RE: Fundamentalism and beliefs

From: Lawrence DeBivort (
Date: Wed Jan 23 2002 - 14:15:21 GMT

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    Subject: RE: Fundamentalism and beliefs
    Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 09:15:21 -0500
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    Excellent article. Thanks, Joe. Bernard Lewis is always good (or nearly
    always -- I was disappointed in his THE MIDDLE EAST MOSAIC: as his subtitle
    advises, it is composed of 'fragments') and one of the great scholars of
    Arab Muslim society. He published an extraordinary book some years ago on
    how the Arab world came to discover and perceive Europe as it sunk into and
    then emerged from its own Dark Ages.

    I would disagree with Professor Lewis's summary of the USA and USSR early
    relations with Israel and the Arab reaction to these. The US did not
    'maintain a certain distance' from Israel when it was founded. Truman was
    instrumental in ensuring the passage of the UN resolution that endorsed the
    idea of dividing Palestine into Zionist and Palestinian territories; indeed,
    when the straw vote that preceded the final vote revealed that the
    resolution would easily be defeated, Truman insisted on a delay of the vote
    and had the State Department lean on a number of client states in Central
    and Latin America, primarily, to reverse their votes. Then, the US
    immediately recognized the state of Israel when its leaders proclaimed its

    However, Lewis's main point that Arab friendship with countries does not
    follow a single clear driving issue, such as Israel, is entirely correct.
    One of the important reasons for Arab (and other) admiration and friendship
    for the US lies in the credibility and reputation that the US gained with
    Wilson's Fourteen Points declaration. It layed out the basis for the
    self-determination of peoples, undermined the colonialist policies of
    European countries, and served as a beacon for those who sought to introduce
    the principles of fairness and respect into international relations. Of
    course, it preceded the period of the creation of the Israeli state by some
    three decades, but its effect in the Arab world is still easily seen today.


    > Go to:
    > to read THE ROOTS OF MUSLIM RAGE by Brenard Lewis

    > >Theme: The expansion of Western ‘modern’ civilization created in
    > the people
    > >affected psychological conditions akin to exile.
    > >
    > >>From Karen Armstrong, THE BATTLE FOR GOD, NY: Ballantine Books,
    > 2001, paper,
    > >p. 8.
    > >
    > >Armstrong has just examined the repression of the Jews of Spain
    > by Isabella
    > >and Ferdinand, Catholic monarchs who defeated the last Muslim rules in
    > >Spain. In 1492, the monarchs ordered the conversion by baptism
    > or explusion
    > >of all Jews from Spain. 70,000 Jews stayed and converted, though they
    > >continued to be held in suspicion and subjected to the
    > Inquisition. 80,000
    > >fled next door to Catholic Portugal, and 50,000 travelled
    > overseas and found
    > >welcome in the Muslim Ottoman Empire -- LB

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