Saturday, July 09, 2005

Moderate Muslims

In a followup to my first Fisking last night, ShrinkWrapped takes note of a key line in Robin Cook's appeasement plan:
The more the west emphasises confrontation, the more it silences moderate voices in the Muslim world who want to speak up for cooperation.
ShrinkW responds:
The sad fact remains that there are almost no Arab "Moderate Muslims" speaking out anywhere in the world. There are no "Moderate Muslim" governments willing to support and protect the semi-mythical "Moderate Muslim" who has the temerity to speak out against the terror murderers and enablers.
I think that this is a major goal of Operation Iraqi Freedom that is rarely remarked upon, as compared to the geo-political goal of creating the first democratic Arab state. Ayatollah Sistani and others of the "quietist" school of Shia thought can provide both religious guidance and political cover for the "silent majority" (or minority, if you think I am being overly optimistic) of moderate voices. These voices can hold international sway on Muslim opinion, just as the Iraqi elections had international ripple effects in the political sphere.

Of course, a critical goal for OIF is to see similar figures emerge from the Sunni camp. Here again, I think SW is correct in citing bin Laden's famous "stong horse" comments. If it is clear that the interim Iraqi government is to be the strong horse (with unwavering support of the US & allies), we will inevitably start to see Sunni leaders wanting to jump on board. This is why the British stiff upper lip is, for the immediate moment, the strongest weapon in our arsenal (and why Robin Cook is dead wrong).


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