Here is one of those reports which are simultaneously disturbing and hilarious. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad delivered a speech to the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit meeting in Putrajaya Malaysia that Muslims need to unite and think in order to fight the Jews. IMRA reports that his speech was entitled: Treaty Now - Triumph Later - The Jews Are Making Mistakes
It is surely time that we pause to think. But will this be wasting time? For well over half a century we have fought over Palestine. What have we achieved? Nothing. We are worse off than before. If we had paused to think then we could have devised a plan, a strategy that can win us final victory. Pausing and thinking calmly is not a waste of time. We have a need to make a strategic retreat and to calmly assess our situation.
We are actually very strong. 1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out. The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.
We may not be able to do that. We may not be able to unite all the 1.3 billion Muslims. We may not be able to get all the Muslim Governments to act in concert. But even if we can get a third of the ummah and a third of the Muslim states to act together, we can already do something. Remember that the Prophet did not have many followers when he went to Madinah. But he united the Ansars and the Muhajirins and eventually he became strong enough to defend Islam.
Apart from the partial unity that we need, we must take stock of our assets. I have already mentioned our numbers and our oil wealth. In today's world we wield a lot of political, economic and financial clout, enough to make up for our weakness in military terms.
Mahathir complements his enemy's ability to think:
The enemy will probably welcome these proposals and we will conclude that the promoters are working for the enemy. But think. We are up against a people who think. They survived 2000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking. They invented and successfully promoted Socialism, Communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so they may enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have now gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power. We cannot fight them through brawn alone. We must use our brains also.
What, persecuting Jews is not suppose to appear to be wrong? Unless Jews are persecuted they will inevitably take over the world? Is that what Mahathir is trying to tell us?
While IMRA's page reads as if it is the entire contents of his speech there are excerpts on other sites that seem to be from the same speech that say more.
"For well over half a century, we have fought over Palestine," the Malaysian leader said. "What have we achieved? Nothing. We are worse off than before. If we had paused to think, then we could have devised a plan, a strategy that can win us final victory."
He told the audience of sheiks, emirs, kings and presidents that Muslims had the world's richest civilization during Europe's Dark Ages, but disputes over dogma - instead of embracing technology and science - had left them weak and divided.
"Because we are discouraged from learning of science and mathematics as giving us no merit for the afterlife, today we have no capacity to produce our own weapons for our defence. We have to buy our weapons from our detractors and enemies."
Well Mr. Mahathir, it doesn't exactly encourage critical thinking if kids are sent to Madrassah schools to memorize the Koran in a language that many of them don't even understand. But if they were taught to think critically they might become less religious. So the Muslims face a tough task. They need to get people to think about science and yet uncritically accept their own religion. Now, some people can be convinced to do that. The task facing them is not entirely hopeless and that should be cause for concern on our part. How well they can strike a balance between religious indoctrination on one hand and scientific and technological thinking on the other hand will be a major factor in determining how much of a threat the Islamic countries pose to the rest of the world going forward.
"Islam is not just for the seventh century AD. Times have changed. Whether we like it or not we have to change," Mahathir said. "Not our teaching. ... Islam is not wrong, but the interpretations by our scholars can be wrong."
Can be wrong? Or are wrong?
Here's another set of excerpts from the speech. Note that his comments here can also serve as useful advice for the Israelis: Don't make mistakes out of arrogance just because your enemies have been so lame in the past.
"Of late because of their power and their apparent success they have become arrogant. And arrogant people, like angry people will make mistakes, will forget to think. They are already beginning to make mistakes. There may be windows of opportunities for us now and in the future. We must seize these opportunities."
Note as well in these linked-to articles the praise heaped on Mahathir by assorted Muslim country leaders including leaders from Qatar, Egypt, and Afghanistan. Now, some are praising him for his call for more education. But the idea of getting the Muslims together to take on the Jews is exciting them as well.
If anyone finds the complete text of his speech please either post a link to it in the comments or email it to me.
Update: Some people think that if the Muslim countries industrialize and modernize they will become less dangerous with time. The problem with the "if they modernize they will get decadent and forget about Israel" plan is that a number of modernizing societies have been extremely dangerous in the past. I'm thinking of Wilhelmine Germany on up thru WWII. I'm also thinking of imperial Japan.
The problem is that the old attitudes last a few generations before old generations die off and the new kids grow up totally decadent. The transition period is dangerous. Therefore if the Muslims are encouraged to modernize in order to fight the Jews and if they succeed in modernizing then they will probably fight the Jews.
Parabellum provides a link to the full text of the speech here.
> "In my speech I condemned all violence, even the suicide bombings and I told the Muslims it's about time we stopped all these things and paused to think and do something that is much more productive," he said. "That was the whole tone of my speech, but they picked up one sentence where I said that the Jews control the world."
He feels he is being treated unfairly. There is something comical about the guy. If he didn't want people to focus on a single sentence then he shouldn't have said that single sentence. It was inevitable they were going to do so. But he said that sentence because he saw it worth saying as a way to strengthen his street credibility among Muslims. So he has to pay a price in terms of criticism coming from some commentators. He probably would say the sentence all over again.
Here's what I see best illustrates the absurdity of his claim:: If some group of a few million people really did control the world they'd protect themselves from it a lot better than the Jews in Israel have so far protected themselves against the Palestinian terrorist bombers and from other threats in the region. If Jews controlled the world they've manage to have much greater protection from all sorts of developing trends that are unfavorable to Israel.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 October 16 02:42 PM Civilizations Clash Of|