...According to [some dumb dhimmi apologist for Islam named Fred] Reed, Washington was wearing blinders fashioned by Huntington at the time. The late Edward Saïd, a Palestinian-American analyst, wrote Orientalism, a book which describes a state of mind where the East is mysterious and other, but also an Other that is inferior. The world is thus divided between Us and Them (Them being the Other). “We are superior to them because we are more powerful.” George W. Bush expressed it more succinctly: “You are either with us or you are with the terrorists.”
Napoleon entered the Mosque of Cairo on horseback. And in 1910 Arthur Balfour told the British House of Commons that Egypt, which Britain had just occupied, needed — in fact demanded — the occupation.Sure thing, but then what do we do about sharia law, which has preconditions galore (the dhimma rules), cleaves the world in two--the Muslim part and the part Muslims have dibs on--and views non-Muslims and all women as being inferior to Muslim men, who are supposedly intrinsically superior? Sorry, but not even the late Ed Said in his prime could 'splain that away.
Reed contends that the clash of civilizations is an aggressive doctrine imbedded in our own cultural tradition and it causes us to distance ourselves from dialogue. He charges; “To those who would justify these colonialist missions by identifying an unloved ‘other’ misconstrued as ‘enemy’, as ‘menace’ we can in any case tell them: ‘You are the menace.’”
His feels that the West has a caricatured view of Islam (and the Orient more generally), with this division between Us and Them. As an alternative to the clash of civilizations he, like Khatami, calls for dialogue. That call entails an end to military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan and to the injustices inflicted on the Palestinians.
We should, he says, “Open ourselves to the other — without superiority of attitude, without preconditions, equal to equal.”