Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Conflict between the West and the Middle East - Two Distinct Conflicts – Conflict between various Muslim Leaders and Western Imperialism

First post in the 10 Greatest Dangers to the Western World Series
Part 3b

The second conflict is the rapidly-developing power struggle between the West, predominantly the US and it’s perceived emissary (Israel) but also to some extent Europe, and various Middle-Eastern leaders, either leaders of Muslim theocracies, such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Basher al-Assad, or leaders of terrorist groups, such as Osama bin Laden and Aymen al-Zawahiri. These leaders recognize a void in the balance of power that the US has attributed many of the world’s successes and progresses to. And they wish to fill that void by creating the next super power.

This is a point which I have pontificated about before, and if you’re interested in a complete description of the motives and goals behind the progression these leaders are taking, I refer you back to an earlier post on Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called Ahmadinejad Trying to Push the Muslim World towards Action and Unity. This post talks as much about Ahmadinejad’s actions and motivations as it talks about an opportunity that many Muslim leaders, such as the leaders mentioned before, are trying to exploit.

And make no mistake about it; exploitation is what we are talking about here. These are people trying to obtain power for power’s sake. This is a common phenomenon throughout the ages in the Middle East, and I have no doubt it is what is occurring now. These leaders see the dissolving of the Soviet Union as an opportunity to increase their power, and see the growing areas of discontent with the growing power block in the West as opportunities to grow their power. And they exploit these opportunities, looking for greater opportunities to gobble up power.

These leaders see the general perception of oppression by the Western world, and view this as an opportunity to present the average Diaspora Muslim, who probably does not agree with the methods of these leaders, with a better option than the options presented by Western society. They present an option that includes equality, along with some of the benefits their present society can’t provide, to these Diaspora Muslims. And slowly but surely, this rhetoric is having the desired effect.

If the dissension of Diaspora Muslims within their host society represents a distinct conflict from this conflict, the protests we saw over the past month+ are the first example of the first conflict being used as a weapon in the second conflict. Based on past history with similar cartoons of the prophet Mohammed, it is doubtful that these cartoons would have sparked the controversy they did had it not been for the instigation of Iran, Syria, and al-Qaeda. These groups pointed out the oppression of the Diaspora Muslims, and the Diaspora Muslims took to the street.

In the past, one leader, like Saddam Hussein or Yasser Arafat, has attempted to mobilize the Muslim community, and been squashed before he had the chance to gain any momentum. Today, it appears that we are seeing the alignment of multiple leaders in the region, leaders who in the past would not have worked together. There is certainly cooperation between Ahmadinejad and al-Assad, and now we are seeing collaboration with al-Qaeda operatives.

Will this group continue to ally themselves with groups that are not as tightly associated with the Western countries? Will they wind up with China and Russia as strong allies in any conflict that could occur with the West, creating a serious disadvantage for the West as far as population size? And will the Muslim people continue to ally themselves with the Middle-Eastern countries, creating a situation where our enemy is amongst us? One thing is for certain: of the two conflicts, the second is far scarier.

One final thing I want to touch on is that, while solving the first conflict will ease the tension in the second conflict, solving the second conflict will probably exacerbate tensions in the first conflict. This is because the second conflict will require a conflict of some sort to resolve it; otherwise, I suspect that the Muslim leaders will continue their own manifest destiny, and work towards continual expansion of their empire.

In 2005, on the Hayhows blog, he indicates that Muslim writings are very clear in stating that that Islam is concerned with a complete transformation of all and every nation in which it resides. Abul Hamid AbuSulaymin’s book “Crisis in the Muslim Mind” is quoted:

"The Islamic world community has been charged with a responsibility towards itself and towards history to perform the duties of vicegerency (khilafah) and reform civilization in the blight of the noble principles of Islam. In vie of the present world situation, humankind and the Muslim Ummah have no alternative but Islam. Only through Islam will reform come to modern civilization."(p. 65)
Owing to the influences of backwardness, the isolation of the intellectual leadership, and the concept of religion as understood through the filter of Western experience, the areas in which Islamic thought and methodology may find practical application have been relegated almost entirely to the spheres of the spiritual and personal concern of individual believers. (p. 98)

The first rule for gaining power is to consolidate your power and work from a position of strength. As a result, Israel is a serious issue for Islamic world; Israel is definitely aligned with the West, and living in and amongst the Middle Eastern nations provides a friendly port that will never disappear for Western countries as well as a front line fighter in any conflict involving the Middle East. From a military standpoint, the presence of Israel is as challenging as the existence of Cuba during the cold war. As such, Islamic leaders seeking power will always attack the existence of Israel.

The conflict will, most probably, cause a more serious rift between the West and the Muslim communities, as this act will be seen as Western imperialism. On the flip side, as I mentioned earlier, improving conditions and working towards equality for the Muslim community will ease tensions and would eventually solve the conflict between the Diaspora Muslims and the West. Furthermore, this will remove a large weapon from the arsenal of the Muslim leaders.

Similar outreach towards the nations of China and Russia could yield similar results. But, we may be past the point of no return, and it may be infeasible now to provide that type of equality, with the uncertainty in the intentions of each community. We may have to start figuring out solutions to take care of both issues simultaneously or prepare for our new cold war.

technorati tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Greatest Dangers to the Western World Series
Part 1: Overview
Part 2: The Validity of the Muslim Theocracy
Part 3a: Two Distinct Conflicts – Conflict between Diaspora Muslims and Host Country
Part 3b: Two Distinct Conflicts – Conflict between various Muslim Leaders and Western Imperialism
Part 4: Muslim Compatibility with Western Society
Part 5: Conclusion

Posted by Scottage at 1:07 AM / | |