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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 2, 2007 / 18 Menachem-Av, 5767

GROW UP, MIDDLE EAST!

By Victor Davis Hanson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Radical Islamists love to scream about the "decadent" West. Everything from our operas to our attitudes about women outrage these loud pious critics.


As part of their condemnation, fundamentalist Muslims say they put a higher premium on family values and reverence for the past than crass modern Americans and Europeans do. But that is hardly true.


In Wahhabist Saudi Arabia, unforgiving sharia law administered by stern state clerics dictates the cutting off a hand for theft.


Is there less stealing then? Not at the highest levels at least. Sheiks from the ruling House of Saud are notorious for gambling and squandering abroad their nation's collective petro-wealth. But few such royals walk around Riyadh with missing limbs from "judicial amputation."


Recently on a British Airways flight to London, members of Qatar's royal house were outraged that its princesses had been seated next to male passengers who weren't related to them. Was this a clash of civilizations?


Not quite. The entire entourage was, in fact, returning from an all-day shopping spree in Milan, Italy. The angry members of Qatar's royal house may claim outrage at gender equality, but they seem to have no problem with the libertine West when it comes to splurging their kingdom's wealth on luxury items.


This type of hypocrisy in the Muslim world is not limited to supposedly devout oil-rich Gulf sheiks who cherry-pick Western sin. Terrorists — with one foot in the 7th century and the other in the 21st century — want it both ways, too.


How often have we heard Ayman al-Zawahiri, the mouthpiece of al-Qaida, damn the disruptive culture of the West? Yet he has no reservations about broadcasting his infomercials using video technology made possible by a secular science unique to Westernized culture. And does the observant Zawahiri object that his pals, the pious Taliban, are linked to heroin traffickers?


Jihadists champion sharia law, too. But when captured, they hire sophisticated secular Western nitpicking lawyers to sue over conditions in Guantanamo or incarceration in British prisons. Al-Qaida, of course, complains about everything from American troops once stationed in Saudi Arabia to even the U.S.'s failure to sign the Kyoto accords. Meanwhile, by blowing up religious shrines across Iraq, they show far less respect for mosques than we do.


There is a general pattern in these various paradoxes of fundamentalist Islam, both its violent and non-violent manifestations.


Supposedly Western sins, such as drugs, bribery and rampant consumerism, turn out to be as common in the Muslim world as they are here. In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality even seems to be tolerated as long as it is not overtly discussed in public. Indeed, the only real difference may be our Western tendency to talk freely in a secular context about controversial topics rather than hide or repress their presence.


Moreover, it is not always what we do in the Middle East, or even who we are, that infuriates the radical Muslim world. Its frustration also rises out of fascination with the West — and the ensuing religious embarrassment over wanting what we enjoy.


It's worth noting that the United States is not hated in numerous other places, such as sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, where it has had a military presence or adopted controversial foreign policies.


In contrast, the peculiar furor at the U.S. in the radical Islamic world arises because our culture, when viewed on DVD, satellite television and the Internet, is judged to be incorrect in the ideal world of 7th-century Islam — and impossible for conflicted Muslims to enjoy fully in the 21st.


Of course, our foreign policy, or even the crassness of Western pornography, can inflame this preexisting anti-Americanism. But, ultimately, there remains this divide between vibrant modern life that is the product of the Western Enlightenment and a static tribal order that is not.


What to do? The time is over both for coffee-table talk in the West about a pie-in-the-sky "reformation" needed in Islam, and the endless habit in the Middle East of blaming others for self-inflicted miseries.


Instead, right now we should hold the Muslim world to the same standards of tolerance that we demand of ourselves — no more apologies for things like our insensitive cartoons or excuses for their insane anger against novelists. In turn, the Middle East must grow up and accept, like the rest of the world, that there are social and cultural costs and consequences for any who wish to embrace the benefits of modernism.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Comment by clicking here.


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