only that they are told "you are inferior": that message is being repeated daily and hourly through a number of powerful rituals. First of all, women must learn the Quran like everyone else, and thus learn that Mohammed specifically instructed Muslims to consider women as inferior beings. He also told Muslims they can and should have four wives. And slaves (yes, slavery is still legal in Saudi Arabia). They often get married against their will, but sometimes this sentence does not make sense at all because it is not clear if a 12-year old child has a will. Whether married or not, they have de facto no civil rights. They can't vote. In many countries they can't work in public. In many countries they can't even sue if hurt or abused (only their fathers or husbands can do that on their behalf). They are raised like domestic animals, and eventually start behaving like domestic animals. They can only conceive of domestic duties.
    The worst ritual is probably the burka, the black dress that completely covers the woman. This is basically mandatory in countries like Yemen. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran allow women to show their face, but nothing else. These are very hot countries. In such countries, women who leave the house without wearing the veil go to jail. In Afghanistan they were stoned to death. To understand what it means to wear the burka the whole day, every western woman should be sent to Yemen and forced to wear the burka for just one day. Luckily, it would just be a very uncomfortable day. Women who are not used to the burka may also faint, as it gets rather dizzy when you can't breathe and the temperature is so hot. But women who lived all their adult life that way can also die of it, and die frequently: vitamin D deficiency (caused by lack of sun rays) is the most common cause.
    That leads to another problem: women are not treated like men when it comes to health care. Doctors are males, and males cannot touch or even look at someone else's woman. This greatly reduces the quality of health care that a Muslim woman can get. Surgery on a woman is much rarer than surgery on a man. Wealthy families who care for their women routinely send them abroad when they need an operation.
    Needless to say, very few women are sent to school: why should a woman get an education if her only purpose is to serve her husband and raise children? Nobody knows the exact statistics because, again, nobody bothers to keep statistics on women. But most "madrasa" (the basic schools) are for males only.
    Woman are routinely killed in accidents that occur within the house, because they are not allowed to leave the house without wearing the burka or at least the veil. Recently, schoolgirls in Saudi Arabia were let burn alive by the police when a school caught fire and they could not retrieve their veils: the police kept them from leaving the school, no matter what ( Islamic stupidity kills 15 high-school girls in Saudi Arabia). It makes perfect sense from the point of view of a Muslim: safeguarding the moral values of Islam is clearly more important than the lives of a few schoolgirls.
    If you understand the logic, you also understand why this is not a big deal for them. A man is entitled to four wives precisely because they are worth a lot less. If one dies, it is really not such a big deal: you can get another one.
    You will find that statistics on women (death rate, life expectancy, frequency of diseases, etc) are few and they are vague. The truth is that sometimes even their death is not recorded. Again, they do not really exist. The death of a man has implications on his belongings (including wives and children), while in some countries the death of a woman has no implications at all, because she owns nothing, not even herself.
    I found this article in the magazine of Yemenia Airlines (issue 9, page 13) that interviewed a man who moved to the USA and eventually returned to Yemen disappointed by western society. His wife took advantage of American laws and divorced him and enrolled in a college to get an education. He is quoted as saying: "Social life in Yemen is better. One has his rights". What he means is that "men have rights over their legitimate belongings, women". The author of the article and the editor of the magazine found his statements perfectly reasonable, and thought that the article proved how bad life is in the western world. Neither the man nor the journalist nor the editor realized that the woman is entitled to "rights" too. From their point of view the word "one" (human being) only refers to the man. If you read carefully, you can find hundreds of such statements by all sorts of officials in all sorts of media.

    (I know that some Muslim countries are not very Muslim: in Iraq, for example, women are allowed to dress western style, and in many countries they can work in public places, and Jordan used to have one elected woman in Parliament. But it doesn't change the equation: discrimination and humiliation are pervasive, and their rights are horribly curtailed. Even the least Islamic of Muslim countries still retains the idea that women are fundamentally inferior).

    What could we do? Clearly it is not easy to change such a deeply-rooted culture. But there are a number of obvious steps that western countries (and especially western women) could take:

    • If landmines have been declared immoral and banned by the United Nations, one wonders why the burka, which kills many more people, is not banned. Some Muslims might reply that women are not really "people". If you believe that they are "people", then you should ask the United Nations for a ban on burkas just like there is a ban on landmines. And authorize the invasion of any country that does not comply.
    • Refuse to discuss any issue related to the Muslim world (Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya, etc) until Muslim countries dramatically improve the conditions of women. If you accept to have a conversation about Israel, you are indirectly admitting that the lives of 5 million Palestinians are more important than the lives of 500 million women, i.e. that men are 100 times more important than women. There is no question that the living conditions of women in the Muslim world are far worse than the living conditions of a Palestinian refugee. First give women full rights, then we can discuss the problem of Palestinians or Kashmiris.
    • Boycott Islamic charities. They help support the system. It is an illusion that building a school or an hospital is good for the "people". By "people" they don't mean "women". Those charities help keep in place a male-dominated society, because they help provide males with better education and health care. It's like giving money to a German charity during the nazi era and hoping that it would benefit the Jews of Germany.
    • Sanctions do work. Saddam lost his last supporters during those 12 years of sanctions. Qaddafi and Castro have lost a lot of support after so many decades of crippling sanctions. Ordinary people judge with their stomach. It would be very difficult for oil-starved continental Europe to impose sanctions on the entire Muslim world, but quite possible for the USA (which produces 50% of its own oil and imports most of the rest from non-Muslim countries such as Mexico and Venezuela). If we apply sanctions because of human-rights violations that affect 10 million Cubans, I don't see why we shouldn't apply sanctions based on human-rights violations that affect 500 million women (the U.S. constitution clearly states that women qualify as "human").
    • Of course, the most important step is to convince Muslims that Mohammed was not a prophet (like all other alleged prophets of the other religions) and that the Quran is just a book, not a holy book. Most Christians and Jews have long realized that the Bible is just a book. Unfortunately, most Muslims still believe that Mohammed was really a prophet and that the Quran is really divine law. The way women are treated by Islam is evidence that there is no Allah and Mohammed was not his prophet. Women around the world should say it loud and clear.
    If you are a woman and marched in the streets to defend Saddam Hussein, maybe you should also march in the streets al least once (once!) to defend the 500 million Muslim women who are subjected to terrible conditions on a daily basis. The reason that Muslim women are still treated like animals in 2003 is quite simple: nobody has ever complained.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (October 2003) What the Arabs think (report from a trip to the Middle East). I recently traveled to the Arabian peninsula and other Muslim areas, and thoroughly enjoyed discussing world politics with ordinary people. Alas, I was limited by my knowledge of the Arabic language. I had to use interpreters to listen to television and read newspapers and communicate with the men at the cafe`. Nonetheless, it was rewarding and enlightening. I firmly believe the Bush administration is completely out of touch with the real world. Just like his dad was out of touch with ordinary Americans, so is George W Bush completely out of touch with the world masses. It is not that the USA is wrong about everything: just the opposite. But, even in the many instances in which it would be relatively easy to prove that the USA is telling the truth, the USA has done and is doing a very poor job of explaining and proving its case to ordinary Arabs (and even to ordinary Europeans, Indians, Chinese, etc etc). This is likely to have deep and painful repercussions on the future of the USA.
    Here is a list of topics that I discussed with the Arabs, their viewpoint and my replies. The point is not that I am right and they are wrong, but that my replies often shocked them: they had never heard them before. And they clearly couldn't reply to my objections (not necessarily because my objections were impeccable, but simply because they had never heard that version of the facts before). How is it possible that we let millions of Arabs be brainwashed by their propaganda without presenting them our viewpoint?
    • They: Osama fights the infidels. Me: Osama has killed more Muslims than Israel. He killed hundreds of Muslims on September 11. He has killed Muslims in Tanzania, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. He killed thousands in Afghanistan.
    • They: the Bush administration is dominated by Jews. Me: there is no Jew in the top level of the Bush administration. On the other hand, there are two Africans. But, most important, it is Arabs (e.g., Saudi Arabia) that have close ties with the Bush family (Jews do not have oil).
    • They: Palestine is an Arab land that was invaded by the Jews. Me: Jews lived in Palestine thousands of years before the Arabs left the Arab peninsula. Arabs came from Arabia, and they occupied other people's lands from Morocco to Iraq.
    • They: the Palestinians are entitled to a state. Me: are the Sahrawis in Morocco entitled to a state? (Morocco invaded Western Sahara and expelled the Sahrawis who still live in refugee camps in Algeria). Are the Kurds in Iraq entitled to a state? Are the Berbers in Algeria entitled to a state? Are the Dinkas in Sudan entitled to a state? (The Arab government of Sudan has killed two million people in a 20-year civil war).
    • They: terrorism is caused by poverty, and the poverty of Arabs is caused by the Jews and by America. Me: Arabs are poor because of Islam. The more Islamic a country is, the poorer people are. Second, Africans and Latin Americans are much poorer, but they do not resort to violence. Third, the leaders of Al Qaeda are millionaires. Fourth, the September 11 terrorists were all from wealthy families. Fifth, many Arab countries are still using the infrastructure that the West built when they were colonies (Egypt was the richest province of the Roman empire). No Arabs were starving when they were British and French colonies. No Israeli Arab is starving. No Arab is starving in Britain or American. Arabs became poor after they became independent, and today the only Arabs who are starving are the ones who live in Arab countries.
    • They: Palestinians are poor. Me: if Israel gave them back the entire country of Israel, with all the skyscrapers and banks, there is a good chance that Palestinians would become poor again in just one generation: Palestinians make too many children. Like all countries whose population grows too fast, they are very poor. The war complicates a problem that would exist anyway.
    • They: Arab terrorists are retaliating for evil done to them by the West. Me: the West never really colonized the Arab world (it was worthless in those days). The Arab world had been declining long before the rise of the western powers. The Arabs caused their own downfall. It is the Arabs, on the other hand, who invaded half the world, from Spain to India.
    • They: Arab terrorism is due to American interference in Arab affairs. Me: Islamic terrorism has existed for centuries, before the USA was even born. We could argue that Islamic terrorism was born with Mohammed (the only prophet of a major religion who personally killed people in order to create his own religion). Islamic terrorism fights all infidels, from India to Russia, places that were never good friends of the USA. Besides, the USA has never interfered in any Islamic country the way Islamic countries have interfered in each other's affairs. (Libya in vaded Chad, Morocco annexed Western Sahara, Iraq slaughtered Kurds and Shiites, Iraq invaded Kuwait, Syria has killed more Muslims than Israel, etc).
    • They: the Taliban were a legitimate government. Me: only three countries in the world recognized their "government". The United Nations still recognized the previous government.
    • They: the USA killed a lot of innocents in Afghanistan. Me: the Taliban killed a lot of innocents in Afghanistan, and the number of innocents being killed now by warfare is much smaller than the number of people who were killed by the Taliban. So the USA has saved a lot of innocents.
    • They: the USA killed a lot of innocents in Iraq. Me: the USA freed thousands of people who were in jail waiting to be executed by Saddam's regime. So it also saved thousands of innocents.
    • They: the USA has killed Muslims around the world. Me: What about the millions of non-Muslims killed by Muslims around the world, from Indonesia to Nigeria, from the Philippines to Sudan?
    • They: Osama did not do it (he lives in a cave). Osama did it to protest the behavior of the USA (yes, the same Arab will tell you both statements, and totally convinced that both are true).
    • They: Islamic media and websites were shut down by the USA after September 11 for being anti-American.. Me: anti-Islamic media and websites are illegal in the whole Islamic world, and they have always been illegal. So at worst the USA did after September 11 what Islamic countries have always been doing.
    • They: Muslim blood is being spilled in Palestine, Iraq, Chechnya, Kashmir, Philippines, Indonesia, Somalia... Me: in all of these places the war was started by Muslims (for good or bad reasons). If a Muslim kills one thousand non-Muslims, it's ok. If a non-Muslim kills back just one Muslim, it's "blood spilled all over the world".
    • They: the Arab civilization is an ancient and noble civilization, unlike the American civilization. Me: more foreign books are translated in America every year than have been translated in the Arab world over the last one thousand years (the statistics was done by a group of Arab intellectuals, see The Arab countries rank last n everything )
    • They: Jews have always been enemies of Arabs. Me: Mohammed prayed towards Jerusalem, the Jewish capital; chose a monument built by a Jew (Abraham) in Mecca; and adopted the holy book of the Jews (the Old Testament). He was probably a Jew himself. (Note: Saudi Arabia has been scientifically erasing all evidence of Mohammed's existence in order to make it impossible for historians to learn more about Mohammed).
    • They: Muslims are ostracized in all Christian countries. Me: Muslims are given religious and political rights, but they multiply very quickly and then start asking more and more rights, thus creating conflicts with the native ethnic group. How would you feel if a foreigner moved to your neighborhood begging for work, and then two generations later his descendants were getting so numerous to ask your descendants to change your culture? That is what is happening in many Christian countries.
    • They: this is all part of a crusade against the Muslim world. Me: on the contrary, this is all part of a holy war by the Muslims against the rest of the world. Not only the USA, but also Russia, China, India, Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, Sudan, etc etc. Everywhere there is a Muslim community there is conflict. Why there are no major conflicts between Christians and Hindus or Buddhists and Confucians, but all of them have conflicts with Muslims?
    I do not necessarily defend all the issues that I wrote here: I was just trying to present the Arabs with a different perspective from theirs. Arabs were mostly surprised (not outraged) by my replies. They had never heard them before. For example, their history books begin with Mohammed, so to them it is not really clear that other people lived in Morocco or Iraq or Palestine before the Arabs invaded them. They are surprised to hear it, and don't quite know what to answer. Even recent events (Saddam killed kurds and shiites) are not so clear to them. It is clear that the USA killed innocents when it bombed Baghdad, it is not really clear that Saddam killed anyone ever during his reign.

    It is also shocking the kind of distortions that have been circulating for years in the Arab world. For example, many Arabs believe that the USA has been killing Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo, not saving them from Milosevich. The same Arabs who tell you that September 11 was carried out by Arabs angry at the USA will tell you that no Jews died at the World Trade Center, thus implying that it was a Jewish conspiracy. Despite the number of tapes released by Osama and his friends, most Arabs still maintain that the first Osama video released by the USA was manufactured in Hollywood. Etc. Despite the fact that everything Al Jazeera told them about the Iraqi war turned out to be false, the vast majority of Arabs still considers Al Jazeera more reliable than the western media. I saw footage of the early days of the war when an Aj Jazeera reporter from Baghdad announced that the USA had just dropped a nuclear bomb on Baghdad: despite the fact that the reporter did not run for his life, despite the fact that very few buildings were destroyed, and despite the fact that today millions of people still live in Baghdad (including USA soldiers), the Arab man who showed it to me was absolutely convinced that the USA dropped a nuclear bomb on Baghdad.

    Newspapers and tv programs routinely report "true stories" aimed at depicting the USA as hell on Earth. These stories never (never) mention the source, the names, the places, the dates. They invariably begin with "Once a man..." and describe some horrible event that took place in the USA. For example, in September 2003 Yemen's deputy minister of culture, Yusuf Mohammed, wrote about a visit to the USA and described something awful that happened to a man going through U.S. Immigration. Why not mention the name, the date, the place, the source? Still, we are to believe that the event really took place, and (that "is" the point) that it happens all the time. His whole report of the USA was full of undocumented "facts" that portray the USA as hell on Earth.

    I don't want to give the impression that these were heated discussions. The opposite: Arabs (and Muslims in general) can be the sweetest, kindest, most hospitable people in the world. One more reason to suspect that it would not take a huge effort to present our viewpoint to the Arab masses. They are being brainwashed day and night by an avalanche of distorted facts.

    (Sadly, there are people in the West who side with the Arab propaganda. These westerners display an appalling ignorance of both recent and ancient history. These are people who discovered who Osama was and where Afghanistan was only on September 11. Westerners have no excuse for not knowing the facts).

    The following was not born as a joke. I was trying to explain to some Arabs my perception of their attitudes versus others, and in particular their love/hate relationship with America:
    If a bus breaks down in China, the passengers get out and frantically try to find another means of transportation.
    If a bus breaks down in India, the passengers get out and start selling their goods to the passers-by.
    If a bus breaks down in sub-Saharan Africa, the passengers get off and start pushing it.
    If a bus breaks down in Latin America, the passengers throw a party on the bus. Then they blame the USA that is not coming to rescue them.
    If a bus breaks down in an Arab country, the passengers gather around the bus and chat for several hours. Eventually, they agree that the Jews have caused the problem. Then they wait until the Americans come and fix the bus.:-)

    See also the report on women.

    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (September 2003) Who benefits from Iraqi terrorism. George W Bush always claimed that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and the terrorists. Well, he's finally right. Unidentified terrorists are blowing up water lines, oil pipelines and civilian buildings (the Jordanian embassy, the U.N. headquarters).
    The other Arab regimes (that have not provided a single soldier to patrol Iraqi cities) are maintaining an ambiguous attitude towards the chaos of post-war Iraq. In many ways, they relish that chaos. The whole rationale behind Arab dictatorships is that Arab countries need a strong (totalitarian) leader in order to avoid chaos. None of these Arab regimes has any interest in seeing Iraq successfully become a democracy: it would set a dangerous example across the Arab world. Each of these Arab regimes has a vested interest in seeing the USA fail and Iraq plunge into chaos, or, better, a new dictatorship emerge. Dictators help dictators, and dictators only fear democracy.
    There are also forces in the Arab world that tend towards the destruction of civil society. They were at work in the 1980s in Lebanon, a relatively democratic and very wealthy country that was reduced (by Arab terrorism) to rubbles and dictatorship (actually, a virtual Syrian colony). The same forces worked throughout the Arab world over the centuries to turn the richest regions in the world (Egypt, Syria, Morocco) into regions of appalling poverty. In many ways, Palestinian terrorists are trying to do the same to Israel: not so much terrorize, as turn Israel into a poor country. Poverty, in fact, seems the goal that terrorists share across the Islamic world. Poverty is the precondition for the justification and establishment of a totalitarian regime, which is the dream of Islamic terrorists worldwide.
    What is happening in Iraq is not so much anti-American guerrilla as the new manifestation of an old tendency towards the destruction of western-style civilization (wealth, democracy, human rights, etc).
    The truth is that many, many Arabs (dictators, intellectuals, ordinary people) would prefer the torture chambers and mass graves of Saddam Hussein to the democracy, wealth and peace of the western world.
    It is up to the Iraqis to decide if they want to live in a country that resemble the existing Arab countries or in a country that resembles the western countries.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (April 2003) Saudi Arabia: the next Algeria? A decade ago, Algeria plunged into chaos when Islamic fundamentalists unleashed a campaigned against foreigners. They started killing French people like flies, and eventually all the French expats returned home. The Algerian economy was virtually destroyed.
    What Al Qaeda is trying to do in Saudi Arabia makes a lot of sense, and it is inspired by the fundamentalist struggle in Algeria of a decade ago (Al Qaeda learned a lot from Algerian fundamentalists, including the idea of crashing planes into monuments). Al Qaeda has lost Afghanistan. It was kicked out of Sudan. It has lost friends around the world, from Pakistan to Yemen. The USA has preempted a takeover of Somalia by stationing thousands of troops in Djibuti. There is only one place left where Al Qaeda enjoys popular support: Saudi Arabia. Osama has friends there, and is revered by thousands of Saudis as a hero. Al Qaeda also knows that, paradoxically, Saudi Arabia is weaker than Yemen or Somalia: the USA would not hesitate to invade Somalia or Yemen, which have never been friends and are certainly not trusted allies. But it seems virtually impossible that the USA invades an old friend and good ally like the Saudi kingdom. In fact, the USA is planning to withdraw all of its troops from Saudi Arabia. At just about the same time, Al Qaeda decided to target Saudi Arabia with the May 2003 bombing in Riyahd, and apparently another one is planned for Jedda. This is not a coincidence.
    Al Qaeda feels that it can scare all foreigners out of Saudi Arabia. This would leave the Saudi royal family very vulnerable. Saudi Arabia does not have the large army that Algeria had. Saudi Arabia has a modern airforce and modern missiles, that were meant to fight a potential invasion by Saddam Hussein, but does not have the kind of ground troops needed to quell a popular rebellion. Al Qaeda's plan is probably to cause economic devastation by having all foreigners leave the country, and then take advantage of popular unrest and an unprotected kingdom to stage a coup and take over the country. After all, that has always been Osama's ultimate target: reconquer the holy country that has been lost to western greed.
    If that happens, the USA will have a tough choice: let the Saudi kingdom fight Al Qaeda alone, or invade Saudi Arabia with hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Option one would almost certainly result in Osama becoming the next king of Saudi Arabia. Option two would almost certainly result in a holy Islamic war.
    Osama may be dead, but he is not stupid.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (April 2003) Best Al Jazeera lies
    • Before the war: the Iraqi people do not want the USA to liberate them (while Saddam Hussein was killing anyone who dared speak up)
    • During the war: the USA have not entered Iraq (while the USA were advancing 100s of kms inside Iraq)
    • The USA is dropping poisoned food on Iraq (while the USA air force was dropping food to help the starving Iraqi people)
    • The USA dropped a nuclear bomb on Baghdad (while the USA was carefully trying to avoid civilian casualties)
    • The USA attacked the holiest mosque in Iraq (while the marines were withdrawing from the holy area without shooting a single bullet)
    • The USA are being defeated by the Iraqi army (while the Iraqi army was fast disappearing)
    • The marines are not in Baghdad (while marines were storming the center of Baghdad)
    • And, best of all, "we at Al Jazeera are an objective, impartial eyewitness"
    After the war the farce continued:
    • 170,000 items were looted from the Baghdad Museum (a lor fewer, in reality)
    • The USA are stealing the items of the Baghdad Museum (when the USA announced that the allegedly stolen items had mostly been found and in fact would be part of a world tour of Iraqi antiquities)
    • The USA invaded Iraq because Iraq had started selling oil in euros (Iraq only sold oil through the United Nations, in dollars)
    • It is not true that Saddam's sons have been killed
    • The USA hurt the feelings of all Muslims in the world by showing on tv the pictures of the dead sons (after the USA accepted Al Jazeera's demand to show the pictures of the dead sons)
    • The USA left the United Nations building in Baghdad unguarded (it was the United Nations that refused USA soldiers to guard the building, after Al Jazeera depicted the UN as USA lacques for being protected by USA soldiers)
    • The CIA planted the bomb in Najaf (the Iraqi police arrested members of Al Qaeda and members of the Baath party)
    (Note: Al Jazeera's omissions are no less interesting:
    • For example, while denouncing torture and abuses committed by USA soldiers, Al Jazeera never mentioned that the countries leading Amnesty International's report on torture are all Islamic countries. Not a single word. On 5/25/2005 the headline was "Amnesty accuses Israel of committing war crimes against Palestinians": not a word about the fact that the Amnesty International report accuses the Arab regimes of much worse violations of human rights.
    • For example, when Arafat died, Al Jazeera gave credence to the rumours that he had been poisoned by Israel. But on 22 November 2004 it did not tell its viewers what every other network was telling them: that Arafat's own doctors were ruling out poison as the cause of death.
    • For example, Al Jazeera was critical of plans to postpone democratic elections in Iraq, but forgot to mention that no Arab regime has EVER allowed a democratic election and accepted its results.
    • For example, throughout June 2004, Al Jazeera widely publicized the deaths of dozens of Iraqi civilians, but hardly ever mentioned that thousands of Sudanese civilians were being killed by Arab militias. Whenever it mentioned the deaths of Iraqi civilians, it mentioned it as a fact, but the few times it mentioned the death of thousands of Sudanese killed by Arab militias it mentioned it as a western claim, not as a fact.
    • For example, when the trial of Saddam began, Al Jazeera interviewed mainly people sympathetic with the dictator, leaving the impression that most Iraqis are outraged by the trial, whereas every independent poll shows that Saddam supporters are a tiny minority.
    • When Libya condemned Bulgarian doctors to the death penalty as USA agents guilty of killing hundreds of children by infecting them with the HIV virus (see this article), Al Jazeera dutifully reported that the foreign doctors had "confessed" their crime, but forgot to add that they had been tortured, and that's why they confessed. Only much later and only in the English version, that Arabs never read, did Al Jazeera mention that the defendants denied all accusations.
    • When the United Nations released the 2004 report on AIDS, Al Jazeera emphasized that the number of people infected with the HIV virus has increased dramatically, but didn't say a word about the fact that some Islamic countries posted some of the highest increase rates, and that Islamic countries are blamed by the United Nations for hiding the real numbers, which are probably much worse. Instead, Al Jazeera carefully omitted all Arab countries from the list.
    • Whenever a foreigner is beheaded in Iraq for collaborating with the USA, Al Jazeera indulges in showing the beheading, as proof that the Iraqi people are resisting the aggressors and their puppets. When an Iraqi-English woman (much loved by the Iraqi people) was killed in november 2004, Al Jazeera did not show the video, knowing that it would have hurt the cause of the insurgents.
    • On 17 november 2004, Al Jazeera's headline was "U.S. forces raid mosque in Baghdad". One had to read the entire article to realize that it really was "Iraqi soldiers, backed by USA soldiers, stormed one of the major Sunni mosques in Baghdad". The headline leaves the impression that it was the infidels who committed sacrilege.
    • The headline of 23 July 2004 was "Sudan tells Blair to back off over Darfur", describing how Britain and the USA were "interfering" with Sudan's internal affairs, but does not mention the reason: tens of thousands of harmless Africans massacred by Arab militias in Darfur. A few days later, Al Jazeera's headline was "Sudan accuses London and Berlin of security threat", and not a word on the massacres that caused London's and Berlin's hostile attitude. On 8 August 2004, Al Jazeera claimed "Israel supports rebels in Darfur", without providing any evidence, but, of course, in the Arab world that is enough to justify a massacre.
    • The following day the headline was "Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in Gaza", but not a single word about the hundreds of people killed by Arab militias in the Darfur.
    • When, in december 2001, the USA presented the first Osama Bin Laden video in which Osama took responsibility for the September 11 attacks, Al Jazeera contributed to create the belief that it was a fake manufactured in Hollywood, featuring Hollywood actors. When, on july 13, the main "actor" in that video, Khaled al-Harbi, identified by both Saudi Arabia and Iran as a Osama Bin Laden associate, surrendered to Saudi Arabia, Al Jazeera ignored the news. Osama has subsequently admitted his responsibility for September 11 in videos aired by Al Jazeera itself, but Al Jazeera has never stated "this proves that the first Osama video was authentic". Hundreds of millions of Arabs still believe that the video was manufactured in Hollywood. )
    (Al Jazeera's innuendos are no less powerful:
    • For example, Al Jazeera dutifully reports and emphasizes every meeting of Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf with USA authorities, but not his meetings with Arab authorities, and not the meetings of, say, Moroccan officials with USA authorities. De facto, Al Jazeera promotes the view that Musharraf is an American lacque and justifies a terrorist attack against Musharraf.
    • As Iraqi bandits kidnapped foreigners, Al Jazeera consistently put the blame on the governments and companies that work in Iraq, not on the kidnappers (not a word on the fact that those kidnapped were working to help the Iraqi people, and that the kidnappers want to destroy Iraq), thus encouraging more Iraqis to become kidnappers
    • Al Jazeera ran a special in which it discussed "if" all infidels should be expelled from the Arab lands, as Osama wants (all the people in the debate agreed, so there was no "if"), but Al Jazeera never mentioned that millions of Muslim emigrants live in the countries of the infidels
    • The august 4 editorial was "Will the U.S. decide to stay indefinitely in Iraq to guard the pro-American regime?". Note how the democratically elected government of Iraq is defined "pro-American": any democratic government is a "pro-American regime" in Al Jazeera's language because Al Jazeera only defends totalitarian regimes and Islamic terrorists. Anyone else is "pro-American". And, needless to say, the tone justifies the killings: anyone who blows up a bomb in Iraq and kills politicians or police officers or civilians is, according to Al Jazeera, killing members of the "pro-American regime". Get it?
    • And, of course, the USA troops are always referred to as "U.S. occupation forces", thus implying that any resistance is legitimate, while, say, Moroccan forces in western Sahara are never referred to as "Moroccan occupation forces", nor are Syrian forces in Lebanon called "Syrian occupation forces". Get it?
    • After the London attacks of july 2005, Al Jazeera had an editorial titled "The Britons ask why the Iraqi war has not made us safer?" implying that it was the war against Al Jazeera's favorite dictator, Saddam Hussein, and not Islamic terrorists trained in Pakistan, that caused the bombings.
    And sometimes the innuendos are not so difficult to understand: "Unless the U.S., its allies and Israel admit they have murdered innocent people and destroyed their livelihood and land, wars will continue until the earth turns into ash" (August first, 2005); "On the 60th anniversary of the merciless attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, what peace-loving people can do is to recommit themselves to defeating USA's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq" (August third, 2005); and so forth. These are explicit calls for the jihad against the USA.
    Double standards? Check how Al Jazeera has constantly, daily attacked the USA "occupation" of Iraq and the Israeli "occupation" of the West Bank, when the same Al Jazeera defends Syria's occupation of Lebanon: "If Syria withdraws, there will be a vacuum in Lebanese security and politics which will allow open it to outside interferences." (2/20/2005)) Mass street protests by Lebanese against Syria in february 2005? According to Al Jazeera just the opposite: The Lebanese are demonstrating in favor (not against) Syria, and the Syrian regime is depicted as a good, respectable regime. Or, better, the Lebanese are demonstrating against the USA ("Thousands of Lebanese protestors marched outside the U.S. embassy in Beirut, chanting "Death to America" and denouncing the U.S. interference in Lebanon"). Or "1.5 Million pro-Syria demonstrators gather in Beirut": since the entire population of Lebanon is 3,578,036, including children and elderly people, thus, according to Al Jazeera, every single adult Lebanese was in that square (the demonstration was held in just one square) that day. The following week a much bigger demonstration by the anti-Syrian forces was described by Al Jazeera as "Thousands of Lebanese opposition gathered in Beirut". All independent observers think the second one (against Syria) was roughly 100 times bigger than the first one (pro-Syria), but the Al Jazeera audience probably got the opposite feeling (that the first one was a thousand time bigger than the second one). Get it?
    Would you like to post a comment on their website about their lies? The first sentence that appears is "Some posting to this section are moderated by". That explains why none of your comments will ever appear.
    Al Jazeera is only a mouthpiece for all the Arab dictators and the Islamic terrorists.
    Al Jazeera is a serious enemy of the West (and of all democratic and peaceful nations of the world), and a serious enemy of the Muslims themselves (they are the first victims of the tyrants and terrorists that Al Jazeera defends).
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (April 2003) A grand vision for the Arab world. Now that Iraq is free, one is tempted to wish Syria the same freedom. And one is tempted to hope that a democratic Iraq will force the other Arab regimes (from Egypt to Morocco, from Saudi Arabia to Kuwait) to grant more rights to their own people. Syria is the next worst regime in the Arab world, and a clear obstacle to peace in Palestine. The USA should take advantage of its victorious 300,000 troops and liberate Syria too.
    The vision is quite simple. There used to be a region of the world, western Europe, that caused the vast majority of the tragedies of the world. For 1,500 years (since the fall of the Roman Empire) a handful of European countries (France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Italy) have caused hundreds of millions of deaths around the world: slavery, genocides, fascism, nazism, communism, two world wars. In 1945 the USA conquered that part of the world and forced all those countries to adopt a democratic constitution and to federate in super-national organizations such as NATO and the European Union. Since then, that region of the world has become the most democratic and peaceful in the entire planet. Far from being a miracle, it was merely a return to the Roman Empire: except that the "pax romana" was replaced by the "pax americana".
    In 2003, the USA has a similar opportunity in the Middle East. If the USA conquers Syria too, it will only have allies in the Middle East, and only one serious enemy in the Arab world (Qaddafi, who has become much more reasonable). If the USA conquered Syria, they could create a larger Mesopotamia, extending from Syria to Kuwait and comprising Jordan and Palestine, a federation of the Arab peoples of the Middle East, i.e. the Middle East's equivalent of western Europe. Wealthy and democratic, the Middle East would become another bedrock of international peace.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (July 2002) The Arab countries rank last in all sorts of statistics. The "Arab Human Development Report 2002", written by Arab researchers who live in Arab countries, shows that the gap between the developed world and the Arab world is increasing in every single area, from education to wealth. Even Asia and Latin America are leaving the Arabs way behind. Except for some parts of black Africa that are still entangled in civil wars, the Arab world is pretty much the worst place on the planet.
    The numbers are embarrassing. Despite the trillions of dollars earned with the oil trade, all the Arab countries together have a combined gross domestic product that is half that of Spain alone. No Arab country has invested in industry, services, agriculture. The oil money is obviously being spent only in palaces and weapons.
    Unemployment is not too bad by European standards (15%) but then it does not include women, who are rarely counted as human beings in Arab countries.
    In the Internet age, only 1% of Arabs own a computer.
    Needless to say, the Arab world has the highest concentration of dictatorships in the world, featuring two of the all-time record holders (Qaddafi and Saddam, both in power since the Sixties). No Arab country (says the report) has free media and only a handful of them allow opposition papers (by contrast, Iran is a model of democracy, as at least opposition papers are widespread). The "freedom score", says the report, is less than half of the rest of Africa (a place not famous for democracy).
    If the economic indicators are horrifying, numbers about education are even worse. No wonder so many Arabs choose to become suicide bombers: they have close to zero knowledge of the world, Physics, History, Geography, Science. The report says that over the last thousand years the entire Arab world has translated fewer books than Spain translates in one year: so much for respecting other cultures. But then who cares about books: one Arab in four is illiterate, the vast majority being women.
    Confronted with these terrfyng statistics, one wonders how can anyone (Muslim or not) accept to live in such hell. One would expect the Arab masses to rise against the mad dictators who caused this social, economic and cultural disaster. Instead, Arabs seem to be perfectly happy: the number of protests against their own leaders is minimal. The very same Arabs who take to the streets to burn Israeli and American flags are perfectly happy to be treated like animals by their own dictators. Somehow, the Arab masses think that huge injustice from an Arab dictator is ok, but the slightest interference from an infidel is worth a holy war.
    As a matter of fact, Arabs are not clear themselves what they want. The poll shows that the vast majority of Arabs consider the USA guilty of just about every evil in the world. But, when asked where they would like to emigrate, 51% (fiftyone percent!) reply: the USA! This love-hate relationship is difficult to explain by anyone who is not Arab.
    There is one statistic in which Arabs lead the world: 38% of Arabs are under 14. There are hundreds of millions of young Arabs who are growing up absolutely ignorant in every field (except the Quran), without jobs and under totalitarian regimes. That is the real time bomb for the 21st century.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (April 2002) Anti-Arab racism vs Arab nationalism. From Osama Bin Laden's terrorism to the Palestinian struggle, there is a fundamental theme underlying the behavior of the Arab masses: the unity of the Arab peoples. No matter what evil acts Arab dictators carry out, the Arab masses never speak out against them. There hasn't been a single popular revolution in any Arab country. No matter what good deeds the other religions of the world perform, the Arabs never praise them.
    The Arab attitude has taken a dangerous turn: if something good happens, thank Allah; if something bad happens, blame the infidels (Europeans, Indians, Americans, Russians, Chinese...). The cases in which a Muslim is guilty of something evil or a non-Muslim is the agent of something good - these cases just do not seem to exist in the Arab vocabulary.
    This explains why the Arabs are not condemning (and, maybe, secretely congratulating) Osama Bin Laden and the Arabs involved in the September 11 attack. This explains why the Arabs never protested against the massacres carried out by the Taliban for ten years, but protested when the American bombing of Afghanistan killed a few hundred (Muslim) civilians. This explains why the Arabs never thanked the West for defending the Muslims in Kosovo. This explains why the Arabs hate America's and Britain's pro-democracy policies in the Middle East (it is not democracy that matters to the Arabs, it is the preservation of the Arab leadership). This explains why the Arabs are not grateful that the West lets them immigrate, study and start a business.
    Not a single Islamic leader has issued a "fatwa" against Islamic terrorists. Islamic leaders routinely issue fatwas against writers who dare speak against Islam (often with attached a death sentence) and even fatwas against Muslim women accused of not wearing the veil or of wanting to divorce an abusive husband (see how Islamic countries treat women). But not a single fatwa has been issued against Osama Bin Laden (or, for that matter, Saddam Hussein or any other crazy Arab dictator), anywhere in the Arab world. In fact, the only reproach for the terrorists that came from the Islamic leaders was against suicide: it is amoral for the Muslim terrorist to commit suicide, it is not amoral for the Muslim terrorist to blow up infidels.
    It gets worse. Whether they admit it or not, the Islamic attitude over the centuries (up till today) has been expansionistic. Muslims are still trying to expand beyond their borders as they have been doing since the 7th century. It is ironic that they refer to Israel as an "occupying force" when the Arabs "are" the occupying force in a land that stretches from Morocco to Iraq and that they conquered in a series of bloody wars. (If Israel has to return the occupied territories, one wonders why the Arabs should not return "their" occupied territories, i.e. all the land from Morocco to Iraq, including Palestine). The problem is that too many Arabs see nothing wrong when a Muslim occupies a non-Muslim land (that's the way it is written it should be) but see a big problem when a non-Muslim occupies a Muslim land (that goes counter to the Islamic mission of occupying the entire planet).
    Every single day, millions of children and students in schools around the Islamic world are asked to recite the verses of the Quran that require every good Muslim to fight for the expansion of Islam.
    This attitude has led many Muslims on the war path against most of the world. Today, there are Muslims fighting against America, Israel, India, China, Russia, and making trouble in Indonesia, Philippines, Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, etc. Minorities that are being persecuted and/or massacred by Arabs include the Sahrawis in Morocco, the Kurds in Iraq, the Berbers in Algeria, the Dinkas in Sudan. It is an endless list of conflicts that pit Islam against pretty much all the other religions/cultures in the world.
    It is not the USA or the West (or Russia or China or India) that has declared war on Islam, it is the opposite: Islam has declared war on everybody else. And it didn't happen today. See .

    The Quran and the Hadith constitute a war manual that instructs Muslims on how to carry out the jihad. Mohammad in person was a revolutionary and an expansionist. He personally led his gang to carry out attacks against innocent civilians and conquer peaceful tribes. Today's terrorists are merely continuing Mohammad's mission. (Sure, Christians did the same, but they did not write a war manual for future generations, and their prophet, Jesus, never killed anyone or asked anyone to kill anyone).
    When is the last time that an Arab leader went on tv and said (in Arabic, not in English!) that other peoples have the same right to exist as the Arabs? They can't, because it just would not resonate with the Islamic masses. Every time Bush or Blair tell their people that they recognize the right to exist of another people, it resonates with the American and British masses, who value democracy and self-determination. But those are values that just do not resonate with the Islamic masses.
    Which Islamic religious leader has told the Muslim masses that they should NOT believe these verses from the Quran: "Kill the disbelievers wherever we find them" (2:191), "Murder [the disbelievers]" (9:123), "Slay the disbelievers wherever ye find them, seize them, attack them" (9:5), "Slay or crucify or cut the hands and feet of the disbelievers" (5:34), "Seize them, and bind them, and burn [the disbelievers] in the blazing fire" (69:30-37)?

    See a timeline of the Middle East

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  • (March 2002) Islamic stupidity kills 15 high-school girls in Saudi Arabia.
    Women are traditionally treated like animals in Arab countries, due to Mohammed's teaching that women are inferior and the Koran's several references to women's inferior status. Women are rarely allowed to vote. They are almost never allowed to be elected. In some countries they are not even allowed to sue the man who rapes them. In Saudi Arabia women are not even allowed to drive a car. In many Arab countries girls are not allowed to go to school (a practice that Arabs exported to Afghanistan during the Taliban rule), and only in a handful of women graduate from universities. Everywhere in the Arab world, boys and girls attend separate schools.
    When a fire enveloped a school for girls in Mecca, the firemen were not allowed to enter the school, because males are not supposed to enter the building. The police then used to force to keep the girls from fleeing the burning building, because the girls were not wearing the proper headscarves and black robes. The police used batons to beat the girls who were trying to escape. The police then beat and threaten to arrest any men who tried to help the girls, because it would have been sinful for men to approach girls. The gate of the school was kept locked while the fire was devouring the building and the girls were screaming for help. Fifteen girls were burned alive in a fire.
    The whole world joins in wishing that these puritanical Islamists of Saudi Arabia will burn in hell for the rest of eternity. For now there is a good news, which maybe will turn these girls' sacrifice into a historic event. The Saudi Arabian government could have easily hidden the whole fact, as they have done countless times (there are hundreds of anedoctal stories about massacres in Saudi Arabia). Instead, the Saudi government allowed families and friends to protest against this barbaric fact. If the world has learned about this accident, it is because the government wanted the world to know. This could mean that the Saudi government is finally ready for change.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (January 2002) Afghanistan: A Blueprint for World War III. In the past, we have advocated a war against the Taliban way before the September 11 attacks, simply based on the fact that the Taliban terrorized their people with a horrible dictatorship, not to mention their harrowing treatment of women and their destruction of world-heritage monuments. Afghanistan was setting a dreadful example and it was destabilizing the entire region. We noticed that Afghanistan was one of the few places in the world where opposing powers such as USA (and their satellite the European Union), Russia, China, India and even Iran were sharing a common interest, as Afghanistan was sponsoring Islamic terrorism against each of them.
    It took the September 11 events to wake up these countries from their cold-war torpor. Now we are suddenly in a new era, one in which USA, Russia, China, India and the European Union (the five most populous and most powerful countries in the world) recognize that they do share common interests and that those prevail over their rivalries.
    If we project this new "world order" on a larger scale, it is not difficult to picture what is the common enemy of all these powers: Islam. To some degree, all are threatened by Islamic movements and, in general, all are disliked by a hostile Islamic public. Ask an Arab what are the gravest problems facing the world today, and he will not mention the Arab dictatorships (the worst in the world): he will mention the USA, Russia, China, India and Western Europe as the causes of all trouble. That comes from a deeply-rooted religious belief in the righteousness of the Islamic people and in the wrongfulness of the non-Islamic people. That translates into terrorism.
    As Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, this problem is only going to escalate. It is Islam against the rest of the world (Islam has declared war to the rest of the world, not viceversa).
    The problem is compounded by oil. The world's economy is based on oil. The Islamic world controls most of the world's oil. As oil begins to get scarce, this problem is only going to get worse.
    Islamic people are at war with Nigerians, Sudanese, Israeli, Indonesian, Philipino, Russian (Chechnya), Chinese (Turkestan), Indian (Kashmir) and now American forces. In all of these cases, the Islamic public is convinced that Christians, Hindus, etc are evil and that violence is justified against them. When these same powers support Muslims (as in Bosnia and Kosovo), Islamic countries give their thanks to Allah. It is a one-way view of the world: when the Muslims are winning, it is Allah's will; when the Muslims are losing, it is because of evil infidels.
    If you look close, the rest of the Islamic world, in particular the Arab world, is not much better than Afghanistan. There is no democracy in the Arab world. Women are treated like inferior beings. Other religious groups are routinely discriminated. Most Muslim countries destabilize their region. Most Muslim countries sponsored or funded terrorist groups.
    The exceptions are notable for how they distance themselves from the Arabs. Turkey, a country whose population is mostly Muslim, even persecutes Islamic fundamentalism. Iranians dislike Arabs and, in a fair election, would probably endorse Turkey's secularism. Pakistan is taking measures to restrain Islamic movements on its territory and elections are likely to punish the Islamic parties. These are Islamic countries that secretely hope for a collapse of Islamic movements.
    The world eventually realized that Afghanistan was a common problem and needed to be taken care of. The world powers were happy to let the USA take care of that problem.
    One wonders what has to happen before the very same powers realize that Afghanistan was only a particular case of a bigger problem; before the very same powers realize that they could take care of the bigger problem the same way they did with Afghanistan to their mutual satisfaction. It is only a matter of time. The Arabs are dancing on the brink of the precipice.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (December 2001) Why Muslims hate the West. Unless you believe in coincidence, there is little doubt that Muslims are tacitly involved in a global war against non-Muslims, from Nigeria to India, from Indonesia to China. The target is non only the West: the target is anybody who does not submit to Mohammed (as Mohammed preached 1,400 years ago). Persecution of non-Muslims is mandated in the Quran itself.
    However, regional wars fought by Muslims in different places of the world tend to be "tactical": they fight for control of a territory. On the other hand, Muslim hatred of the West is something different, something that is more "strategic" than "tactical".
    There are several reasons for this anti-Western hatred. First and foremost, anti-Western sentiment originates from history. What Europeans consider the "dark ages" (i.e., the Middle Age) the Arabs consider their golden age. There was a time when Europe was a poor land, devastated by the plague, ruled by anarchy, a land in which people died like flies of wars and diseases, a land in which only a handful knew how to read and write. At that time, the Arab lands were rich and clean. Arab cities were adorned with majestic buildings. The pride of an Arab ity was the library, that served a large community of readers. Arab philosophers and scientists were multiplying.
    By the 16th century the balance of power had dramatically changed and World War I simply ratified Muslim decadence by dismantling the last remaining Muslim empire, the Ottoman empire. The Muslim lands had become the poor lands, ruled by anarchy, etc. Christian lands had become wealthy and powerful. As a matter of fact, the Christian world went on to rule (or "colonize") the entire world and eventually yielded the first superpower, the USA. In the meantime, the Muslim masses lived at the very bottom of the economic ladder.
    One reason for anti-Western hatred is simply a mixture of envy and resentment, that the Muslim civilization has lost to the Christian civilization.
    It is important to understand why the Muslim civilization lost and why the Christian civilization won: materialism (which today we call "capitalism"). Christians became more and more interested in trade, whereas Muslims were and still are more interested in faith, honor, moral values. Christians became the best traders in the world. Christians discovered America and exploited its treasures. Christians fought internecine wars over wealth. Material values prevailed in the Christian states. It turned out that this obsession with the "material" gave Christians a gigantic advantage over Muslims and eventually led to the triumph of the Christian world and to the defeat of the Muslim world. Muslims can't help despising Christians for being so material, and that scorn is doubled by the recognition that Christians used their moral weakness to conquer the world.
    A third motive of the Muslim hatred for the West is quite trivial: a different idea of government. The West, based on Christian principles of equality, has invented democracy and strongly believes that democracy is the "right" system. Muslims, and particularly Arabs, believe that the "right" system is one in which a leader commands, his authority granted to him, in one way or another, by Allah. Arabs want a leader, not a parliament. A good government is not a parliament, but a good leader. Christians struggle for democracy: Muslims struggle for justice. The two concepts look similar, but they one does not imply the other (justice does not imply democracy and democracy, alas, does not imply justice). Westerners despise the dictatorships of the Middle East, but Arabs despise the corruption of Western democracies.
    Another strong point of disagreement is "women". Women have been and are treated in completely different manners. In the West, women have held important posts, from queens to scientists, even before emancipation. That is simply not possible in a purely Muslim society, where women are considered inferior beings. This difference can be traced to the Gospels and the Quran themselves (Jesus grants women the same rights, Mohammed specifically ranks women below men). To this day, Muslims despise the freedom that Westerners grant women, and Westerners despise the submission of Muslim women. Muslims frequently have to deal with Western women who hold important posts (even ministers), and that is humiliating. To this date, many Islamic countries do not allow women to vote, and very few allow them to run for office. Even in the few Islamic countries where women have formally the same rights as men, very few hold any post of any significance (Jordan, one of the most westernized Arab countries, has only one woman in its parliament). In countless countries, women can't even defend themselves against rape.
    Finally, the "dark ages" taught Christians that God has nothing to do with their failures or successes: your fate is largely in your own hands. Muslims, on the contrary, still believe that everything depends on Allah: "inshallah" ("if god wills"). This has devastating consequences on the interpretation of history. Christians believe that a tragedy happened because somebody made a mistake. Muslims believe that a tragedy happened because Allah wanted it. There is nothing the West can possibly do to appease the Muslim world: most Muslims will interpret it as a gift from Allah, not from the West. If the West wins a war, it's because Allah wanted it, not because the West is more powerful. If the West makes a concession, most Muslims do not thank the West, they thank Allah. Etc. This blind belief in the absolute power of Allah makes it virtually impossible to find a common ground.
    These factors have contributed to creating an anti-Western sentiment that is more than mere rivalry or pride. It is a strategic committment to fight the West, its ideas, its principles, and, ultimately, its very existence.
    Last but not least, many Muslims (and, particularly, Arabs) are convinced that the West must loathe them the same way they loathe the West. The reason Muslims are so convinced that the USA wants to kill Muslim civilians (in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc) is because they, the Muslims, wish the death of American civilians, and therefore assume that Americans must wish the same on Muslims.
    There are exceptions to these rules, of course: "moderate" Muslims, where "moderate" means "not really Muslim".
    It is not the West that has declared a holy war against Islam, it is Islam that is still fighting a holy war against the West.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (October 2001) Muslims protest US bombings of the Taliban. Here we go again. America attacks one of the worst dictatorships in the world and the Muslim world, that has never ever protested against that dictatorship, takes to the streets to protest the American attacks. We don't know how many Muslims resent America's bombing of Afghanistan but Arab media and Pakistani media seem to imply that the vast majority of Muslims does not approve of it and a sizeable minority strongly opposes it.
    None of those same Muslims took to the streets to protest the killing of 6,000 civilians (from 80 nationalities) at the World Trade Center, or the destruction of the two giant Buddhas, or the treatment of women under the Taliban, or the two million people killed in Afghanistan's civil war, but they are ready to protest against any act that hurts the Taliban, the worst dictatorship in the world. It doesn't take a genius in politics to understand, but Westerners seem to have a very hard time to see the light. The bottom line about the Muslim-American confrontation is very simple:
    • Muslim countries have had and still have some of the worst dictatorships in the world of the last 50 years;
    • those dictators have massacred their own people using all sorts of weapons;
    • lives under those dictatorships has become more and more miserable, ethnic minorities annihilated, women treated like animals, dissidents eliminated;
    • Muslims have done almost nothing to fight those dictators;
    • millions of Muslims fled to Western countries (no westerner fled to Muslim countries);
    • the only Arabs who can vote are the ones who live in Israel, USA, Europe and Indian, whereas all Arabs who live in Arab countries live under dictatorships
    • those dictatorships eventually attacked US interests;
    • the US retaliated;
    • most Muslims, instead of being grateful that somebody was finally fighting the dictators that oppress them, defend those dictators and hate the US.
    There is a fundamental misunderstanding in the West about what most Muslims want: they want their dictators. They are the only people on this planet who are happy and even proud of living under a dictatorship.
    Most Muslims hate anybody who fights their dictators and even hate anybody who stops their dictators from hurting other countries.
    Very few Muslim intellectuals are speaking up against the inertia and condescendence of the Muslim masses towards their dictators. Very few Muslim intellectuals are applauding America's fight against Muslim dictators. (If they are, they better do it silently because they could be lynched by the masses). Both the Muslim masses and the Muslim intellectuals are behaving exactly like the German masses and intellectuals during the 1930s, when they were justifying Hitler's actions.
    The Arab media is guilty, at the least, of complicity with Muslim extremists. Arab newspapers routinely omit any mention of facts that would harm the reputation of the extremists, while endorsing every single issue those extremists fight for. It is difficult for their readers to understand why the West is so mad as such nice people. Arab newspapers routinely doubt any information coming from the West (even if history has proven over and over again that Western media are reliable) and routinely endorse any information coming from Arab dictators and terrorists.
    The Al-Jazeera tv station has provided the most partisan broadcast ever of a war, pretending that the Taliban had support among the Afghans, that the American bombs killed thousands of Afghans, that the World Trade Center was blown up by Jews, and that any evidence implicating Osama was fabricated by the CIA. Not a word about the millions of Afghans who celebrated the liberation, not a word about the millions of Afghans who were killed by the Taliban, not a word about Osama's own admission of guilt, not a single word about the hundreds of Muslims who were killed at the World Trade Center. Viewers of Al-Jazeera may not even know that the Taliban have been defeated, because Al-Jazeera never really showed their defeat, the liberation, the people rejoicing in the streets of Kabul. This is a tradition that harks back to Yunis Al-Bahri, an Arab nazi broadcasting from Berlin anti-Western and pro-Hitler propaganda to the Arab world, and to Saut Al-Arab radio station ("The Voice of the Arabs"), that dominated the airwaves in the Sixties sowing hatred against the West.
    Arab tv stations routinely broadcast historical programs about the Crusades, as depicting the cruelty of the West towards Muslims, but omit any mention of how the Muslims came to occupy Palestine and northern Africa (no less ruthless massacres) and how Muslims repeatedly tried to invade Europe itself (the message being: "killing in the name of Jesus is a crime against humanity, but killing in the name of Mohammed is ok").
    This is not a war of America against Islam, but it is a war of Islam against America and what America stands for: democracy, progress, prosperity, freedom. Like it or not, Islam has declared war against the West, not today, but a long time ago.
    Muslim intellectuals must choose which side they are on. No, you can't say that you are neither with the West nor with Islam, just like in the 1930s you could not be both against the democracies and against Hitler.
    Somebody must have the guts to stand up and tell the truth: the world would be a much better place if Israel ruled over the entire Muslim world: Muslims would still be free to be Muslims, but they would have the right to vote, they would have a much higher standard of life, women would have the same rights as men, and there would be no more wars.
    Intellectuals, clerics and politicians: do you want to prove to us that terrorism is not a consequence of Islam? Go on tv and say that the terrorists are expelled from the Muslim community. This will hurt the terrorists. Go on tv and tell your people that, since Muslims blew up the World Trade Center in the name of Islam, you will blow up Mecca and Medina. This will hurt the terrorists. So far, the terrorists have won. Even if they get killed, they have won (they don't care about dying, obviously). Ask the United Nations to turn Afghanistan into a Buddhist country and forbid Islam in it. This will hurt them. If you want to prove that Islam has nothing to do with them, do something that will hurt them, that will turn their actions against Islam (and will make you also a target). Then we will believe you. Your silence is obviously not hurting them: it is helping them win.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (October 2001) Intolerance and modern Islam ("Islam kills"). Note of 2009 (after receiving countless complaints from Muslims). If you disagree with what i wrote below about the Quran, don't tell me: go to the Middle East, to North Africa and to Pakistan and tell them. Tell ordinary Muslims from Morocco to Pakistan what you want to reject of my presentation of Islam. If you think that the Quran does not prescribe violence and is tolerant towards infidels, please don't tell me: tell them. Below i have simply summarized the ideology that has an influnce on the average Muslim in the Islamic world. It is pointless for Westernized Muslim intellectuals to tell us (in English and in non-Islamic countries) that Islam is the opposite of what ordinary Muslims throughout the Islamic world and non-Islamic world think it is. It is pointless to tell us (in English and thousands of kms away from the Islamic world) that suicide bombing is un-Islamic, that Islam means peace, that women have rights. There are basically two ideologies called "Islam": one for Westerners, discussed in English, that accuses the Western media of Islamophobia, and one for Muslims, discussed in Arabic, Farsi and Urdu, that actually suppots (implicitly or explicitly) the very behavior and holds the very beliefs that cause Islamophobia in the Western media. Don't tell us in English that the Quran says the exact opposite of what i wrote below: tell them in Arabic, Farsi and Urdu.
    (I feel a little embarrassed that I have to write this disclaimer. Unfortunately, many readers do not have the background to understand the difference between Arabs, Muslims and Islam. Islam is the religion of the Quran, the book that supposedly contains the prophet Mohammed's words, which supposedly came from Allah himself. The Muslims are the people who believe in Islam. The Arabs are an ethnic group. Not all Arabs are Muslims. There are Arabs who are Christian, and some Arabs are even Jewish. Most Muslims in the world are not Arab. The largest Muslim country in the world is Pakistan, whose inhabitants are not Arab. The largest Muslim community in the world is in India, whose inhabitants are not Arab. It is true, of course, that Islam came from Arabia, and that Islam has shaped the Arab societies. The topic of this article is Islam, which is a religion and, in my opinion, an ideology. It does not automatically apply to all Arabs, some of whom are not Muslim at all and many of whom do not believe the letter of the Quran, or have their own interpretations of what the sentences of the Quran really mean. I believe that many of the problems of the Arab societies are due to the fact that they were shaped by Islam. This does not automatically translate into a racial statement against Arabs. Just like Italy's chronic political instability is due, in my opinion, to the history of the Italian people and to the influence of the Catholic church, but does not mean that i consider my fellow compatriots an inferior race.)
    (As much as i dislike the Quran as a religious and political book in whose name millions of people have been killed and enslaved, i admit that it is one of the most interesting texts of that age that i have read: it is a text that makes extensive use of metaphor and even analyzes itself, pioneering literary techniques that would be used only centuries later by avantgarde novelists. This challenges our stereotypes of the Arab people: far from being a bunch of nomadic barbarians, they had superior poets who were already ahead of Western poets even before the Islamic conquest began, as shown also in pre-Islamic anthologies such as the Mu'allaqat and the Mufaddaliyat).
    All religions (especially the Christian one) have killed millions of innocents in the name of their Gods. Today Islam seems to be the most dangerous of all religions.
    Westerners are good at finding excuses for the Islamic world. After all, Palestinians have been killed for years by the Israelis. After all, most Muslims live in extreme poverty. After all, European powers colonized their countries. After all, America exploits their oil. After all, the Crusaders were evil and cruel. (This, of course, does not set the record straight: Muslims conducted their own crusades against Christians way before the Christians struck back; Muslims colonized countless countries that were independent; Muslims exploited the riches of Africa and Central Asia; Muslims invented the mass-scale intercontinental slave trade; Muslims were wealthy when Europeans were poor).
    What Westerners fail to realize is that over the last decade the tables have been turned, and it has been consistently the Muslims who have been involved in religious violence around the world: Muslims versus Hindus in India, Muslims versus Jews in Palestine, Muslims versus Christians in Nigeria, Muslims versus Christians and Animists in Sudan, and Muslims versus Christians, Hindus and Chinese in the Philippines, Indonesia, etc etc. Today, there is no Christian terrorism (terrorism in the name of the Christian scriptures) and there is no Buddhism terrorism (terrorism in the name of the Buddhist scriptures). Today, there is only Islamic terrorism. You never hear a Christian say that all Muslims should die. A Christian who said so in public would be immediately silenced by the authorities and maybe arrested. You can hear Muslims ask for the death of Christians, Hindus, etc pretty much in every Islamic country. They do it publicly. You can see their faces in tv. Muezzins, imams and ayatollahs do it in the mosques and on tv. Nobody is stopping them.
    Westerners fail to see a fundamental feature of modern Islamic behavior: whenever they obtain something, Muslims assume that they owe it to Allah (and to their faith in Allah). Whenever a Western country gives them something or does something for them, Muslims don't thank the West: they thank Allah. For example, if the West deported all the Israelis and gave Israel back to the Arabs, the Arabs would thank Allah, not the West. The Arabs would assume that it was their faith in Allah, and their fight in the name of Allah, that gave them Israel. In a matter of days, they would start arguing about something else: Cyprus, Sicily, Turkey, whatever. Devout Muslims never see the good in the actions of the others: any good comes from Allah, not from the West. Devout Muslims will always see the evil in the actions of the West: the evil comes from the West and is due to the fact that Westerners are infidels.
    The USA fought for Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait, which are all Muslim countries. For the Muslim masses, that was the will of Allah. No Muslim (other than the ones directly involved) took to the streets waving American flags to thank America for protecting the Muslims in Kosovo.
    All evil is due to America (and to the infidels in general). All good is due to Allah and to their faith in Allah (and their fighting for Allah).
    There is virtually nothing that the West can do to appease these Muslims. Their complaints will continue forever, simply switching target.
    Islamic fundamentalists will stop only when all of America, Europe, Russia, China and Africa convert to Islam. Muslim leaders around the world proudly predict that this is eventually going to happen: Islam will eventually rule all over the world, because that is the will of Allah. Then peace will reign. (Hitler preached the same: he preached that peace would reign once the whole world was subjected to Nazist rule).
    Westerners underestimate this aspect of Islam, which is its fundamental ideology. The reason that it is so deadly serious is that it is eerily reminiscent of Hitler's plans for mankind.
    It is simply not true that (in 2006) Islam is as peaceful as Christianity or Buddhism or Hinduism or Shintoism, and that it is evil extremists that make it deadly. Islam is inherenly different. Let's take Christianity (I am not a practicing Christian and i am fully aware of the atrocities committed by the Catholic church, and i could as well take Buddhism, but, since the media and the terrorists of the Islamic world at present are mainly targeting Westerners, i will compare Islam with Christianity).
    Westerners often apply ethnic relativism to non-Christian religions, granting all of them the same rights. There are laws in the USA that explicitly forbid discrimination based on religion. This is noble (although Muslims don't seem too grateful) but it neglects the inherent differences between Islam and other religions. The Gospels talk only of forgiveness. Jesus never separates races (in fact he was a Jew while Christianity would spread among non-Jews). Jesus clearly stated that all creatures are loved by God. There is no discrimination against women in the Gospels (the two holiest characters are both women). Jesus said that everybody, even prostitutes and criminals, can go to heaven (he ruled out only rich people, but wealthy Westerners forgot that part).
    Now compare the gospels with the Quran: Mohammed explicitly states that only Muslims will go to heaven; and that every Muslim has the duty to carry out a "jihad" to spread Islam around the world; and he repeatedly calls for violence against the infidels. There is nothing in the Christian gospels or the Hinduist upanishads or the Buddhist scriptures that pits those religions against the other faiths of the world. The Catholic church did persecute other faiths, but not because it was in the gospels (because evil Popes had their own political agendas). Muslims persecute other faiths because it is in the Quran. It is not corrupt Muslim priests who promote religious hatred, it is zealous Muslim priests who promote religious hatred. Jesus never told people to kill (not even in self-defense). Neither did Buddha. Mohammed did (and he personally killed).
    The Quran and the Hadith repeatedly state that the "jihad" is one of the main duties of Muslims (the Quran is mainly a list of duties, more similar to a military book than to the scriptures of other religions). The word "jihad" means "struggle" and it requires three orders of "struggle": with the heart (striving to be a better Muslim), with the hand (using force to spread Islam) and with the word (converting infidels). So Jihad is the struggle for the cause of spreading Islam, by any available means. That is why it is such an important duty in the Quran and the reward for it is paradise.
    The Hadith devotes an entire chapter to instructions about the jihad: how to begin the war, how to conduct it, how to end it. It describes in detail the actions that are correct and the actions that are incorrect during the jihad (for example, the men who are captured in a jihad can be used as slaves and the women can be used as concubines, both of which Muslims routinely did).
    Any "progressive" Muslim who claims that the Quran/Hadith is a peaceful book that does not preach hatred against the other faiths is omitting those instructions about the holy war against infidels. Which is a generous act, but that Muslim is not a "real" Muslim. Real, devout Muslims know about that sentence and know they go to paradise if they carry out the jihad against the infidels: it's the word of Allah that counts, not the interpretation of "progressive", "moderate" Muslims.
    There is also a fundamental difference in scope between Islam and Christianity. The gospels prescribe no Christian structure of society. Jesus did not spell out a Christian legal system, or Christian rules as far as society/politics should work. The Christian gospels do not prescribe a legal or political system for Christian states. Christianity is merely a set of moral precepts: love the other (all the others, not just some of the others). The Quran, on the other hand, is explicitly a book about the structure of society. The duty of each Muslim is to struggle for the creation of an Islamic state, and the Quran commands which should be the laws of such a state (the "shariah"). Islam's goal was to reform society and to form a nation. Islam's mission is the reform of the whole world. Thus Islam's mission is inherently political. The call for jihad is a natural consequence of this mission. The jihad would make no sense in Christianity, because the gospels do not ask people to build such and such a state. Islam does.
    Islam is about war. It was from the beginning. Christianity is about peace (and so are Buddhism and many other religions). Islam spread thanks to the soldiers of an army who fought the enemy armies. Christianity spread thanks to slaves of the Roman empire who were killed by the thousands for three centuries. The entire Quran is basically a manual on the jihad. So much so that waging war on his own countrymen became Mohammed's main occupation in his adulthood. Jesus never struck a man and offered the other cheek. Buddha preached not to kill any form of life. But Mohammed was personally leading raids against caravans and slaughters of tribes.
    From the Quran:
    • "And fight those who have not faith in Allah nor in the hereafter and who forbid not what God and his Prophet have forbidden, and who are not committed to the religion of truth" (9:29);
    • "O Prophet, fight the disbelievers and hypocrites" (9:73);
    • "Fight the people of the book (Christians and Jews), who do not accept the religion of the truth (Islam)" (9:29);
    • "Strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah and your enemies" (8:60);
    • "I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, smite them above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them. It is not you who slew them; it was Allah" (8:12,17).
    • "The unbelievers follow falsehood while the believers follow the Truth. When you meet the unbeliever strike off his head, and when you have laid him low, bind him firmly" (sura 23).
    • "When you meet the unbelievers, strike off their heads; then when you have made wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives." (Sura xlvii.4)
    • "Those who believe fight in the cause of God."(Sura iv, 76)
    • "Fight then against them till strife be at an end, and the religion be all of Allah" (Sura viii, 39-42)
    • "Kill those who join other gods with Allah wherever you may find them."(Sura ix, 5-6)

    The Qur'an instructs Muslims "not to make friendship with Jews and Christians" (5:51), "to kill the disbelievers wherever we find them" (2:191), "to murder them and treat them harshly" (9:123), "fight and slay the Pagans, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem" (9:5), "to slay or crucify or cut the hands and feet of the unbelievers" (5:34), "to seize them, and bind them, and burn them in the blazing fire" (69:30-37).
    Mohammed's rule is simple: "If there are twenty amongst you, you will crush two hundred: if a hundred, you will crush a thousand of them" (8:65). Verse 9.10 affirms the superiority of the "mujaheddin" (Muslims who engages in jihad) over the "mumin" (Muslims who testify that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammed is his prophet).
    A hadith, credited to Mohammed, elucidates what to do with Jews: "Judgement Day will come only when the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, until the Jew hides behind the tree and the stone, and the tree and the stone say: 'Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him'".
    You decide whether terrorists simply obey the Quran or twist its words.
    Islam is about a state, the Quran is about creating that state and the Muslims are the people who "strive" (with either heart, word or "hand") to create that state.
    Now refresh your memory about what the gospels say: "All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword" (Matthew 26:52). "Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also." (Matthew 5:39).
    Ultimately, the difference is in the meaning of the term "fanaticism". We call "fanatical" any Christian or Hindu or whatever who distorts (distorts) the spirit and the letter of the holy books. Jesus preached peace and forgiveness: any Christian who preaches war and hatred is "fanatical". On the other hand, we call "fanatical" any Muslim who follows (follows) the spirit and the letter of the Quran. A "fanatical Christian" is not a good Christian. A "fanatical Muslim" is precisely a good Muslim (meaning: a Muslim who sticks to the letter of the Quran). The confusion about the term "fanaticism" can be fatal. A Muslim is "fanatical" as much as the German nazis and the Japanese kamikaze were. They followed the spirit and the letter of their leaders. A "fanatical Christian" is the member of a splinter, apocryphal, aberrant and (today) very limited sect. A "fanatical Muslim" is a zealous Muslim. A "fanatical Christian" is a sacrilegious Christian.
    My claim is that Islam, by its nature, is a violent and totalitarian ideology.
    There are only a handful of Islamic countries that are democracies. The less Muslim a country is the less totalitarian its regime is (e.g., Bangladesh is probably the most democratic Islamic country in the world, followed by Turkey). Over the last decade, countries from Africa to South America, from the Far East to Eastern Europe have become democratic. Not a single Arab country did (until the USA invaded Iraq: both Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq have become independent since). Ironically, the only Arabs who have the right to vote are those who live in the USA, Israel and Western Europe. The poorest countries in the world (not counting small African countries) are Islamic: Sudan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan. Muslims emigrate by the millions to Christian countries, while virtually no Christians emigrate to Muslim countries. Muslims were doing a lot better, in terms of both freedom, wealth and safety, when their countries were European colonies.
    The chapter on Islamic women is particularly gruesome for a Westerner. Muslims still treat women like inferior beings (as prescribed by the Quran), while women in the West are able to vote and are even protected against discrimination. According to the Quran, husbands should beat their wives with a green branch because it hurts more (38:44), women will go to hell if they disobey to their husbands (66:10), men are superior to women (2:228), men are allowed to marry up to four wives and to sleep with their slave maids and keep as many captive women as they like (4:3) . Mohammed states that women cannot enter a tribunal (2:282) and even today in most Muslim countries a woman who has been raped cannot accuse her rapist. The idea is very simple: if a woman admits of having been raped, she admits of having committed adultery, therefore she can be condemned to death by stoning. Young girls are regularly whipped publicly if they denounce their abuser. Older women are quietly made disappear. Also, a man's word always prevails over a woman's word, so all the man has to do is deny the accusation, and the woman automatically becomes either a liar or an adulterer. Most confess to being liars, because the punishment is prison instead of death. In fact, i haven't found anywhere in the Quran a statement that women are entitled to paradise. The Quran seems to admit only males to paradise (who are famously rewarded with virgins: what would be the reward for a woman if she entered paradise?)
    Neither Christianity nor Buddhism preach that women are inferior beings (although Christian societies and Buddhist societies frequently discriminated against women).
    (Read this statement by Muslim intellectuals and this article by Salman Rushdie).
    Sure, over the centuries Western civilization has also caused a lot of problems, and a lot of dead people (probably more than any other civilization). There is, however, a fundamental difference: Muslims fight non-Muslims, whereas each European (Christian) power mainly fought other European (Christian) countries. In this century, Christians fought against the worst Christian dictators (Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin) and eventually toppled them. The USA fought wars against Britain (Christian), Spain (Christian), Germany (Christian), the Soviet Union (Christian) and Vietnam (Buddhist). The religion, obviously, had nothing to do with those wars.
    It is a fact that today the vast majority (almost the totality) of religious wars involve Muslims. At the beginning of the century there were almost no religious wars. What changed over the last century? Muslims were only 5% of the world population a century ago, they were mainly colonies of European powers and had no money. Today they are 12% of the world population, they are all independent countries and oil has given them a lot of money. Statistically, today it is much more likely that a Muslim decides to follow the Quran to the letter and start a religious war.
    Superimposed to the violent racist message of the Quran is the ancestral tribal ethics of the Arabian peninsula: if i kill a Muslim, it is ok for any Muslim to kill anyone in my family or even just in my town or even just in my nation. This is still the number one justification throughout the Islamic world (including the so called "moderates") for Islamic terrorism. Thus if a small newspaper in Denmark publishes cartoons that are deemed offensive by Muslims, it is ok to retaliate against all Danish people and even against all Christians.
    Despite the record, many Muslims still claim that the Islamic world is a superior world. A Muslim can point out that in his country crime is very low, there is little prostitution, there are no drugs (there would be absolutely no crime and absolutely no prostitution and absolutely no drugs in a fully Islamic state). Muslims who live in the West often feel that we are "inferior", because we let our daughters become "sluts" (relative to Muslim standards for women) and our sons do drugs. Muslims see the decadence of moral values in the West as a clear sign of "inferiority". A Muslim (who lives in the USA) once told me there is irrefutable evidence that the West is inferior: we let women vote and choose their husband, therefore we are on our way to self-destruction. I heard similar statements in Yemen and Syria. A true Muslim (one who is struggling for the jihad to spread Islam) would even view the religious tolerance of the West as a sign of "inferiority": Western countries let people be Hindus and Buddhists and Muslims because the Western ideology is weak and decaying. Islamic countries persecute the other religions because the Islamic ideology is strong and rising. (Muslims may have a point here).
    No doubt the vast majority of educated people who live in Muslim countries are against using the Quran for killing anybody. But it is a fact that the Quran invites the struggle against the infidels, and it is a fact that Mohammed rewards the "mujaheddin" with paradise. And it is a fact that nothing similar appears in any other religion. And it is a fact that millions of Muslims (not only the terrorists) believe in those verses.
    Very few Islamic countries have publicly accused the Taliban or Bin Laden; and the reason is not that those dictators side with the Taliban or Bin Laden (on the contrary, those dictators are threatened by Bin Laden), but because their people, their public opinion, strongly supports the Taliban and Bin Laden. Public opinion in most Muslim countries thinks that the Taliban and Bin Laden are better Muslims than their own leaders. It is the ordinary Muslim who dislikes the West, and who believes Islam is the only good political system. It is the ordinary Muslim who justifies the actions of terrorists.
    On the other hand, the West protects and defends Muslims. The very terrorists that attacked America exploited the basics of Western democracies: they planned the attack in Germany because Germany protects any freedom fighter from persecution or even investigation, and they were able to attack America because there anybody (Muslim or Christian or Hindu) can travel, work, study and board a plane. Those terrorists took advantage of the very principles of Western democracy to attack Western democracy. The very principles of Western democracy gives them the tools to commit these attacks against Western democracy.
    We may be wrong in presuming that the Muslim civilization is inferior to the Western civilization, but there is something fundamentally "different" between the two ideologies. There is something that sets Islam apart from all other religions. True Muslims agree with that, and they are proud of it and they are willing to die for it.
    It is up to the Islamic world to change this trend. The rest of the world can do very little. We can't change the Quran, we can't change what is preached in mosques and what is taught in madrasas. Only Muslims can.
    Muslims routinely recommend that non-Muslims read the Quran to find out how "peaceful" Islam is. When they do, ask them if they have ever read the Christian gospels, the Hindu upanishads, the Buddhist scriptures, etc. In other words: "how do you know how peaceful your religion is if you don't know how peaceful the other religions are?" These Muslims are sincere. They truly believe that Islam is a peaceful religion. But in their country it is illegal to teach other religions, therefore they have literally no idea of what they are talking about. Apparently, there is no translation into Arabic of the Buddhist or Hinduist scriptures, and it is extremely difficult for anyone to get a copy of the Gospels in Arabic (even assuming that one wants to risk her or his head to read them). The Muslims of the Islamic world have literally no way to find out that the Quran is a violent book compared to the others.

    See also this documentary on Islam

    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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