Monday, January 20, 2014

( 15 ) " What to Do? Toward a New Policy with the Muslim World "

By Sodium

This is the outline of the review of the last chapter of the book, " A World Without Islam " by Graham Fuller. Hence, it means that it is the last topic of the series of topics entitled as " A World Without Islam, " As Reviewed By Sodium. What remains, in this connection, to outline is the conclusion or conclusions which might have been reached in the course of the entire reviews from the first topic through the last one. I may summarize such conclusions in the next topic. But now let me outline what Graham Fuller has written as to this topic, ( 15 ) " What to Do ? Toward a New Policy with the Muslim World. "

Graham Fuller has started this topic by critically questioning the lack of agreement on the definition of terrorism, in the international community as a whole. However, his hardest criticism is directed on the definition of terrorism as put forward by the Defense Department of the United States. He has quoted such a definition as follows:

" The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological. "

And Fuller's response to the above definition is as follows:

" The political hooker on this statement (definition) is the phrase "use of unlawful violence."  No definition is offered for the term "unlawful," but it appears to mean "not sanctioned by government." Yet isn't this precisely what political struggles usually revolve around lawful?  Modern Western thinkers tend to define the state as possessing the sole legitimate monopoly on the use of violence. Thus "state" = "lawful."  That equation may be appropriate in most Western democracies where governments rule by consent, but it is a far shakier argument in authoritarian states that exclude and persecute political opposition and where change often never comes about except through some kind of  "unlawful" activity. Such governments seek to ensure that all opposition is "unlawful." And such activity is often encountered by what, in effect, are forms of state terrorism directed against a significant group of its own citizens. "

He goes on to make the following important facts about the Muslim and developing worlds:

" In the contemporary Muslim World-and we are not just talking about Muslims, but about the entire developing world---there are at least three conditions under which the use of political violence becomes arguable: overthrow of despotic regimes, struggle for national liberation, and armed resistance against foreign occupation."

It seems to me that Graham Fuller has totally and completely repudiated the definition of terrorism offered by the United States Department of Defense.

It also seems to me that Fuller is a strong believer in the "Principle of Cause and Effect." In other words, terrorism is an effect resulting from a real cause. And unless the cause or causes of terrorism is or are well understood and well defined correctly by the whole international community, all efforts invested in fighting terrorism will not stop terrorism. And it has become clear to me that by writing this topic, as the last chapter in his great book, he faithfully is trying to help his own country and the rest of the Western world to overcome terrorism by eliminating its causes. And in his attempts to persuade his fellows Westerners, he offered the following strategic thoughts:

* Western military and political intervention in the Muslim world-all highly provocative to Muslims-must cease so that the area can begin to calm. That means withdrawal of all US and Western forces from Muslim soil

* Efforts to identify and stymie terrorist acts must be carried out through intelligence and police work; capture of terrorists should be the prerogative of international organizations or local countries, and not by the United States operating on an illegal extraterritorial extension of its sovereign rights to capture and assassinate individual at will.

* The United States must withdraw its special support from pro-American dictators that discredit the US, give the lie to US-stated commitments to democracy, and only lead to the buildup of more explosive political environments and anti-American resentment.

* Democratization must be allowed to proceed in the Muslim world, but Washington must not be the vehicle for its implantation. Ideally, Washington must keep its hands off the process so as not to tarnish it, as has been the case in the past, through association with US Self-interest. Past selective and instrumental use of democratization by Washington for pursuit of US strategic goals has discredited the very concept of its democratization programs.

* An early solution to the Palestinian problem must be found. It is perceived across the Muslim world as the single most egregious case of foreign imperialism, which has displaced local people and cast them into desperate living conditions in refugee camps, imposed second-class citizenship upon them in Israel, or pushed them into exile---for more than sixty years. Palestinian suffering has grown, accompanied by a radicalization that has spread beyond Palestine. The crisis demands a quick solution, the general outline of which are well known to all parties. The Israeli colonization efforts in Palestinian territories must end and be reversed.

* If only a tenth of the potentially one trillion plus dollar squandered by Washington on Middle East wars, which have sown death and destruction with little to show for it, could be devoted to building schools, universities, hospitals, clinics, and training institutes, the region would be transformed, the US image would soar, and huge progress could be made in living conditions.

* Enlightened US policies could soon bring an end to international and transnational sources of violence and radicalism; domestic sources of violence in individual in individual countries require separate analysis and treatment in accordance with local conditions, and, in any case, pose a lesser immediate problem.

* Only Muslims (i.e.., locals) in the end will be able to find solutions to dealing with Islamic (i.e., local) radicalism.          

Final Words:
I have tried not to burden the readers with lengthy reviews as much as I possibly could. Whether or not I have succeeded in my attempts I really could not tell, one way or the others. My intent from the very beginning of these reviews has been to provide the readers a clear idea about the content of this great book, " A World Without Islam." Whether I have succeeded in fulfilling my intent or not, that is not for me to say. Only the readers who read carefully all the entire reviews from the very beginning till the end are the most qualified jury in this connection. And I accept their verdict, whether it is positive or negative. I have done the best I could for dedicated readers of this website.

However, I have said it in the very beginning of the reviews that the best way to get a profound feeling what Graham Fuller, the author of the book, has tried to convey to his readers was ( and is ) to read the entire book from cover to cover. There is no other alternative, regardless how hard I try to help out. Well, at least I have tried to help those who have, for different reasons, no accessibility, whatsoever, to the book, let alone reading it from cover to cover.

At any rate, I wish to express my profound thanks to those dedicated readers who had encouraged me to continue my attempts in publishing the series of the reviews, at a time I almost had given up on the whole project of the reviews of this fascinating book, because of the serious technical difficulties I had encountered, in the middle of the reviews. Without their encouragement, patience and understanding of the dilemma I had encountered and which was beyond my control, the planned reviews of this series of topics would not have been achieved and completed, at all. To them and them alone is due all the credit and my profound thanks and appreciation.


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