Friday, April 02, 2004
A highly recommended short piece by Professor Fouad Ajami, one of the most insightful commentators on Islam and Arab world. This is his perspective on radical Islam finding its new home in Europe. "Europe's leaders know Europe's dilemmas. In ways both intended and subliminal, the escape into anti-Americanism is an attempt at false bonding with the peoples of Islam. Give the Arabs--and the Muslim communities implanted in Europe--anti-Americanism, give them an identification with the Palestinians, and you shall be spared their wrath. Beat the drums of opposition to America's war in Iraq, and the furies of this radical Islamism will pass you by. This is seen as a way around the troubles. But there is no exit that way. It is true that Spain supported the American campaign in Iraq, but that aside, Spain's identification with Arab aims has a long history. Of all the larger countries of the EU, Spain has been most sympathetic to Palestinian claims. It was only in 1986 that Spain recognized Israel and established diplomatic ties. With the sole exception of Greece, Spain has shown the deepest reserve toward Israel. Yet this history offered no shelter from the bombers of March 11."