Skip to comments.Twilight of the Arabs - The contest for leadership in the Muslim world
Posted on 02/13/2010 2:39:57 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
For nearly a century, the West has seen the Muslim world primarily through the prism of the Arab states that stretch from North Africa to the Persian Gulf. Born of decaying empires, these states still carry echoes of desert war and ancient calls to glory. Yet for more than a thousand years after the founding period of Islam, Arabs did not lead the Muslim world, or even the Middle East. For that millennium, non-Arab Muslim rulers to the east and north marked the course of these Islamic lands.
Then, the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought both the Arab Awakening and Western European ambitions to control Arab lands. Ottoman weakness abetted these developments. World War I ended four centuries of Ottoman rule in the Middle East, and, in the aftermath of World War II, the brief period of Western colonial dominance passed. Arab rule at last returned to Arab lands, as did Arab claims to leadership of the Muslim world.
The newly independent Arab states, all under Sunni control, wore a youthful vigor. They laid claim to being modern enterprises, suitably equipped with modern theoriesprincipally nationalism and socialismand practices. They called for unity, formed a league, dabbled in unions. They cheered champions of their causemost prominently, Egypts Gamal Abdel Nasser. Constant crises, from the nationalization of the Suez Canal through the wars surrounding the Arab-Israeli dispute and the rise of terrorism, put the Arab lands clustered around the eastern Mediterranean at the center of world attention. The Cold War rivalry and growing world demand for oil further heightened Arab importance. Arab issues rose rapidly to be of great consequence for the wider world.
But the Arab armies failed; nationalism and socialism proved false gods; and the Cold War ended. The new Arab states vitality faded, drained away by authoritarian governments and ......
(Excerpt) Read more at weeklystandard.com ...
“But the Arab armies failed; nationalism and socialism proved false gods; and the Cold War ended. The new Arab states vitality faded, drained away by authoritarian governments and ......”
And radical Muslim psychopaths took control.
They will go back to eating dirt when we stop buying thier oil
Forgive me, but this thing reads like the answer to an essay test.
Hillel Fradkin is director of the Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World at the Hudson Institute. Lewis Libby is senior adviser at the Hudson Institute.
Guess they have positions....
I agree, It’s the usual junk from the Weakly Standard. I don’t know how Krystall thinks so smuggly. His magazine sux, IMHO
the electric car is coming
But where will the electricity come from?
LOL....there is a plugin in the wall.
A pretty good analysis.
Now thats thinking with your dipstick, Jimmy!.
A poor answer. A C t the very best
They will go back to eating dirt when we stop buying thier oil
Islam came close to conquering the west, and was a threat into well into the 1400’s. You underestimate your adversary in my opinion.
A very LONG read.
Interesting that it’s co-authored by (Scooter) Lewis Libby, who is now a senior adviser at the Hudson Institute.
Damn,...I didn’t realize that....thanks.
Good to know he does have a professional
association, after the slaughter he and
his family endured.
Interesting post, tho a bit academic in language.
I’m not a historian, tho very interested in history, particularly that of Iran. I know the region quite well.
My *rough* summary would be:
Yes, the Islamic conquest began in the 7th century by the bedouin (Mohammadan) Arabs, and they did invade a Zorastrian Iran at the time. From 7th century right thru to around 9-10 centuries, they imposed their Islamic ideology on Iran thru various means (incl. coercive methods).
Islam, itself, is not an *original religion*. It is mainly a Political Ideology; it has very little *spiritual* component to it (Sufis are exceptions, and are not by and large accepted by Sunni, Wahhabi, Salafi or Shi’ite majority). Islam has borrowed heavily from preceding religions, philosophies & cultures, especially Judaism. But threw in its own *Arabic-culture bits*. Later, *Iranian/Persian cultural bits*, beyond initial disputes between Shia and Sunnis Arabs, whose main claim to fame was the dispute as to who was the successor to Mohammad.
After Islam, by various means, was embedded in Iran (circa 10/11th centuries A.D.), it was in fact the newly converted Muslim-Iranians (a client state of the Arab Caliphate Abbassids, with their power-center in what is called Iraq today) took Islam beyond Iran’s borders - its version, to date, includes southern parts of Spain, at least in architecture.
In Iran, Islam was further modified by a Turkic speaking Iranian rulers called the Safavid Dynasty (circa 16th century). Safavid “Shia” Islam was imposed as the State religion in Iran by force. The Turkic Safavid were EXTREMELY Brutal in imposing their Shia Islam on the populace. Prior to the Safavid, and after initial invasion by Arabs during 7th century, Iran was Sunni by majority.
Later still, it was the Turks (from today’s Turkey), thru Ottoman Empire, who dominated the Arab world for a while, particularly from today’s Saudi Arabia thru to Alegeria, Tunisia and Morocco. The British & French colonization, but eventually withdrew from the Muslim world in the ME.
Today, what we see as distinct countries such as Saudi Arabi, Jordan, the Gulf States, as examples, are not *real* countries. They were/are creations (partitions) by above mentioned European powers. Though they retain their Arabic culture & Islamic doctrine. If you look closely, many incl. of Algeria and Tunisia, Jordan and so on, still incorporate French penal codes in their judiciary along with Mostly Islamic Sharia laws.
Saudi Arabia is an exception, because it is the birthplace of Mohammad, Mecca and Medina. The House of Saud, politically at least, fought hard long ago to maintain its sole *true* Islamic values, post Ottoman Empire ....
Today & so far, Political Islam (political which Islam has always been) continues to be the basis of a struggle for using various sects e.g. Sunni, Shia, Wahhabi & Salafi. It is a Political struggle for Power & Control, using a religious (political) doctrine.
The book “The Haj” lays out the reasons for a lot of Arab craziness/nastiness.
Arabs have literally never produced anything except authoritarian states. This probably has something to do with the fact that most Arabs are Moslems. In Lebanon, where there used to be a very large minority Christian population, the postwar constitution called for power sharing. That broke down in the 1950s, and President Eisenhower sent in troops to restore order and prop up the Lebanese constitution.
The PLO tried to overthrow the Hashemite dynasty in the Kingdom of Jordan (again, an authoritarian state), but was thwarted. The survivors were either rounded up and kicked out, or ran across the border and surrendered to the Israelis (no joke) to avoid annihilation by a pretty pissed-off Jordanian army.
Their next stop (although there had been an earlier presence of “refugees” from “Palestine”) was Lebanon, where a large, heavily armed, criminal enterprise (with help from the Syrians) destabilized the Lebanese polity and it disintegrated. The Syrians then invaded, occupied parts of Lebanon, and finally pushed on to Beirut where they shelled the presidential palace and finished taking control. This followed the Israeli incursion, which drove the militias and the Syrian forces aside in order to eject the PLO from Beirut.
They wound up in Tunisia, but should have wound up stone cold dead.