Andrew Clem home
Andrew Clem banner

Blog post

Monthly archives
(all categories)

December 26, 2005 [LINK]

Why U.S. Muslims are silent

In this season of three religious holidays (Christmas, Hannukah, and Eid) and one ethnic one (Kwanza), the "clash of civilizations" theme becomes more salient. While in the Washington area yesterday, I noticed a television ad sponsored by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia (which I visited in early 1991), highlighting that country's cooperation in the struggle against terrorism. I just wish a greater portion of the people in Saudi Arabia were sincerely committed to that end.

Reason for a bit of skepticism in that regard is offered by Stephen Schwartz, who explains why so few American Muslims speak out against terrorism: "because the price of speaking out is immediate, coordinated attack." It puts an ironic twist on the Nixonian phrase "silent majority." The guilty party, in Schwartz's view, is the extremist "Wahhabi lobby," mainly funded by certain Saudi princes and Hamas. (via Instapundit)

Democracy evolves in Iraq

Demonstrations by Sunnis against the Iraq election results, and counter-demonstrations by Shiites in favor of the same, indicate that there is a lack of consensus on basic democratic norms. See Washington Post. Of course, the same thing could be said of the United States since November 2000 at least, suggesting that we should not set our standards too high. The big increase in turnout by Shiite Muslims suggest that a large portion of that group is coming to realize that their future depends on participating in democratic processes, and that their interests are not served by cooperating with the terrorist resistance of Baathists and fanatics linked to Al Qaeda. Iraq obviously has a long way to go, just as the United States did in 1789. The ball is mostly on their side of the court now, and all we can do as the gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops gets underway is hope for the best. Democracy can be encouraged, under the right conditions, but it can't be force-fed.

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 26 Dec 2005, 12: 31 PM

(unformatted URL)

This post is over a week old, so comments are closed.

© Andrew G. Clem. All rights reserved. Your use of this material signifies your acceptance of the Terms of use.

Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:

Category archives:
(all years)

This (or that) year's
blog highlights

Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

  1. Wild birds (LAST)
  2. War
  3. Science & Technology
  4. Politics
  5. Latin America
  6. Culture & Travel
  7. Canaries ("Home birds")
  8. Baseball (FIRST)