April 28, 2013

A Post-Islamic Middle East? Graham E. Fuller - A World Without Islam

Graham Fuller - A World Without Islam. YouTube Video Description - [Channel: BakerInstitute. Uploaded on June 9, 2012]: 
Jan. 27, 2011

Graham Fuller suggests that many current tensions between the East and the West have a geopolitical, rather than religious, origin, and would have arisen even in a world without Islam.
Quotes from the lecture below:
"One of the primary arguments of the book is that the explanation of trouble and conflict between the Middle East and the West, or America today, has to do with politics, and geography, and economics, and geopolitics, and imperialism, and colonialism, and Western intervention, constant intervention into the Muslim world, and indeed most of the whole world in the colonial period. The desire of the West to monopolize or control and dominate oil and energy resources in the Middle East; to impose Western leaders upon the Middle East; to redraw the borders of Middle Eastern countries according to how the West wanted to have it, especially dividing it up between French spheres of influence and British spheres of influence; constant wars launched against the region. The list is very long.

And you don't have to be a Muslim in that part of the world to begin to resent this a very great deal. And, in fact, I would argue that. If most of the Middle East had not been Muslim but had remained Christian as they were under the Greek Orthodox Church, if they had remained Christian, would they have welcomed Western imperialists coming in? Would they have welcomed seizure of their oil energy resources? Would they have welcomed the repartition of their borders and territory? Would they have welcomed the imposition of leaders who will be obedient to Western governments on top of them? Would they welcome constant invasion and warfare against them? I don't think it's hard to imagine that they would not welcome this. Even if they were Buddhist they would not have welcomed any of these processes. So I don't, again, think it has that much to do with religion." [0:13:20 - 0:15:22].

"The book is really meant to shake up traditional thinking about the nature of the conflict between East and West." [0:16:15 - 0:16:25].  
These are very wise and accurate statements. And this man is CIA? Wow, the CIA also produces scholars? Impressive. So it's not just a high-tech terrorist organization? I have to admit I was wrong. 

But, seriously, it's good and important to look at the age-old conflict between East and West holistically and historically.

Islam is getting a bad wrap in the West, but it is the people of the Middle East who have suffered most under the harsh rule of Islamic terrorist groups (Taliban) and Islamic dictatorships (Iran). Islam doesn't pose an existential threat to America or the West.

Could we see a post-Islamic Middle East? Don't rule it out. Stranger things have happened in history before.

Just the fact that the U.S. and its allies are funding and arming Al-Qaeda is strange. This is still unreported news. You'd think the President would crush Al-Qaeda. But getting rid of the figurehead Bin Laden by clever use of a script didn't end Al-Qaeda's reign of terror across the Middle East. After the official announcement of OBL's death, the White House acted quickly to create new staging grounds for Al-Qaeda in Libya and northern Syria.

Thanks to America, Al-Qaeda has never had it better. Islamic extremist groups like Al-Qaeda are suffocating Syria and threaten to uproot ancient bonds between different ethnic and religious groups. The weaknesses of Islam are being exploited by the U.S. and its allies to their own advantage.  

The same problem of Islamic extremism exists across the region, due to the policies of the cynical leaders of the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France, England, and Israel. It has been well documented how these governments fund Islamic radicals to disrupt societal cohesion and destroy secular states in the Arab world.

They are doing all they can to entice poverty-stricken, hopeless, young, bored, uneducated, brainwashed Jihadists from across the Muslim world to go to Syria to die for the cause. But it looks like they will fail because the people of Syria are anti-extremism. Syria is blessed with a resilient and vibrant political culture that is seeing through the machinations of the discredited leaders of the Arab League, United States, Israel, and Turkey.

Al-Qaeda was born in Saudi Arabia, and it is dying in Syria - Thank God!