Paying Islam for our Western guilt
By Diana West
Christmas came early to the Palestinian Authority when the "international community" decided not only to meet PA President Mahmoud Abbas' request for $5.6 billion in aid, but to throw in almost $2 billion more. Why? Did the PA end its terrorist ways? Stop state-sanctioned incitement against
Alas, no, no and no. We are heaping riches on the PA for other reasons, one of which I discuss below.
But first, a digression: Christmas, obviously, doesn't come to the PA, even if Western billions do. Despite a tiny (and decreasing) number of Christians, the PA is a
Right. But not according to the PC script of the "international community." We never, ever discuss the Islamic context of "Arab-Israeli" conflicts. But how else can we hope to understand them? Jihad ideology inspires the Arab struggle against
But the non-Muslim world prefers not to think like that. We avert our collective eye from the goals of jihad, from the history and teachings of Islam. Instead, we see ourselves as villains –
In so doing, we create a sinkhole of Western guilt and responsibility for suffering Muslims, in this case in the PA. They suffer not as a consequence of their religio-political bloodlust to destroy the Jews in
Of course, this works only until we stop misreading such ideology. And how long will that take? Probably forever – so long as we continue leaning on the same authorities who got us into this mental mess in the first place.
As it happens, I began the calendar year thinking about this subject – exonerating Islam – while discussing a PBS documentary on anti-Semitism in the Islamic world. The show's conclusion: What isn't
Well, you can't expect much more from (lefty) PBS. What was startling about the message, however, was one of the messenger's: none other than the eminent historian Bernard Lewis. He declared that anti-Semitism didn't even exist in the
Because Lewis is probably the most influential voice on Islam in our time – particularly for the
This comes to mind because Lewis has done it again – holding
Why is Lewis making statements contradicted by the historical record? If European Christendom truly is the source of Islamic evil – e.g., anti-Semitism and authoritarianism – Islam is let off the hook, and blame falls on the West. Whether that is Lewis' point, it is certainly Lewis' effect.
And it is certainly the conventional wisdom. Not very wise, though, when it helps feed the kind of guilt assuaged only by giving billions of dollars to murderers and thieves.
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