Skip to comments.The Bloody Borders Of Islam (Charles Krauthammer)
Posted on 02/07/2003 2:57:37 PM PST by dennisw
The Bloody Borders Of IslamWASHINGTON - Is Islam an inherently violent religion? And there is no denying the fact, stated most boldly by Samuel Huntington, author of ``The Clash of Civilizations?,'' that ``Islam has bloody borders.''
Published: Dec 6, 2002
From Nigeria to Sudan to Pakistan to Indonesia to the Philippines, some of the worst, most hate- driven violence in the world today is perpetrated by Muslims and in the name of Islam.
In Pakistan, Muslim extremists have attacked Christian churches, killing every parishioner they could. Just last month in Lebanon, an evangelical Christian nurse, who had devoted her life to caring for the sick, was shot three times through the head, presumably, for ``proselytizing.''
On the northern tier of the Islamic world, even more blood flows - in Pakistani-Kashmiri terrorism against Hindu India, Chechen terrorism in Russian-Orthodox Moscow and Palestinian terrorism against the Jews. (The Albanian Muslim campaign against Orthodox Macedonia is now on hold.) And then of course there was Sept. 11 - Islamic terrorism reaching far beyond its borders to strike at the heart of the satanic ``Crusaders.''
Until they speak, the borders of Islam will remain bloody.
It just as easily could have been from December 1002.
Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippines, Sudan, Lebanon, Chechen terrorism, Palestinian terrorism against Israel
Can anyone add to this? Degestan perhaps?
Why Islam has 'bloody borders'
By MICHAEL STEINBERGER
Tuesday 23 October 2001
Michael Steinberger interviews Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington.
Is this the clash of civilisations you have been warning about for nearly a decade?
Clearly, Osama bin Laden wants it to be a clash of civilisations between Islam and the West. The first priority for our government is to try to prevent it from becoming one. But there is a danger it could move in that direction. The administration has acted exactly the right way in attempting to rally support among Muslim governments. But there are pressures in the US to attack other terrorist groups and states that support terrorist groups. And that, it seems to me, could broaden it into a clash of civilisations.
Were you surprised the terrorists were all educated, middle-class individuals?
No. The people involved in fundamentalist movements, Islamic or otherwise, are often people with advanced educations. Most of them do not become terrorists. But these are intelligent, ambitious young people who aspire to put their educations to use in a modern economy, and they become frustrated by the lack of opportunity. They are cross-pressured as well by the forces of globalisation and what they regard as Western imperialism and cultural domination. They are attracted to Western culture, but also repelled by it.
You have written that "Islam has bloody borders". What do you mean by this?
If you look around the borders of the Muslim world, you find a whole series of local conflicts involving Muslims and non-Muslims: Bosnia, Kosovo, the Caucasus, Chechnya, Tajikistan, Kashmir, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, North Africa, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Muslims also fight Muslims, and much more than the people of other civilisations fight each other.
So are you suggesting that Islam promotes violence?
I don't think Islam is any more violent than any other religions, and I suspect if you added it all up, more people have been slaughtered by Christians over the centuries than by Muslims. But the key factor is the demographic factor. Generally speaking, the people who go out and kill other people are males between the ages of 16 and 30.
During the 1960s, '70s and '80s there were high birth rates in the Muslim world, and this has given rise to a huge youth bulge. But the bulge will fade. Muslim birth rates are going down; in fact, they have dropped dramatically in some countries. Islam did spread by the sword originally, but I don't think there is anything inherently violent in Muslim theology.
Islam, like any great religion, can be interpreted in a variety of ways. People like bin Laden can seize on things in the Koran as commands to go out and kill infidels. But the Pope did exactly the same thing when he launched the Crusades.
Should the US do more to promote democracy and human rights in the Middle East?
It would be desirable but also difficult. In the Islamic world there is a natural tendency to resist the influence of the West, which is understandable given the long history of conflict between Islam and Western civilisation.
Obviously, there are groups in most Muslim societies that are in favor of democracy and human rights, and I think we should support those groups. But we then get into this paradoxical situation: many of the groups arguing against repression in those societies are fundamentalists and anti-American. We saw this in Algeria. Promoting democracy and human rights are very important goals for the US, but we also have other interests. President Carter was committed to promoting human rights, and when I served on his National Security Council we had countless discussions about this. But nobody ever mentioned the idea of trying to promote human rights in Saudi Arabia, and for a very obvious reason.
Apart from its closest allies, no country has lined up more solidly behind the US than Russia. Is this when Russia turns decisively to the West?
Russia is turning to the West for pragmatic reasons. The Russians feel threatened by Muslim terrorists and see it as in their interest to line up with the West and to gain some credit with the United States in the hope we will reduce our push for NATO expansion into the Baltic states and missile defence. It's a coincidence of interests, but we shouldn't blow it up into a big realignment. But I think they are very worried about the rise of China, and this will turn them to the West.
India and China, two countries you said would be at odds with the US, have joined in this war on terrorism. Instead of the West versus the rest, could the clash become Islam versus the rest?
Conceivably. You have Muslims fighting Westerners, Orthodox Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists. But there are a billion Muslims in the world, stretching across the Eastern hemisphere from Western Africa to eastern Indonesia, and they interact with dozens of different people. So they have more opportunity to clash with others.
The most frequent criticism levelled against you is that you portray entire civilisations as unified blocks.
That is totally false. The major section on Islam in my book is called "Consciousness Without Cohesion", in which I talk about all the divisions in the Islamic world, about Muslim-on-Muslim fighting. Even in the current crisis, they are still divided. You have a billion people, with all these sub-cultures, the tribes. Islam is less unified than any other civilisation. The problem with Islam is the problem Henry Kissinger expressed with regard to Europe: "If I want to call Europe, what number do I call?" If you want to call the Islamic world, what number do you call? If there was a dominant power in the Islamic world, you could deal with them.
- NEW YORK TIMES
Samuel Huntington is a Harvard political scientist
First, Islam is more violent that other religions, unless we include the Aztec and their cutting the hearts out of their victims.
Second, Christianity is not responsible for more slaughter. In adding the numbers, it is only fair to distinguish between wars led by those who just happen to be in lands that are predominantly Christian or Muslim. In other words, we must be talking about wars that are fought for specifically religious reasons.
It doesn't count saying that Germany and its allies fought the US and its allies in WWII. All of them being from "christian" lands does not mean that it was a religious war. It wasn't. It was an expansionist war, perhaps a war of political ideology.
So, then. Which are the wars fought by Christianity to expand/mainain its domain? Similar questions for Islam.
Count the bodies. The Sudan automatically will make Islam far bloodier than the rest of Christian history combined.
Since Christianity is based on the New Testament where in the New Testament did the pope find justification for a Christian version of jihad? -Tom
This professor doesn't get it. He sounds like Bush. Although Pres. Bush's actions are a different story.-Tom
And islam again rises to discover a Christian world led by America this time, its people mostly pagan or atheistic, which does not view islam as a threat. To the contrary, islam is said to be a religion of peace when in fact it means submission, the lie is repeated and islam grows. Jesus will triumph in the end, but it's gonna be a long road to 'peace'. These may be the most tumultuos days the world may ever see.
Let islam join mohammed (misery and curses be upon him) in the hottest regions of hell.
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