Thought Archive

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

US should stop supporting extreme Islamist states

Nir Rosen
Best Defense guest media critic

Saudi Arabia fears "the U.S. is opening the door for Islamist groups to gain influence and destabilize the region"?

Saudi Arabia? The most extreme Islamist state in the world (now that the Taliban are removed), the sponsor of extreme Islamist movements from Africa to Europe to Asia? The opponent of Arab and Muslim progressive and liberal thought for decades?

The Saudis are worried about Islamist groups? No. The Saudis used to import Muslim Brothers from Egypt to teach in Saudi Arabia, and that was only after the Wahhabis relaxed a bit and were willing to accept the more moderate Muslim brothers.

This is not about Islamism; this is about regional alliances. Whether it's the Muslim Brothers or the Communist Party of Egypt who takes over after Mubarak, we can be certain that the new regime will be less of a puppet and less part of the American, Saudi, and Israeli alliance in the Middle East than Mubarak was. This is what the Saudis fear, that the architecture they have carefully crafted with the Americans is crumbling -- with Iraq ruled by the hated Shiites, Fatah in Palestine a joke, Iran ascendant, the Saudi proxies in Lebanon a failure. This has nothing to do with Islamism. The authors have it all wrong.


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