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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Muslim Stamp Continues to Raise Objections Undermining Bush’s Policies


A chain letter decrying a USPS postage stamp that honors the Muslim religion has started making the rounds again, and is sparking anew protests from various quarters. The stamp is one of a set of four stamps that honor four great religions, and, according to my local post office, is due to be reissued shortly. It seems to me that those who object to this stamp do not understand that we do not have any argument with the millions of peaceful Muslims here and around the world. Our argument is with that small minority of Islamic terrorists who are not supported by the majority Muslim population. A recent Pew Survey showed limited and declining support for Islamic terrorists in the Muslim world, and it has been a constant of President Bush’s policy on world-wide terrorism to reach out to these peaceful Muslims and enlist their cooperation. The last thing we want is to turn this into a religious war, and force all Muslims to choose sides.

This small minority of terrorists hate us and want to kill us because they interpret their Koran as commanding them to do so (we are infidels); because they want to restore Islam to its former greatness; because we have supported, in an area of the world where stability is vital to assure our oil supplies, the status quo of despotic regimes that do not promulgate Islamic fundamentalism; and because we have made it difficult for them to kill Jews and drive Israel into the sea.

There is a difference between appeasement of terrorists and the honoring of peaceful adherents to a religion practiced by millions of Americans. It should be obvious that we cannot win over the terrorists with “good deeds”. We saved thousands of Muslim lives in Bosnia and in the tsunami-struck countries and in other places. The terrorists want us dead or want us out; nothing more, nothing less.

We are not about to abandon Israel, nor can we stop policing the Gulf. Hopefully, now that Arafat is gone, the Palestinians and the Israelis can slowly approach some sort of rapprochement, and that source of dissention will diminish. Leftists who drive Humvies may spout their nonsense about blood for oil, but I, for one, know that without oil I would be selling apples on the corner and sleeping in cardboard boxes. What we have to do to protect ourselves is to marginalize Muslim terrorists among the overall population so that their support and funding will disappear. The focal point to marginalize Islamic terrorists clearly resides in encouraging the development of secular democracies in Muslim territories without causing open breaks with current allies who rule as autocrats. The main allies of concern where we must work slowly and carefully are Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Oman. The countries where we should proceed as rapidly as possible to help along the development of democracies are Iran and Syria. We have already achieved considerable progress in Iraq and Afghanistan, in separating Lebanon from Syria and in removing the WMD threat from Libya.

The restoration of a great Islamic civilization in today’s global and connected economy can only happen where free and democratic institutions thrive. Even China is rapidly going down this path. Hopefully someday soon a democratic Iraq will show the Muslim world an example the rest of them will want to follow.

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1 Comments:

At 9:25 AM, Anonymous steve said...

I think what complicates this issue in many peoples eyes is that hundreds of thousands of "regular" Muslims (not terrorists) hate us. They hate us for many reasons - Israel support, our presense in their or other Muslim countries, past promises broken or offenses by Westerners, our lifestyle, our wealth, our freedom, their our personal situations, etc.

Since they hate us....and they are Muslim, it is easy to group them together. I would guess that the vast majority of people making this mistake do not even realize the size of the US Muslim population....they think they are all Arabs.

 

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