15 March 2008

Whatever you do, don't mention the wars

German writer and media executive Jürgen Todenhöfer has taken out three full page ads in the New York Times, as well as in Allgemeine Zeitung and the Al-Quds Al-Arabi to teach Americans and the west about the impacts of their wars on the Muslim world in Ten Theses. I am certain that the reaction from the American right with be muted, thoughtful and vitriol free.

For those of you who don't have access to the Times here are his theses:

1. The West is much more violent than the Muslim world. Millions of Arab civilians have been killed since colonialism began.

2. Faced with the warmongering of the West, it is really not surprising that support for Muslim extremists continues to grow.

3. Terrorists in Islamic disguise are murderers. The same holds true for the ringleaders disguised as Christians who wage wars of aggression in contravention of international law.

4. Muslims were and are at least as tolerant as Jews and Christians. They have made a major contribution to Western civilization.

5. Love of God and love of one's neighbor are the central commandments not only in the Bible but also in the Qur'an.

6. Western policies towards the Muslim world suffer from a shocking ignorance of even the simplest facts.

7. The West must treat the Muslim world just as fairly as it treats Israel. Muslims are worth as much as Jews and Christians.

8. The Muslims must champion a progressive and tolerant Islam, as did their prophet Muhammad. They must strip terrorism of its religious mask.

9. Nothing fosters terrorism more than the West's "war on terror". Muslim countries must resolve their problems with radical Islamism themselves.

10. What is needed now is the art of statesmanship, not the art of war - in the Iran conflict, the Iraq conflict and the Palestine conflict.

You can learn more at his website.

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