April 2011 Archives

Bernard Lewis, the premier Western authority on Islam for many decades, see the era of tyrannies in the Middle East coming to an end. Western-style freedon, tolerance and free speech as a result? Islam westernized? Not likely.

More likely is a return to the consultative process of the Ottoman Empire in which the sultan had to work things out with the various power brokers to get things done.

islam will remain dominant.

He notes the distressing regression taking place in Turkey. In a way, it's a non-violent repeat of the transition in Iran from the secular. The mullah tyranny will be replaced by an Ottoman-style system of governance. Turkey and Iran will be running parallel courses. It's anyone's guess how Islamic fundamentalist fervor will act out. The odds are continuing trouble for the West from an expansionist, fundamentalist Islam.

He has no answer for a nuclear-armed Iran. He thinks a military move would incite patriotism among the opponents, so should not be tried. At the same time, he fears the "fanatic mullahs" who have an apocalypitc end-time vision.

Lewis sees things this way, nuclear holocaust skipped over:

{E}ven as... young Middle Eastern activists rise up against the tyrannies that have oppressed them, he keeps a wary eye on the spread of Islamic fundamentalism. It is particularly challenging because it has "no political center, no ethnic identity. . . . It's both Arab and Persian and Turkish and everything else. It is religiously defined. And it can command support among people of every nationality once they are convinced. That marks the important difference," he says.

"I think the struggle will continue until they either obtain their objective or renounce it," Mr. Lewis says. "At the moment, both seem equally improbable."

That's pretty depressing. Lewis does not see Islam succceding in achieving world domination as decreed in the Koran, but he does not see any wholesale defection of the billion plus Muslims from the creed of Mohammad and the effort to impose Islam on the world.

In other words, Islam will continue sreading through violent and non-violent means as at present with intermittent successes and setbacks. It will keep progressing in its war of expansion as long as the non-Muslims of the world do not resist and mount an effective counterattack to preserve their values. Europe is being swallowed thus far with no resistance by Muslim immigration, procreation and separatism, with not much need of terror. Stealth Jihad in the U.S. is well underway with the government in total denial.

The 1400-year war continues.

'The Tyrannies Are Doomed'

The West's leading scholar of the Middle East, Bernard Lewis, sees cause for optimism in the limited-government traditions of Arab and Muslim culture. But he says the U.S. should not push for quick, Western-style elections.
By BARI WEISS in the Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2011
Princeton, N.J.

'What Went Wrong?" That was the explosive title of a December 2001 book by historian Bernard Lewis about the decline of the Muslim world. Already at the printer when 9/11 struck, the book rocketed the professor to widespread public attention, and its central question gripped Americans for a decade.

Now, all of a sudden, there's a new question on American minds: What Might Go Right?
To find out, I made a pilgrimage to the professor's bungalow in Princeton, N.J., where he's lived since 1974 when he joined Princeton's faculty from London's School of Oriental and African Studies.

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