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Walid Phare's new book, Jihad Against Democracy

 
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09/04/2007 05:28 PM
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Walid Phare's new book, Jihad Against Democracy
The War of Ideas: Jihad against Democracy
By Walid Phares
New York: Palgrave, 2007


Middle East scholar Walid Phares in his recent book The War of Ideas: Jihad against Democracy outlines the ideological basis in which the jihadists use to perpetuate their anti Western agenda. Phares who was born and raised in Lebanon brings to the table his personal experience as a Middle Easterner as well as his academic career as professor of Middle East Studies and terrorism.


One of the key factors the author reveals here is the methodology whereby the hearts and minds of young students become engrossed in Jihadism which is sold to them in what the author defines as “spiritual yoga.” Moreover, to say that Jihad is “holy war” is too simplistic. The definition of jihad and its meaning has become one the most common misconceptions today as we battle the war of ideas in the war against the jihadists. These debates on whether jihad is a psychological battle or whether it has an actual military connotation have become the center of debate in many university departments specifically in Middle East departments post-September 11th.


The fact of the matter is that Jihad has always had a military connotation despite what many would like us to believe. As David Cook underscores in his study Understanding Jihad, “to maintain that jihad means ‘the effort to lead a good life’ is pathetic and laughable in any case. In all the literature concerning jihad – whether militant or internal jihad – the fundamental idea is to disconnect oneself from the world, to die to the world whether bodily (as in battle) or spiritually (as in internal jihad). The priorities of jihad in Islam here are exactly reversed from the historical and religious realities: the armed struggle - aggressive conquest – came first, and then additional meanings became attached to the term.”[1]


As a result of the above, we have seen the spread of an academic jihad which is growing across North American universities. Consequently, students and donors are blinded by Saudi and Wahabi money which has been fueling the system since the 60’s in an effort to what they consider to be “a fair and honest depiction of the Middle East” – this couldn’t been further from the truth. Phares’ experience as a professor who taught about the Middle East and terrorism is astonishing when one considers what he had to do in order to survive in his department. As he writes, “I have observed with amazement American students stripped of their basic rights to be educated accurately about the main geopolitical and ideological threats to their homeland. Instead of using classroom time to profoundly analyze the rise of what would become al-Qaeda or the Khomeini regime’s long-range strategies, we professors had to ‘clean up’ the diseducating process that blurred the intellectual vision of a whole generation.”[2]

Furthermore, academic freedom has been used as a shield and a "get-out-of-jail-free card" when speakers are dismissed as conservatism-revivalism. The modern notions of free speech and academic freedom stem from John Stuart Mill's On Liberty. Mill argued that free speech originates in society's want to discover the truth. By vetoing a right opinion, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to exchange an error for truth. But by banning a false opinion, Mill stated, we lose something almost as precious — a clearer perception of truth that is produced by its clash with error. If no foes are available to put your ideas to the test, Mill argues that one should invent arguments against your own beliefs.

Today, whatever goes on in a classroom is deemed protected by "academic freedom," whether it is academic or not. Only sexual harassment appears exempt from this blanket protection. Gradually, the entire campus has become an "academic freedom" zone, where protests and other activities now qualify as academic "speech." The freedom to critique is, predictably, directed mostly at the twin Satans, Israel and America, although efforts to curtail speech that academics find unpleasant and unacceptable have been long standing in the form of "speech codes" and restrictions on "hate speech." Clearly, academic freedom is a one-way street; only those having the correct opinions may claim it.

Finally, Phares’s book is an important contribution to continuing battle against the academic jihad which is infesting university classrooms. His book is an added value to Martin Kramer’s Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America where Kramer chronicled the takeover of American Middle East Studies by a cohort of politicized scholars who blamed the Middle East’s problems on the West and dismissed the threat of Islamist terror.

Winning the war against Jihadism necessitates winning the war of ideas as well as the war on the ground, and Phares book serves as a useful guide to make that happen.



NOTES:

[1] Cook, David. Understanding Jihad, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2005, P. 42.

[2] Phares, Walid. The War of Ideas Jihad against Democracy, New York: Palgrave, 2007, P. 161.
Anonymous Coward
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09/04/2007 05:31 PM
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Re: Walid Phare's new book, Jihad Against Democracy
bsflag For the post.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/04/2007 05:47 PM
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Re: Walid Phare's new book, Jihad Against Democracy
bsflag For the post.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 293356



But he really did write the book
it's on sale now no BS....

unless you're afraid that Jihad has been exposed...yes that's it your and Islamic dog and running scared that the word gets
out about your 'kind'

sorry
Anonymous Coward
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09/04/2007 05:51 PM
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Re: Walid Phare's new book, Jihad Against Democracy
i like this author,his books
are great material for better
understanding the "enemy"
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 293227
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09/04/2007 05:53 PM
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Re: Walid Phare's new book, Jihad Against Democracy
i like this author,his books
are great material for better
understanding the "enemy"
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 174926


His books help you understand the NeoCons?
Anonymous Coward
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09/04/2007 05:54 PM
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Re: Walid Phare's new book, Jihad Against Democracy
This is GLP, where the only group it is acceptable to show in an unflattering light is Israelis.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 293227
United States
09/04/2007 05:54 PM
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Re: Walid Phare's new book, Jihad Against Democracy
But he really did write the book
it's on sale now no BS....

unless you're afraid that Jihad has been exposed...yes that's it your and Islamic dog and running scared that the word gets
out about your 'kind'

sorry
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 265507


Dang, you were doin' okay until you let your true nature come out. What a drag.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 75026
United States
09/04/2007 05:55 PM
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Re: Walid Phare's new book, Jihad Against Democracy
i like this author,his books
are great material for better
understanding the "enemy"


His books help you understand the NeoCons?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 293227



no dummy
people like you
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 77564
United States
09/04/2007 05:56 PM
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Re: Walid Phare's new book, Jihad Against Democracy
But he really did write the book
it's on sale now no BS....

unless you're afraid that Jihad has been exposed...yes that's it your and Islamic dog and running scared that the word gets
out about your 'kind'

sorry


Dang, you were doin' okay until you let your true nature come out. What a drag.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 293227



he did say sorry
Anonymous Coward
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09/04/2007 05:57 PM
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Re: Walid Phare's new book, Jihad Against Democracy
no dummy
people like you
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 75026


I sincerely doubt Walid Phares likes people who still believe in the Constitutional and who support Ron Paul.
Anonymous Coward
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09/04/2007 06:07 PM
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Re: Walid Phare's new book, Jihad Against Democracy
Democracy is indispensable to socialism.

The goal of socialism is communism.

- Vladimier Lenin


If you knew anything about America (which you obviously DO NOT) you would know that America is NOT a democracy. It never has been.

The authors of our Constitution thought democracy was a very bad idea, and if implemented in this country would inevitably result in dictatorship.

Consult our constitution and the Federalist Papers for further details.

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