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An Islamic Historian Warns Of Global Jihad

From Israel’s Arutz Sheva:

Historian Bernard Lewis

Experts Warn of Global Jihad at Herzliya Conference

Monday, January 22, 2007

Two Islam experts warned participants at the Herzliya Conference on Monday that global jihad is on the rise — and should be taken seriously.

Islamic expert and historian Bernard Lewis spoke back-to-back with former CIA director James Woolsey at the Herzliya Conference Monday, sounding the alarm on the global Jihad and dismissing the concept of a Palestinian state.

In the self-perception of the Muslim world, their primary identity is to deliver Islam to the world – to not keep it selflessly to themselves but to give it to mankind,” explained Lewis, adding that the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979 signified the first major victory in the global Islamic push toward that goal.

There are competing leaders to take this fight ahead,” he said. “The Sunni Wahabi cause is represented by bin Laden. Another is the Shi’ite version, which began with the first Iranian revolution, and the second Iranian revolution, taking place at this moment. The whole Arab and Muslim world is experiencing the second stage of the Islamic revolution in Iran.

“I have been told by Iranian friends that Ahmadinejad is indeed crazy, but not stupid,” Lewis warned. “He really believes in the end of days that he is heralding. There is a widespread belief among Shi’ites that that time has come. Mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent to Ahmadinejad, but an inducement.”

James Woolsey, former director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, addressed the conference next. Unlike many of the speakers, Woolsey, a guest of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs had arrived the previous day and attended nearly all of the conference’s sessions.

Woolsey summarized several opinions that were expressed, lauding UN sanctions, negotiations and the state of the world. “I do not represent a majority view – but on all of these points I beg to differ,” he said.

Woolsey proceeded to lament the fate of Europe, which he sees as already having been compromised in what he calls World War IV – the third having been the Cold War. “I wish we had a partnership with Europe, but I am afraid it is deteriorating,” he explained. “Europe is accommodating Sharia (Islamic law) and becoming increasingly affected by the Muslim demographics in their countries.”

Woolsey said he sees no distinction between the Islamic onslaught in Israel, Iraq or elsewhere. He compared the war against Islamism with that against Nazism and Communism.

As a former director of the world’s largest intelligence agency, Woolsey dismissed claims by Iran and its apologists that the Islamic Republic seeks nuclear capability for peaceful means.

“With its huge oil and natural gas reserves, Iran is not the least bit interested in nuclear power,” he said. “And negotiation with a movement that defines itself by its goal of the destruction of Israel and the United States is like trying to persuade Hitler to give up anti-Semitism.”

Woolsey displayed in-depth knowledge of the various theological movements and streams vying for the soul of the Islamic world. “The Ujutiya – end of time – movement represents a major part of Iranian politics today,” he warned. “If we look at it like a chess game, the nuclear bomb is the queen.”

Woolsey, like Lewis, warned that the Iranian Shi’ite sect is not the only threat posed by Islam.

“In 1979, with the seizure of the great mosque in Mecca and the rise to power of a Shi’ite theocracy in Iran, a rise in Wahabi-ism took place as well. This was funded largely by the increase in the price of oil. Today, little boys are taught to want to be suicide bombers both in Pakistani madrassas and in the West Bank with Wahabi oil money.”

Woolsey said that those warning against Islam’s push to establish Islamic law across the globe are accused of being Islamophobic. “We are not Islamaphobes,” he said, “but we are theocraphobic.

“We, Jews, Christian and others are inheritors of the rule of law,” he said. “Democracy without the rule of law is a mob and capitalism without democracy is theft. Jefferson said, and it is printed on his memorial: ‘I have sworn on the altar of Almighty G-d eternal hostility toward every form of tyranny over the mind of man.’ ”

Asked what role he saw the media playing in the current global plight, Woolsey had harsh criticism for most journalists’ inability to classify religious believers as anything but crazy.

“The media on the whole and certainly in the US is not interested in ideology and does not take it seriously. They tend to think anybody who is religiously motivated about his views is crazy – whether religious Christians, Muslims or Jews. And that is a problem, because you can be absolutely crazy about your objectives and extremely shrewd about your implementation. I think our media on the whole is very ostrich-like on this issue.” …

This is real news insofar as Bernard Lewis is considered by most people to be the foremost historian of Islam in the world.

Some of his books:

* The Origins of Ismailism (1940)
* The Arabs in History (1950)
* The Emergence of Modern Turkey (1961)
* Istanbul and the Civilizations of the Ottoman Empire (1963)
* The Assassins: A Radical Sect in Islam (1967)
* The Cambridge History of Islam (2 vols. 1970, revised 4 vols. 1978, editor with Peter Malcolm Holt and Ann K.S. Lambton)
* Islam: From the Prophet Muhammad to the capture of Constantinople (1974, editor)
* Race and Color in Islam (1979)
* Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire: The Functioning of a Plural Society (1982, editor with Benjamin Braude)
* The Muslim Discovery of Europe (1982)
* The Jews of Islam (1984)
* Semites and Anti-Semites (1986)
* History — Remembered, Recovered, Invented (1987)
* Islam from the Prophet Muhammad to the Capture of Constantinople (1987)
* The Political Language of Islam (1988)
* Race and Slavery in the Middle East: an Historical Enquiry (1990)
* Islam and the West (1993)
* Islam in History (1993)
* The Shaping of the Modern Middle East (1994)
* Cultures in Conflict (1994)
* The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years (1995)
* The Future of the Middle East (1997)
* The Multiple Identities of the Middle East (1998)
* A Middle East Mosaic: Fragments of Life, Letters and History (2000)
* Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Hebrew Poems (2001)
* The Muslim Discovery of Europe (2001)
* What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East (2002)
* The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror (2003)
* From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East (2004)

When Mr. Lewis warns about a global jihad, the world should listen.

And of course Mr. Woolsey is no slouch either.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, January 22nd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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