Wolf was no apologist. He reflects on what the two clerics had said as follows:
“That sounds like racism to me, and surely would be if a Jew made the assertion. But the Muslim group was high from the successful Iranian revolution against Modernism and the West. They know that only Islam among the great religions is growing in size and prestige from year to year. They believe that they are destined for mastery, exactly as their scripture promises. By contrast, the World Council of Churches looks feeble, the Catholic Church in disarray and Gush Emunim simply ridiculous. Only Islam has both dreams of glory and the power to make their dreams come true.
“There is no reason to believe that a Muslim world would be less attractive than one under Christian hegemony, not to say Communist or Fascist. But there is something in the grim assuredness of these Muslim thinkers, learned and gifted in Western scholarship, powerful, forthright in expression and in ideal[s] that makes my blood run cold.”
That comparison of Islamic political rule to that of authoritarian Christian, Communist, and Fascist government may sound at first like the kind of moral equivalence we are used to hearing today. But remember that all of these are repugnant for Wolf. He understood the threat of radical Islam or, if you wish, political Islam far better than do his counterparts one-third of a century later, despite the fact that they’ve had far more compelling evidence to show them the truth during those years.
It’s a pity that Obama did not learn this conclusion from Wolf. For while Obama, like Wolf, exaggerates and takes out of context Israel’s behavior he does not, unlike Wolf, deal with the real threat and problem in the region. In fact, the administration is helping Islamism toward power in Egypt and Syria, as well as not mobilizing and leading against it elsewhere. Yet for many who understand better—including a lot of Middle East Muslims as well as Israel—it makes our “blood run cold,” too. And in many cases, it makes people’s blood run in rivers.
About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.
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