Thursday, April 06, 2006

Islam’s Imperial Dreams

Efraim Karsh is head of Mediterranean Studies at King’s College, University of London, and the author of, among other works, Arafat’s War, Saddam Hussein: A Political Biography, and Empires of the Sand: The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East.

He has Islamic Imperialism: A History, coming out, and he has a long excerpt of it in "Commentary Magazine" this month. Looks like he is the new "Bernard Lewis." Read the Magazine article. [hat tip Powerline] A good quote from it:

Whether in its militant or its more benign version, this world-conquering agenda continues to meet with condescension and denial on the part of many educated Westerners. To intellectuals, foreign-policy experts, and politicians alike, “empire” and “imperialism” are categories that apply exclusively to the European powers and, more recently, to the United States. In this view of things, Muslims, whether in the Middle East or elsewhere, are merely objects—the long-suffering victims of the aggressive encroachments of others. Lacking an internal, autonomous dynamic of its own, their history is rather a function of their unhappy interaction with the West, whose obligation it is to make amends. This perspective dominated the widespread explanation of the 9/11 attacks as only a response to America’s (allegedly) arrogant and self-serving foreign policy, particularly with respect to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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