God's Muslim Warriors - "freedom" fighters. Lacking reformation, politically-motivated Islamism targets free-thinkers everywhere

Political leaders hold-back Muslim societies' overdue Enlightenment; promote Islamism to increase own political power.

Islamic fundamentalist militantism is widely misconstrued as being socio-economic in cause, and therefore solvable socio-economically. This theory is undermined by evidence of the alleged Mata-Hari of al-Qaeda, Aafia Siddique, the MIT-undergraduate, Brandeis University Ph.D neuro-scientist. Did economic underprivilege radicalize her to pursue organized terrorist sedition through a network of American Muslim sleeper-cells? Does she intended to reduce discrimination against Muslim-Americans by unleashing an outbreak of bio-terror genocide in New York City? Is the intent of her radicalization to fight for more- or less freedom for Muslims and Americans?

Prof. Barry Rubin (director of Global Research in International Affairs Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal and Turkish Studies) writes "Crusades long-gone, but Jihad lingers on," publishes in The Jerusalem Post. Prof. Rubin clarifies a primary distinction between Middle-Eastern and Western societies - Islamic society is being denied a Reformation to modernity. Many societal leaders of Muslims (both in governments or in social / community organizations throughout the West and the rest of the world) advocate Islamism to demonize the West (similarly to Communism, Nazism, and Fascism) in order to limit the appeal of subversive ideas.
The English, Dutch, American and French revolutions were not triumphs of traditionalism, as in Iran, but of greater democracy.
Many Westerners continued (as they do today) to be religious, but more open and tolerant.
This struggle between the old and new societies characterized much of the 19th and 20th centuries, yet the trend was steady. Perhaps fascism - and arguably communism - were the final reactionary movements, and World War II was the last struggle. Yet victory required 500 years of rethinking and education.
There's no such history in the Middle East, while several additional problems block movement toward moderation and democracy here. Whatever one thinks of specific Islamic doctrine as generally interpreted, the big problem is that it remains so powerful and hegemonic. Arab nationalism is anti-democratic, repressive and statist. Islamists seek a somewhat revised version of the eighth century, albeit with rockets and mass communication.
IT IS also worse because Middle East regimes and revolutionaries know Western history. They are aware of the fact that while pious Western philosophers and scientists sincerely believed open inquiry and democracy didn't threaten traditional religion and the status quo, they were wrong.
Openness led to revolution and to modern secular-dominated society - a West with all the ills decried by those in religious, ideological and political power in the Middle East. They also know what happened to Soviet-bloc dictatorships that experimented with more freedom. And they know that accepting Western ideas makes people want to change their own societies.
On top of that knowledge, they have weapons, technology, new means of organization and communication to block any change that tries to make its way through persuasion or threat. This point applies as much to Iran's Islamist rulers as to Syria's pretend-pious ones or Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi monarchs.
FINALLY, it is worse because there's a powerful, growing movement - radical Islamism - posing an alternative to modernism. The question is not merely of tiny, marginalized al-Qaida but also the governments of Iran, Syria and Sudan; the Saudi regime; powerful mainstream societal influences, Hamas and Hizbullah; the Muslim Brotherhood, and many others...

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