The Silence That Kills

[New York Times] Thomas L. Friedman - Nobody in the Arab world ''has the guts to say that what is happening in Iraq is wrong - that killing school kids is wrong,'' said Mamoun Fandy, director of the Middle East program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. ''People somehow think that killing Iraqis is good because it will stick it to the Americans, so Arabs are undermining the American project in Iraq by killing themselves.'' The world worries about highly enriched uranium, but ''the real danger is highly enriched Islam,'' Fandy added. That is, ''highly enriched Sunnism'' and ''highly enriched Shiism'' that eats away at the Muslim state, the way Hizbullah is trying to do in Lebanon or the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt or al-Qaeda everywhere. One result: there's no legitimate, decent, accepted source of Arab-Muslim authority today, no center of gravity ''for people to anchor their souls in,'' Fandy said. In this welter of confusion, the suicide bombers go uncondemned or subtly extolled. ''The battleground in the Arab world today is not in Palestine or Lebanon, but in the classrooms and newsrooms,'' Fandy concluded. That's where ''the software programmers'' reside who create symbolic images and language glorifying suicide bombers and make their depraved acts look legitimate.

2007-03-07 01:00:00

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