The Obama administration, writes Foreign Policy in Focus co-director John Feffer in his valuable new book Crusade 2.0: The West’s Resurgent War on Islam (City Lights Books), “continues to misunderstand the nature of political life in the Middle East. In his 1985 survey of the Arab world called The Arabs, journalist Peter Mansfield concluded in his final chapter that ‘no one can tell what social and political institutions the Arab people will have developed by the end of this momentous century. All that can be said with certainty is that, however much they derive from foreign movements and ideas, they will have a specifically Arab of Islamic character.’ Nearly thirty years later, policy makers and pundits have yet to learn that Islam is an essential part of Arab life, and that includes politics.” [Emphasis added.]
That would scarcely be feasible in a country as heterogeneous as the United States. Besides, despite conservative claims that the Founding Fathers were inspired by their Christian faith, it’s all too easily demonstrated that they were motivated by fear of the tyranny of not only secular, but sacred authorities. Still, one can’t help but wonder if conservatives are jealous of the widespread belief in Islam — among the rank and file as well as Islamists (political Islam) — that, as the faith of the majority of a state’s citizens, Islam should be nationalized (as it were). It’s ironic to think that Islamists serve as role models to Christian fundamentalists who seek a Christian state.