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Posted: 10/12/2001 9:32:47 AM EDT
Join us for a live talk with Fareed Zakaria on Friday, Oct. 12, at noon ET, to discuss the roots of anti-American rage in the Middle East Fareed Zakaria was named editor of NEWSWEEK International in October 2000. He oversees the content and direction of overseas editions. He also writes a regular column for NEWSWEEK and appears on an occasional basis in The Washington Post. Zakaria came to the magazine from Foreign Affairs, the widely-circulated journal of international politics and economics, where he was managing editor. Zakaria has been a contributing editor to NEWSWEEK since September 1996, writing columns covering a range of topics on world affairs. His first column, "Thank Goodness for a Villain," which appeared in the September 16, 1996 issue, was a provocative piece discussing why America needs Saddam Hussein to sustain American policy in the Mideast. Prior to joining Foreign Affairs, Zakaria ran the Project on the Changing Security Environment and American National Interests at Harvard University, where he also taught international relations and political philosophy. (Kaim’s comment: This guy is so full of shit.) 1) Lowell, MA: hi, You seemed to mention in your first few paragraphs that hindu, jewish and muslims are ancient terror cults. Now, I am not too sure about Hindus ever being a terror cult. From what I know, Hinduism is a tolerant religion and is not known to be a religion which preaches to propagate. I think Hinduism has never been a religion which tried to expand and has no religious terrorism at least in those ancient times. So do you have any research on that or is it just an opinion without any extensive research? Fareed Zakaria: The point was that there have been terror cults that thought of themselves as religious. The "Thugees" were one such Hindu cult. (That's where the word Thug comes from.) Hinduism itself is a non-violent religion though like every religion it can be abused -- over the last ten years Hindu fundamentalists have killed hundreds of Christians and tens of thousands of Muslims. (pretty accurate. Sicarii, Thugee, hashishiyin, whatever it is wherever it is- you got extremists historically and functionally) 2) Arlington, VA: Are Arab Muslims more extreme in their views, on average, than Muslims from other ethnic groups? Do Arab Muslims see non-Arab Muslims as being equals? Fareed Zakaria: Most Arabs a moderate, mainstream people. But the failure of Arab regimes and of Arab societies has bred a strain of extermism in Arab culture. On your second point, Arab think of themselves as at the heart of the Islamic world because that is where Islam originated. Now I should add, I'm saying all this even though I'm not an Arab so my views have to be taken lightly. (notice he abstains from the second question. Point being also, ever heard of any non-muslim arabs?)
Link Posted: 10/12/2001 9:36:11 AM EDT
3) Washington, DC: We're constantly told not to see this as a war against Islam. Islam says, among things: "O ye who believe -i.e., Muslims], take not the Jews or the Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he among you who turns to them -for friendship] is of them," Surat Al-Maidah 5:51. Or "Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger -Mohammed] and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth -Islam] among the people of the Scripture -Jews and Christians] until they pay the Jizyah -a tax paid only by Jews and Christians who do not convert to Islam] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." Surat At-Taubah 9:29. Until the West "feels itself subdued," Islam, will not be satisfied. How would you address this, apart from the usual "well, the religious texts have many poetic and vague passages open to interpretation" argument? Seems pretty clear to me what the above-referenced language means. Fareed Zakaria: Every religion has elements within it that can be used to justify bad things. Have you ever read Deuteronomy? Remember that when Christians sponsored inquisitions and anti-semitism they did it by quoting from the Bible as well. The real question is, how do you get a society to the point where it takes the best of a religion and not the worst. That's the challenge for the Arab-Islamic world. (does christian books and works specifically call for it’s own version of Holy War? I haven’t found any mention of the crusades in the bible. It’s derived from a secular answer from religious authorities. Chapter 10 (al-Imara) of the Koran describes Dar Al Islam and Dar Al Harb. Not to mention that Mohammed taught the religion via conquest and preached on the warpath. BIG difference Zakaria!) 4) Hermosa Beach, CA: Are most Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza more willing to live in a compromised peace than to die for a religious fanatical cause? Or do they have nothing left to lose? Fareed Zakaria: Remember most Palestinian terrorism is not religious at all. It's terrorism for land -- they want a homeland. In this sense it is terrorism much like the IRA, the Basque separatists, etc. Now one may think their demands are right or wrong but it's important to understand that there terrorism is very different from the Bin Ladin variety. (agreed) 5) Washington, DC: What is your opinion of Professor Huntington's Clash of Civilizations thesis? Given that our two most recent problems, with the spy plane incident over China and the terrorist attacks in the USA, would seem to validate his idea that our biggest conflicts will be with Sinic and Islamic civilizations. Fareed Zakaria: Problem with the clas of civilizations is that this is really a clash WITHIN civilizations. Between the moderate, modernists and the fanatical, medivalists. Notice that every Muslim country has condemned these attacks. Notice that the terrorists really want to topple their fellow Muslims who run Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Arab countries. So the clash of civilizations doesn't get at the essence of this conflict which is takeing place within the Islamic world. (BULLSHIT! Saudia Arabia has for years sponsored fundamentalist schools which churn out people ready for these terrorist groups. Countries that on public denounce terrorism aid,abet, and support terrorists.)
Link Posted: 10/12/2001 9:37:16 AM EDT
6) Houston, TX: Do think there is a chance that our involvement in Afghanistan will actually result in a closer relationship between the US and the Muslim world. (I realize that one should avoid portraying Islam as a monolith) Fareed Zakaria: Yes. How we handle Afghanistan will be very important. We walked away from it once and we saw what followed -- civil war, chaos, and terrorism. If we can create a modicum of stability in Afghanistan, it will send a powerful message across the Arab world that the West and the United States cares about the fate of ordinary people in a Muslim country. (so the emperor has no clothes. That was a post Soviet/Afghanistan conflict. The US did send support “clandestinely” with arms and money. So if the US did get into it . . . people call it Western Imperialism. If not, it’s called “walking away”. Am I being redundant or what?) 7) Somewhere, USA: What percentage of the world's 1,000,000,000 muslims do you think see bin Ladin as a hero of Islam? Fareed Zakaria: Oh I would guess a tiny percentage; under 1 or 2 percent. remeber that most Muslims live in countries like Indonesia, Bangaldesh, India, Turkey. Most Muslims like most people everywhere are simply trying to survive and look after their families. Their is, however, and extremist element in some Muslim countries -- that's where the problem is, (tiny percentage? Is this an educated guess or a direct “pc” answer or an ignorant conjecture? These muslim countries have muslim citizens who hate the US. Anyone willing to attack the US in such a scale is an outright saint to them. This guy’s giving the BS answer as usual. Not to mention that Indonesia, Bangledesh, India, and Turkey do have terrorist groups but these “brand” of terrorists are more interested in causing strife in their own respective nations. It’s the distinctively arab muslim countries that give the western world the overt threat of terrorism. This guy is doing his own brand of face saving nonsense.) (I did post 2 questions. He didn’t answer them.)
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