Perverse Fascination


[26-01-2015 02:44 PM]

AMMONNEWS - By Abdulillah - I have for some time now been perplexed by the West’s fascination with the Middle-East, both from a literary academic perspective as well as from a journalistic and religious perspective. This cultural fascination borders on a perverse fixation and fascination with anything related to the Middle-East, and it has been on-going now since really Biblical times. This fascination seemed to have waned after the resurgence of the Islamic empire under Salah-din Al Ayubi, culminating and ending with the Muslim Ottoman Empire.

After World War II and the domination of the West over the old conquered Ottoman Empire, and the creation of the Israeli Nation in 1948 and the exploration and finding of Oil, this fixation and fascination has made resurgence and has even grown more.

Edward Said the Palestinian American Columbia University Professor once described this fascination in his thesis called Orientalism and other works as a "subtle and persistent Eurocentric prejudice against Arabo-Islamic peoples and their culture", which he argued “derives from Western culture's long tradition of false and romanticized images of Asia, in general, and the Middle East, in particular”. He blamed this particularly on Imperialistic cultural discrimination, where “as far the United States seems to be concerned, it is only a slight overstatement to say that Moslems and Arabs are essentially seen as either oil suppliers or potential terrorists. Very little of the detail, the human density, the passion of Arab-Moslem life has entered the awareness of even those people whose profession it is to report the Arab world. What we have, instead, is a series of crude, essentialized caricatures of the Islamic world presented in such a way as to make that world vulnerable to military aggression.”

I am not personally convinced however that this perverse fascination is only one of imperialistic desires of the West -I see it more on the lines of a religious one. It seems now more and more each day it becomes clearer with every editorial and opinion piece in every western radio, newspaper or TV news station which has at least one or two (2) columnists or anchors or Radio pundits who seem to know more about what the Middle-East needs and specifically how Islam must be reformed and what is plaguing the Islamic world.
I am not even sure why they are so concerned! The fact remains that through their past and present perverse cultural fixations and imperialistic desires to be the masters of the Middle-East they have imported back with them rebellious and in some cases violent responses from those indigenous populations who do not want to be told how to live out their lives, or how to fit in with the western political culture of secularism.
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It seems that whenever there is a push back from anyone in the Middle-East it is called radicalism or to quote Thomas Freidman of the New York Times in his opinion piece titled “Say it Like It Is” hestates, “I am all for restraint on the issue, and would never hold every Muslim accountable for the acts of a few. But it is not good for us or the Muslim world to pretend that this spreading jihadist violence isn’t coming out of their faith community” He continues to state “ It is coming mostly, but not exclusively, from angry young men and preachers on the fringe of the Sunni Arab and Pakistani communities in the Middle East and Europe. - It is the struggle within Arab and Pakistani Sunni Islam over whether and how to embrace modernity, pluralism and women’s rights. That struggle drives, and is driven by, the dysfunctionality of so many Arab states and Pakistan.” But here is the real secular rub where he states “It has left these societies with too many young men who have never held a job or a girl’s hand, who then seek to overcome their humiliation at being left behind, and to find identity, by “purifying” their worlds of other Muslims who are not sufficiently pious and of Westerners whom they perceive to be putting Muslims down. But you don’t see this in the two giant Muslim communities in Indonesia or India.”

I am always aggrieved when I read these type articles by those who have lived and have been part of reporting about the Middle-East for some time as I expect that they would be more understanding to what is actually occurring, but alas it never seems to be the case. He and many other Western pundits cling to their world view of secularism between the political and cultural world and that of the religious world.

As far as I can tell anyone who’s nation is being destroyed or their nations states are run by despots or stooges who have been bought to genuflect before the alters of others would rebel. Plus Mr. Freidman is wrong, India’s population did rebel against the imperialist West and for that matter so did Indonesia. He is further more wrong than ever when he directly implies that Islam is the cause for “young men who have never held a girls hand” or that Islam is against women in general. He is fully aware yet will not admit or write that in all cases Islamic jurisprudence and faith treats women as equals to menbut different ; which they are! In fact you do not see a woman suffrage issue in Islam because most Islamic woman know their rights under the faith, which western woman to this day have yet to achieve. He is also well aware that woman of the Islamic faith dress in very modest clothing NOT for men but for God just as any Nuns or orthodox Jewish woman do, and in almost all cases are proud to do that. Clearly he by his bias view wants others to believe that this is solely a backward behavior one that should be set aside because it does not follow his view of secularity or modern cultural identity. As most secular progressives, his view is that faith, political life and judicial review should be separated.

However let’s leave Mr. Freidman to his own demons; we must ask ourselves why is the Middle-East in particular been so violent, and why for such a long time if not because of Islam? It is my belief, this particular issue is clocked with the desire of the West not only to change a religion in a way that suits its desires of secular imperialism, but one that is dominated by a warped apocalyptic modern Christian evangelical movement which started in the US and is dominating the Christian community worldwide - a view that desires the capitulation of any other faith community to this apocalyptic movement.

A case for this is clear; it started out in the mega-churches of the US, preaching a non/interdenominational apocalyptic Christian message. At first they attacked the structured Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, and Anglican Christian Churches as those who have lost touch with the younger generation who had stopped going to churches and in their opinion have lost their faith. Where they perceived the US as being besieged by Satanic forces of “communism, secularism, family breakdown and government encroachment” If anything Mr. Freidman and his ilk need to visit what has and is being said in these mega-churches. He should compare this to the likes of ISL, et.al. He would surely find more similarity then differences, in the fact that they are like what he states in his article about Islamic fundamentalist movements“to find identity, by “purifying” their worlds (of those)…who are not sufficiently pious”

Political parties and Politian’s seeing this movement grow have joined into the fray. The Republican Party is fraught with this problem, where the Tea Party and politicians like that ofTed Cruz, who own father is one such preacher, followed by a community of journalist and radio and TV pundit and commentators.A good book to read to understand this movement better is that by Matthew Avery Sutton, titled “American Apocalypse – A History of Modern Evangelism” offered by the Harvard University Press.

This movement now is directing its apocalyptic message towards the Islamic faith and the Middle-East in particularunder the doctrine of Christian Zionism, and anywhere else, be it in East Asia and Africa.They have joined forces with the Jewish State of Israel (another apocalyptic movement under the guise of a State) to destroy anything that resembles Islam or even Christian Communities that do not agree with this apocalyptic movement like that of the Orthodox Christian Community. They have belittled religious leaders views of religious harmony between faiths because how else can the Rapture that they perennially predict is around the corner going to happen?

In my opinion interfaith dialogue is more necessary now than ever. More educational studies need to be conducted where the young of all faiths can come and learn the vast wealth of religious jurisprudence that has been conducted since biblical time, and how more similarity than differences exist between different faiths. Where, moral behavior and the love of God is not limited to one faith but to all faiths and the messages of hate and destruction of the world need not be sped up to justify only 100,000 people reaching heaven, because if we all believe that God was the creator of all things than why would anyone wish to take the life of another creation, or preclude it from joining in God’s heaven. This is Gods domain and We his creation need not encroach on that domain.
God Bless Jordan and Its People




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