I cannot think of a better example of reaping the whirlwind than the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo. How any intelligent human being can think they can hurl juvenile insults that demean the sincerely held beliefs of any group – and not pay the consequences – is a tribute to the state of denial of adultlescent Western so-called civilization.
If you want to understand the origins of Islamic fundamentalism read John Keay’s book SOWING THE WIND about the blundering foreign policies of France, Britain, and later the USA in the 20th Century: then google “Reaping the Whirlwind” a CNA Corporation research document about American foreign policy blunders in the Arabian/Persian Gulf in the 21st century and its likely consequences.
All of the erudite, outraged and hypocritical articles passionately rushing to the defence of free speech ignore the elephant in the room – Israel (Balfour has a lot to answer for). The single largest cause of Islamic fundamentalism is the State of Israel and its brutal treatment of the Palestinians. And if you want to test the boundaries of free speech in The West try writing an article – or better yet publishing a cartoon – that insults or demeans Israel or the Jews.
Last year here in Australia a columnist on The Sydney Morning Herald did just that – and was fired under pressure from the Jewish lobby. And in the ultimate irony, Charlie Hebdo fired one of their cartoonists for an article critical of Israel – and he received death threats from Zionists. Clearly free speech is a one way street at Charlie Hebdo (It might be interesting to try and trace the origins of their funding).
As George Orwell once said . . . “There is no need for censorship. At any given moment there is an orthodoxy . . . a body of ideas that it is assumed all right thinking people will adopt.” And in The West that orthodoxy is anti-Islam and pro-Jewish.
Unlike most of the so-called experts I have lived and worked most of my adult life in the Middle East, and worked for Jews. Western politicans simply do not understand the semitic races – Arab or Jew. As a down-to-earth blue collar friend remarked about Arabs, “They write backwards, they read backwards . . . and they think backwards.”
In no way do I want to demean Arabs or Jews. I simply want to point out that East is East, and West is West. Their thought processes are different to ours, their belief systems are different to ours, and you will never succeed with them until you learn to deal with this. I was very successful in Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia by allowing them to be who they are, and not trying to ram Western ideals down their throats.
If you want insights into The West’s relationship with the Middle East and its complexity from the perspective of the stories of the weird and wonderful expatriate characters who washed up there from 1960 to 2001, preview my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” at:
and download it if you have a Kindle.
Or if you prefer a real book you can order the paperback edition from:
The ISBN number is 978-1908147097
They offer free delivery worldwide.