Violence and Islam

(Washington Post) Charles Krauthammer - Islam has its periods of violence and its periods of tolerance. The Ottomans gave refuge to the Jews expelled from Catholic Spain in 1492. Today the Arab world is the purveyor of the most vicious anti-Semitic propaganda since Nazi Germany. There is no denying the fact, stated most boldly by Samuel Huntington, author of The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, that "Islam has bloody borders." 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. On the northern tier of the Muslim 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, 2001 - Islamic terrorism reaching far beyond its borders to strike at the heart of the satanic "Crusaders." Most Muslims are obviously peaceful people living within the rules of civilized behavior. But the actual violence - bloodletting against nearly every non-Muslim civilization - demands attention. "The Islamic world today is being held prisoner," writes Salman Rushdie, "not by Western but by Islamic captors, who are fighting to keep closed a world that a badly outnumbered few are trying to open." And "the majority remains silent." Until they speak, the borders of Islam will remain bloody.

2002-12-06 00:00:00

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