It’s Wretchard’s take at The Belmont Club on Lawrence Wright’s piece in The New Yorker. Wretchard links the Wright piece. I haven’t gone to The New Yorker site yet to check that out, but I’m always interested in what Wretchard has to say about a matter like this:
It makes for depressing reading. The Jihadi revolt against al-Qaeda is predominantly based on the fact that it is losing the military struggle. It is not, insofar as I can glean from Dr. Fadl’s writings, the result of some upsurge of pity, some inclination to mercy or anything like a qualm of conscience. The intellectual foundations of the jihad remain undisturbed; as adamant as ever.
At the psychological root of this mental intransigence lie two things. First the conviction that the West is to blame for the backwardness, poverty and violence of Muslim countries; and second, that the West itself is an abomination to Allah. The former perception has been cemented by centuries of resentment; the second springs from the immutable word of Allah. And while al-Qaeda has been kicked to pieces by the US, Wright observes that these psychological foundations remain.
That bit about the Islamic “conviction that the West is to blame for the backwardness, poverty and violence of Muslim countries” is one of the central themes of Bernard Lewis’s fine book What Went Wrong? The very idea that the West sped right past Islam in the great race of history has been a sickening revelation for Muslims. Too bad that many Western intellectuals join them in blaming the West for their problems.
And as Lewis also points out, the Muslim response to the problems of Islam is always more Islam. So, there’s something to be said for aggressive quelling of the jihadist impulse. The quelling does not last forever, however, but if kept up at a proper pace it could stand for a generation, and then our emerging society of increasingly wonderful Western multicultural university students can either wear the veil or quell the jihad anew (I assume there that a generation from now, as in the Europe of the present, there will be no men, just two varieties of women). Where’s your money on that one?