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Misunderstanding between East and West Begins in Syria (Tishreen, Syria)


Is the clash of Islam and the West a product of American propaganda to smear the Muslim world as 'terrorist' in nature? For Syria's state-run Tishreen, Muslim cleric Hussein Ahmed Shahada writes that the two sides, mutually ignorant of the other, are fighting - this time in Syria - because of a depiction of Muslims invented by the White House to justify war and plunder.


By Hussein Ahmed Shahada



Translated By Talei Lakeland


September 19, 2013


Syria - Tishreen - Original Article (Arabic)

Christianity and Islam: The often uneasy coexistence between the two great world religions is again being tested - this time in Syria.


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It was not Westernization in itself that has been an object of resistance for Arabs and Muslims, but a rebellion against the reality of Western slavery in the form of its brutal political regime. Since the dawn of the Al-Nahda and the Islamic cultural renaissance in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this fierce Western aggression is what has been behind Arab resistance to Westernization.


In other words, in light of American domination of today's world, the challenge to a dialogue of civilizations is not how Islam can come to terms with America, but how America can come to terms with Islam.


If recognized as a partner in the building of human civilization, no Muslim would reject a well-informed global culture and political acculturation, and in fact would join in the struggle for world peace and human security.


If one wanted to simplify the logic of Muslim resistance, one could say that the type globalization rejected by the Islamic world is one of tyranny, which deprives freedom from peoples and nations and dissolves their cultural uniqueness through the use of military force. The West's insatiable appetite for forcing Muslims and non-Muslims in the global South to submit to an American model, a ready-made excuse for invading the globe in every direction, has been pursued by tempting them with so-called democracy, reform, and the fight against terrorism, the combatants of which were recruited behind the closed doors of the White House.

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Dozens of books have been written and hundreds of programs and seminars have been held dedicated to supporting the notion that there is Islamic terrorism hostile to the culture and civilization of the West, with the result that issues of mutual concern to the West and Islam are sidetracked into policies of confrontation directed at a supposed enemy. Like a red flag waved before a bull, this has provoked violence in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and other targets of American ambition.


Thus, the imaginary enemy becomes a real one to haunt the sleep of the West. This provides a justification for "pre-emptive or pro-active war," as it is referred to by the panic-stricken American regime, against the danger of Islamist extremism, which from the Cold War right up to its aggressions against the oil-rich lands of Islam, was nurtured and fed in American incubators.  


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In his book Orientalism, this prompted Palestinian writer Edward Said to put forward the view that it was the colonizing West that initiated this clash, which tarnished the image of Arabs and Muslims and falsified Muslim values and culture, and which was characterized by violent Western aggression and a focus on the Islamic world as an exception that countered Western colonial domination.


However, I disagree with Said insofar as the colonial West was not "Christian" in the religious, spiritual sense of the word, because it was based on a political tendency to see modernism as completely removed from any religious or moral value. It seems to me that the term “Christianity” referred to by Said is the “zionized” Christianity cultivated by the White House, which sees American projects of occupation as a starting point for the protection of Israel. These are people who believe that in keeping with biblical prophecy, the fulfillment of a "greater Israel" would be a divine sign of the coming of the Messiah.


What's happening now is that controversy is being generated that divides the Arab world into sectarian and ethnic groupings. Through tools like the speeches given by members of the political opposition in Arab and Muslim lands, a minefield is being planted with seeds of fragmentation that detonate to the benefit of a new Middle East empire of Israel. Thus, the truth reveals itself in scenes of bloody fighting between Muslims and the U.S. administration. So the poverty, subjugation, tyranny, and occupation Muslim lands and the global south are merely the expression of a moral values crisis, the sins of which have implications for the meaning of civilization and humanity.


Until the Islamic nation regains the objective conditions needed for achieving an Islamic civilizational alternative, the struggle between Muslims and the U.S. administration will continue to rage in a jungle of ignorance, as the two exchange prophecies and counter-prophecies: of a West about which we in the East know little - other than the picture of its political claws ripping into the flesh of our occupied lands; and an Islam about which the West knows little - other than its simplistic image of so-called “political Islam,” which is a phrase invented by the U.S. administration itself as a pretext for its new war against the entire Muslim world.


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Posted By Worldmeets.US Sept. 20, 2013, 1:49am






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