In a piece entitled “Terrorism’s corrupt breeding grounds” he reminds us that political Islamism shouldn’t be seen an authentic channel for the sighs of the oppressed masses, as many in the West seem to think, but something foolishly grafted onto at least one country for base political reasons.
In the 1980s, to stave off impending popular revolt and provide a degree of political legitimacy, General Zia-ul-Haq’s dictatorship deliberately fostered Islamic fundamentalism, which had been, until then, a minority force in educated Pakistan. Money for new (extremist) religious schools came from Saudi Arabia, whose own elite had much the same problems and felt a close affinity with the Pakistanis.
He also makes an often overlooked point about the recent collapse of the peace talks in the middle east.
Why did the Oslo peace process collapse? Ultimately, not because Ariel Sharon desecrated the Dome of the Rock, but because the West Bank economy collapsed and robbed many ordinary Palestinians of patience in reform succeeding peacefully. The Palestinian Arabs, whose economy had improved with Israeli technical aid after 1967, suffered from Arafat’s support for Saddam in the first Gulf war. In retaliation, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states sent half a million immigrant Palestinian workers back to the West Bank. With their remittances gone and hundreds of thousands of men without work, the local Palestinian economy imploded.
Read it all.