Still blind to western arrogance 2

October 17, 2003

I was struck by Daniel Pipes' assertion that "Reformists reinterpret Islam to make it compatible with western ways. They have worked to transform the idea of jihad into a purely defensive undertaking compatible with the premises of international law."

"Western ways"? Some 116,000 US troops illegally occupy Iraq. More than 600 men and boys are detained without charge or recourse to their rights in Guantanamo Bay. The US and Britain use the apocalyptic rhetoric of "endless war" to justify the "defensive" invasion of any country they choose. Pipes is mythmaking when he attempts to pass off these "western ways" as being peaceful and compatible with international law. By all means examine the manifold interpretations of jihad, but to represent the US as the arbiter and criterion of international law and its enemies as murderous barbarians is laughable.

James Watts

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