reply to post by charles1952
Discussions like this are productive, for sure.
Not naive at all, you're right that many of these governments are hindering progress. I think they are desperate to maintain any control they can
when outward pressure is constant.
Going a long way back on this, but pre-Crusades the Islamic world was superior to Europe in terms of education and economics...it's a stretch, but
maybe relevant in considering the possibility for a prosperous Islamic society.
I think there is a lot of sentiment currently in the Middle East that the West waged war and ruined their caliph empire, therefore the West is
Reality is that blame belongs on both sides in any conflict, and more important that blame is unproductive.
I think along with economic progress there needs to be genuine respect and trust toward the Middle Eastern people from the more powerful Western
countries. On both the common citizen level and governmental.
I can't say for sure who is winning the battle between extremists and moderates, I guess I just think that if Muslims didn't feel so squeezed by
foreign presence we'd see less desperation and more reason.
The point I try and make above all others is that Islam is one of many factors in the problems, the others being socioeconomic and geopolitical. The
latter are more influential on creating violent ideology, I think. Any suggestion from the West that Muslims have to leave their religion behind ends
up sounding offensive and causes resentment, so IMO it's more productive to focus on the other factors. Regardless of where one stands on the
Two of the Western ideas that seem successful are freedom of religion and democracy. So, these countries should be allowed to practice Islam and even
elect Islamic governments if they wish (like in Egypt). If the Western political philosophy does hold up, there should be a progression toward
tolerance and liberty from within
because people will demand better governance.
The strategy should be to diplomatically ensure Muslims that the west considers them equals and free, continue to promote trade with the goal of
mutual economic benefit, make our ideals known but don't force them on anyone, and work on developing populations within our own countries that treat
Islam with respect.
If this type of policy were genuinely put in place, I'd expect a decrease in extremism over the long run. Maybe there'd be some spread in the
initial phase because of less Western military presence and more freedom, but as is the vast majority are living mainstream lives and recruitment for
terrorist groups would be very difficult if the West and Islam were viewed popularly as allies.
It would be cool to kick off the whole thing with some type of grand treaty to promote the idea of alliance.