“Fascist-Islamophobia”: A Case Study in Totalitarian Demonization - Part 5

“Fascist-Islamophobia”: A Case Study in Totalitarian Demonization - Part 5

by Dr. Robert Dickson Crane

Part Three

Developing a Strategy: Analysis and Conclusion

Chapter Five

Fear as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

A.  The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of a Clash of Civilizations

The future of America and of global civilization will depend on whether and when the leaders of each of the world’s nations can join to bring out the best of each civilization in order to build a single civilization of global pluralism.  The purpose must be to bring out the best of the past in order to build both for the present and the future a global federation of independent nations in the pursuit of peace through compassionate justice.

The opposite alternative is mutual demonization whereby members of one civilization join the extremists of another in supporting the extremists’ perversion of their own religion.  In practice this would bring out the worst of the past to paralyze the present and destroy the future.

The many books by Robert Spencer and a host of lesser professionals in demonization typify a genre of books that have captured the imagination of an entire nation.  Amazon’s list of books on Islam and Muslims available for purchase in the Year 2007 exceeds 75,000.  Of the first 400 listed, fifty could be classified as Islam-bashing, and half of these are militantly or extremely so.  A critique of any one of them could serve as a critique of them all, though Robert Spencer’s book is perhaps the most sophisticated in its virulence.  The basic theme is a self-fulfilling prophecy that brands Islam as inherently terrorist and thereby provokes Muslims to become exactly what they are said to be.  Spencer writes:  “It is difficult, if not impossible, to maintain that Islam is a religion of peace when warfare and booty were among the chief preoccupations of the prophet of Islam.  Sincere Islamic reformers should confront these facts, instead of ignoring or glossing over them, and work to devise ways in which Muslims can retreat from the proposition that Muhammad’s example is in all ways normative.  If they do not do so, one outcome is certain: bloodshed perpetrated in the name of Islam and in imitation of the prophet will continue.” 

Obviously no Muslims will ever retreat from the proposition that the Prophet Muhammad is normative, any more than any Christians (or Muslims) would retreat from the same proposition about Jesus Christ, because for either of them to deny their model would render them outside the religion. 

A few self-styled modernist, liberal, or progressivist Muslims have reacted to the trend toward demonization by agreeing with the detractors that the religion needs to be reformed.  Certainly Muslim thought is badly in need of a thorough overhaul and, in fact, is in the midst of just such a revolution among most of the Islamic scholars around the world.  None of these revolutionary reformers, however, would think for a moment that Islam as a religion needs to be changed or ever could be, because it is based on a direct revelation from God.  If Osama bin Laden wants to reform the religion, then he is no longer a Muslim.  His problem is that he is un-Islamic. He is not practicing his self-professed religion.  In fact, he has invented a distinct, new totalitarian ideology as a brand new religion. 

If Islam bashers agree with his new ideology as the equivalent of Islam, they have joined him and become part of the problem.  If those concerned about ideological extremism among Muslims want to help marginalize extremists, they should not reinforce them by copying the extremists’ perversions of the Qur’an.  Robert Spencer and his cohorts copy each other in producing a whole library of books that not only de facto promote totalitarian terrorism among Muslims but, in fact, faithfully demonstrate the totalitarian mentality in their own writings. 

As a professional in his trade, Spencer uses the language of think-tank academese in order to give the appearance of objectivity.  He asks the rhetorical question whether there is any difference between Islam and Islamism and between Islamism and Osama bin Laden as its most faithful model in the modern world.  Spencer’s whole book, The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Region, was written to serve one objective, which is to prove that all three, Islam, Islamism, and Osama bin Laden are one ball of wax.

Spencer quotes a secondary source, “Jihad in Canada,” from the Ottawa Citizen of June 5, 2007, to prove his points by marshaling the opinions of those who agree with him.  The author of this article first politely states that he has nothing against Islam, but instead condemns Islamism.  He writes: “A Muslim is one who practices Islam, a great religion.  An Islamist is one for whom Islam is not just a religion, but a political ideology.  Islamists seek to establish pure Islamic societies governed according to the harshest interpretations of Islam.  Islamism has apocalyptic echos of another millennial ideology, fascism (think of the Thousand Year Reich).  Islamism is totalitarian, utopian, violent – and like fascism it is expansionist.” 

Spencer quotes Richard Lowry in the National Review of March 27, 2006: “Although the idea that Islam is a religion of peace … seems a polite fiction, it is an important one.  Influential Muslims believe it to be true, and it is crucial that they prevail in the Muslim struggle for self-definition.”  Spencer adds, “If Muhammad’s own life and teachings are the source of jihad violence, identifying the truth will not compel Islamic states to fight America.  But it will allow for clear-minded policy-making, make possible reform within Islam, and have the advantage of being based on facts.  … If the jihad terrorists are correct in invoking (Muhammad’s) example to justify their deeds, then Islamic reformers will need to initiate respectful but searching re-evaluation of the place that Muhammd occupies within Islam.”  It would be hard to find a more sophisticated argument in support of Spencer’s mission to convince policy makers that Islam is the most dangerous threat in the world today.

Having already reached his conclusions before he poses the questions, Spencer writes, again in respectable and disarming academese: “In Islam, as in every religious tradition, there is a spectrum of belief, knowledge, and fervor.  One cannot be sure from anyone’s self-identification as a Muslim how much he knows about the Qur’an and the life of Muhammad.  … As both reform-minded Muslims and bloodthirsty jihadists invoke his example to justify their actions, the question of which will guide the Islamic world that is in the grip of a religious revival and increasingly hostile toward America and the West, will largely be determined by Muhammad – by what he was really like according to Islamic texts.”  Spencer, of course, has devoted his professional career to demonize the Prophet Muhammad as a conclusive answer to his own question. 

“The battle is already raging,” he writes.  “The vast majority of peaceful Muslims show no signs of resisting or condemning global Islamic jihad waged in their name.  Members of jihad groups are already claiming the Qur’an and hadith as their allies in their efforts to win over the cultural Muslims.  Muslim hardliners have made deep inroads into peaceful Muslim communities by preaching violent Islam as ‘pure Islam’ and calling Muslims back to what they present as the full observance of their religion.  And that full observance involves warfare against non-Muslims in order to establish the hegemony of the Islamic social order.  This recruitment centers not only upon the Qur’an and other key texts, but also on the figure of Muhammad.”

From all his writings, it is clear that the hardest “hardliner” is Robert Spencer, who attempts to prove that the Prophet Muhammad gloried in his favorite passion of beheading his enemies one by one as a model for all subsequent generations.  His further conclusion, of course, follows logically that all Muslims who do not reject their faith are a mortal threat to America.

The implications for the future of Muslims in America is obvious from Spencer’s conclusion at the end of his book: “This is why Western officials … have so much trouble finding reliable spokesmen for this alleged majority.  Such officials place themselves in the peculiar position of maintaining that Muslim supporters of terrorism are only a tiny minority, but acknowledging at the same time that this tiny minority controls the leadership of virtually every significant Muslim body.”

The Islam bashers warn against a developing clash of civilizations, but they themselves have joined the totalitarian radicals around the world who are doing everything they can to accelerate the threat.

B.  Compulsive Fear:  The Common Denominator

The entire world seems to be caught up in a frenzy of triumphalist arrogance by extremists who want to conquer the world.  As a lifelong student of extremism over the centuries, I have been convinced that the primary motivating cause of militant extremism is not the simple drive for power, but rather its opposite in the form of compulsive fear.  The defense mechanism demands that one first demonize what one fears in order then to destroy it.

This fear is what motivated the terrorists who designed a strategy of “shock and awe” by hi-jacking commercial airliners to demolish the World Trade Center as the leading symbol of the Great Satan’s oppression of billions of people through its oligarchical control of economic globalization.  Fear is also what motivated American NeoCons to wage terroristic counter-terrorism by bombing Baghdad four years ago in a frenzy of shock and awe that killed 3,000 Iraqi civilians in a matter of minutes. 

The full truth of 9/11 may never be known, but the origin and result of the initial attack on Baghdad has now been exposed, despite official denial of substantial “collateral damage.”  I was in Saudi Arabia during the attack watching the bombing on TV together with a senior Saudi general, the right-hand man of the Defense Minister.  The American TV commentator assured us that the impressive fireworks were caused by surgical strikes that harmed no-one.  The rest of the world knew better.

Much has been written about the origin, nature, and goals of the Neo-Cons, but none of these commentaries has identified the real dynamic of this intellectual movement, which was based on compulsive fear of imminent global chaos.  This goes back to the real origin of Neo-Conservatism exactly half a century ago in the writings of the original Neo-Conservative god-father, Robert Strausz-Hupe, who forecast that Communism would be followed by a far greater threat to global civilization in the form of inchoate chaos.  This mortal threat of chaos, he concluded, could be contained and defeated only if America was willing to grasp its historic opportunity and obligation to impose a world government, based on the American federal model through its overwhelming superiority in both moral force and military conquest.  During the next few decades, the moral force argument somehow got lost in the shuffle, so all that remained was military conquest with public deference to what one might call the cover or hijab of freedom and democracy.  The clearly stated motivating force was not expansionist imperialism, as most would contend, but rather abject mortal fear of population explosion worldwide by peoples who did not share American values and would eventually gain access to nuclear weapons.

C.  The Politics of Fear

In politics the two most powerful motivators are fear and religion.  This is especially true in places like America and the Muslim world where religion is a powerful force and therefore can be harnessed in the pursuit of power for whatever purpose.

We are now in the middle of an almost unique example of this truism.  Muslims are not the only ones who exploit religion for political ends.  American extremists, both political and religious, are exploiting religion by demonizing Islam as the necessary first and decisive step in a perceived war of self-defense against universal evil. 

A principal weapon in what has been termed the Fourth World War is the orchestration of words or symbols, known as mimes, in mimetic warfare.  This kind of warfare attacks the mind of its victim subliminally in ways that shape thought without the victim knowing that one’s thinking has been reshaped.

On September 1, 2007, presidential candidate, Senator John McCain, sent out a letter to his supporters pegging his new campaign on a single theme that he hoped would be a sure-fire road to electoral victory in a time of great national peril.  This theme is simple.  He declared, “The transcendent issue of the 21st century is the struggle against radical Islamic extremism.”

Another presidential hopeful, not yet declared but with even better chances of success, was Newt Gingrich, who engineered the so-called Gingrich Revolution in 1994 by taking over both houses of Congress for the Republicans.  Shortly thereafter he laid the ground-work for a new war against evil by calling for a war against Islamic totalitarianism.  On February 8, 1995, at a conference of military and intelligence officers on developing global strategy, Gingrich announced, “I have yet to see a coherent strategy for fighting Islamic totalitarianism.”  In the American lexicon developed in the war against Communist global conquest, the world is full of harmless tyrants who seek only their own power at home and therefore can be co-opted to serve American purposes.  Such tyranny is different from totalitarianism, which by definition seeks control of the human mind not only as a means to consolidate its own power but primarily as the ultimate end of its own destiny. 

Whether by design or not, the use of this emotive word, “totalitarianism,” became an instrument of thought control and escalated the battle against terrorism to the ideological level of grand strategy, because totalitarianism was the major global threat to Western civilization for most of the 20th century.

By the mere turn of a phrase, this seminal thinker of the NeoCon movement transformed Islam from a religion that occasionally has been distorted to justify both private and state-sponsored terrorism into a generic monster that must be fought wherever it raises its ugly head, because ”Islamic totalitarianism” by definition threatens the survival of the Free World.  This simple change in terminology served to short-circuit thought so that operational doctrine and specific military plans no longer had to be based on knowledge.  The thinking has already been done and encapsulated in the new language, where a false symbolism becomes an unchallengeable reality.  And by a process of self-fulfilling prophecy, the potential danger becomes real and thereby triggers a spiraling confrontation of action and reaction with the zero-sum result of universal chaos.

Since 9/11, the demonization of Islam and of Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa salam, as its living example has been gathering supporters non-stop with the infused strength provided by an alliance with sixty million so-called Christian fundamentalists.  Senator McCain concluded in the run-up to the presidential primaries of the 2008 election that exploiting existential fears now promises to gain decisive political traction.  The fear of Islam as it has been presented by this alliance is more than mere political make-believe, which is why it is so powerful.

McCain is taking a page right out of the playbook of the other of the two god-fathers of Neo-Conservatism, Leo Strauss, who escaped from Nazi Germany in order to fight the new totalitarian menace.  He was an atheist but he advocated appealing to religion as a useful tool in the search for power to counter Nazism, Communism, or any other form of totalitarianism.  In other words, his life experience taught him that the most effective weapon against a totalitarian attack is a counter-attack that is more effective in using the same techniques. 

The shift to a global war on Islam as the root of all evil, rather than merely on terrorism as a modern means of warfare, is bad news because it seems to suggest a retrogression from previous governmental policy.  In 2005, the hard-charging Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, let slip some of his carefully hidden sophistication by dropping the term “Global War on Terrorism,” called GWOT for short, and introduced a new acronym in Washington, GSAVE, which stands for “Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism” to save America.  A struggle, however, does not necessarily require military victory, and extremism is politically too generic, so within days President Bush as Commander in Chief vetoed this innovation and demanded that everyone go back to GWOT, the Global War on Terrorism.

Note that both of these paradigms or frameworks for policy were generic and avoided demonizing a religion.  Then in a bold stroke McCain led a charge backwards from both of them by zeroing in on a popularly more demonizable target, “radical Islamic extremism.”

This selection of mimes is not happenstance or due to ignorance.  According to a report by Paul Bedard in the U.S. News and World Report of September 28, 2007, “Pollsters and communications advisers to congressional Republicans are urging lawmakers not to follow President Bush’s lead when it comes to talking about terrorists and the threat they pose to the nation.  While Bush has lightened up on using the word “Islamic” in front of terrorists, the advisers said on background that the word should always be used because Americans believe that “Islamics” are those who act on terrorist threats.  Words to avoid are “Muslim,” “extremist,” and “radicals.”

The latest salvo in the mimetic war, now part of “The Fourth World War,” is “Islamofascism”.  In mid-September, 2007, the professional lobbying group, Jihad Watch, which last year produced Robert Spencer’s sophisticated tract, The Truth about Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion, called for a new level of high intensity warfare to be inaugurated the following month.  In FrontpageMag.com, which is one of David Horowitz’s many front groups including Jihad Watch, he declared, “This October 22-26th, I am declaring Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.  I will hold demonstrations and protests, teach-ins, and sit-ins on more than 100 college campuses.  Our theme will be the oppression of women in Islam and the threat posed by the Islamic crusade against the West.”  Front and center as high-power ammunition was to be the new book by Robert Spencer, which represents the final product of his two decades devoted to the professional demonizing of Islam, and a new companion book by David Horowitz, World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism.

As a follow-up to the original announcement, Horowitz explained at the end of September, “During the week of October 22-26, 2007, the nation will be rocked by the biggest conservative campus protest ever – Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, a wake-up call for Americans on 200 university and college campuses.”  As a leader of this new national movement, together with Frank Gaffney, James Woolsey, and Rick Santorum, Horowitz warned the American voters that, “Islamo-Fascism constitutes the greatest danger Americans have ever confronted.” 

A straw in the wind was the political summit held two months earlier, on July 16, 2007, by Christians United for Israel.  This is the organization founded by the doyon of the new Christian megachurch phenomenon, John Hagee.  Max Blumenthal of the Washington Post interviewed a dozen of the thousands of participants in this rally.  He expressed his amazement at, as he put it, “how excited they are at the prospect of Armageddon coming tomorrow.”

Hagee has close ties with Republican McCain and Democrat Joseph Lieberman and others in both Congress and the White House.  This most extreme of all extremist groups in the world is calling for a unilateral military attack on Iran and the expansion of Israel as the final steps in the Battle of Armageddon to destroy the world in order to cleanse the earth of evil and bring about the return of Jesus to Jerusalem.

It is hard to top this one, but another presidential candidate, Tom Tancredo, made a good try.  On May 17, 2007, during a Fox broadcast of the Republican Presidential debate, he said that the root cause of “Islamic terrorism” is “a dictate of their religion.”  On July 31, 2007, he said that the only thing that could deter a nuclear terrorist attack would be to bomb Mecca and Medina.  Other reports suggest that privately he demanded that America bomb Iran back to the stone-age and that the U.S. Air Force should consider launching the mother of all “shock and awe” by bombing Mecca into oblivion.

This manipulation of the politics of fear may be the most radical and dangerous in the world today, because it revels in its own fears.  It reminds one of the person with acrophobia or fear of heights who is terrified by standing at the brink of a cliff and cannot resist the temptation to jump off.

Chapter Six

Forging a Strategy for the Future

A.  Facing a Common Enemy

Muslims and most of the people of the world are dumbfounded by such hateful and primitive sentiments of collective guilt, especially because they are coming from America, which used to be the most respected and beloved country in the world.  How did all this demonic hatred of an entire religion come about?  Equally important, what can anyone do about it without copying the grave crime of collective guilt by blaming America, Christians, and Jews.

Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of the Muslims in the world and the overwhelming majority of Christians and now also of Jews recognize that the demonization of an entire religion is a threat to everyone.  They all recognize that there is a growing movement of extremism among Muslims, which can lead to terrorism.  But they fear that demonizing Islam as the source of such extremism is helping to provoke it.  Furthermore, citing the same bogus sources that extremists use to justify their crimes serves to reinforce the legitimacy of the extremists.

How do we persuade policy makers to use the term “radical extremists” without reference to religion in order to distinguish between a religion and those who carry out crimes against humanity in its name?  There is no such thing as Islamic extremism, any more than there is Christian or Jewish extremism, unless one wants to reduce all religion to the level of tribalism.  These are oxymorons or contradictions in terms.  Unfortunately, extremists in every religion have always been with us and always will be, so what do we do about it?

The first requirement is to recognize that the traditionalist peoples in all religions face a common enemy.  One part of the threat to global civilization is the post-modern phenomenon of the totalitarian mind in the West fixated on fighting fire with fire at the risk of a global conflagration, while ignoring the injustices that produce the underlying alienation and hatred.  Another major part is the equally post-modernist phenomenon of Al Qa’ida and its evil minions, who play into the hands of those who are willing to destroy civilization in a war against so-called Islamic fascism.  There clearly is such a thing as fascism, however one wants to define it as a dirty word, among some Muslims, but this is a threat primarily to Muslims, both directly as in Iraq and indirectly to Muslims throughout America.  The simplest definition of fascism, as explain by Dr. Imad ad Dean Ahmad, President of the Minaret of Freedom Institute, is “worship of the state.  He concludes that NeoCons are not fascists but have more in common with fascism than do the Al Qa’ida terrorists.  He leaves open the question whether the Al Qa’ida terrorists are demons, who by definition cannot be enlightened or reformed.

In the art of global strategy and long-range global forecasting, the most instructive tool is paradigm management to resolve apparently irresolvable conflicts by addressing differing assumptions and views of reality.  The major threat to the world today comes from the extremists, both Muslim and non-Muslim, who are engaged in what amounts to a de facto alliance designed to pervert what in fact is the classical wisdom of Islam and hijack it in their frenzy of hatred for everyone who disagrees with them. 

The demonizers have a valid point in their insistence that action speaks louder than words and that Islam as a religion is fair game unless Muslims take the lead in countering their own demons.  The Islam-bashers are right that Muslims must take the lead because only Muslims can effectively wage a war against the extremists in their midst, many of whom harbor the potential of becoming violent.  If Muslims cannot mount an effective war against this evil phenomenon, then the professional Muslim bashers will claim legitimacy in blaming Islam as a religion for all the evil in the world.  The problem may be viewed as the old saw about the chicken and the egg.  Which came first? 

The best answer is that before the chicken and before the egg came the rooster.  The rooster, who has done more than anything else in begetting the apparently insoluble dilemma of two religions and two civilizations fighting for survival, is the demonic hatred among the extremists bred inevitably by the heresy and attendant culture known derogatorily but accurately as Wahhabism.  The present Saudi leader, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, is struggling mightily to overcome this bizarre culture in the symbolic heartland of Islam.  He can succeed, however, only if he is supported by the world body of Muslims, the umma, including Muslims in America.  American Muslims will be the principal victims of failure to unite in boldly and firmly exposing the heretical nature of the Wahhabi declaration of war against every human right and against even the very concept of human dignity.  American Muslims must overcome their defensive stance of “Don’t blame me” and join the critics of extremism by condemning and countering religious totalitarianism and working to root it out from mosques and Islamic schools. 

B.  Exposing the Al Qa’ida Heresies

How can Muslims expose the heresies against Islam that extremist hijackers of their religion are advancing to justify what amounts to a war against civilization? 
A first step is to recapture the good words in Islam, especially the shari’ah as a code of human responsibilities and rights.  This can be done by avoiding the use of denigrations like Spencer’s reference to “jihad violence and sharia supremacism”  and by avoiding demands that Muslims reject ‘Muhammad’s warlike example,”  which is a fiction promoted by those whose mission in life is to demonize Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, “bearing in mind that most Muslims will continue to regard Muhammad as ‘an excellent example of conduct’.” 

The second step is to recognize and denounce the justifications that the violent criminals among the Muslims use for their actions.  They and their actions should be denounced in terms they understand, namely, by words used in the Qur’an that apply expressly to them and their crimes.

Their use of the term jihad for what they say is holy war but in fact is terrorism should be called by its proper name in classical Islamic terminology, which is hiraba or unholy and demonic war to destroy society.  They call themselves mujahidun or holy warriors destined for jannah or heaven.  In fact, they are muharibun (guilty of hiraba) and mufsidun (guilty of fasad) headed for jahannam, evil-doers headed for hell.  They claim that they are fighting for ihtiram or human respect, whereas in fact they are committing istihlal, which is the cardinal sin of playing God.  Their murderous assault on every human right should be exposed for what it is, namely, a monumental act of rida al shaytaniya or diabolical apostasy.

The last words of the terrorist who crashed the first plane into the World Trade Center, according to plans found later in his personal effects, were from the Qur’an: “Say, my prayers, my actions, my life, and my death I dedicate to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.” He chose to dedicate his death to ending the lives of thousands of innocent people.  The context of this verse in Surah al An’am 6:162 called him instead to dedicate his life after the model of Prophet Abraham, ‘alayhi al salam, who lived for Allah out of love in order to bring compassionate justice to all of God’s creation.

Suicide bombing requires blind fanaticism not courage.  True submission to God requires the dedication of one’s life to a much more difficult and daunting task.  This is to transform one’s own life, which was given as a gift created in the image of God, in order better to transform the world in which one lives out of love, rather than to destroy it out of hatred.

This message applies to everyone in every religion who demonizes whole communities and entire religions out of hatred.  Professional Christian demonizers of Islam who recruit naïve young people to their cause are no different from the masters of terror in the proverbial caves of Afghanistan who recruit equally naïve young people to their cause, because the end result is the same. 

One of the most profound Muslims in the world, Jeremy Henzell Thomas, from England, who founded the British equivalent of the American civil rights organization, CAIR, immediately after 9/11, emphasizes the role of education and the universality of spiritual awareness.  He writes:  “One of the pressing challenges for America is to open its mind and heart to the validity of non-American perspectives, or, for starters, to the existence of other ways.  This needs to start in schools with far greater emphasis on knowledge of world history, geography and other cultures. The level of ignorance in these areas is staggering.

“There is no point in talking about the underlying convergence of Islamic and American principles if neither of them has the respect and willingness to learn from diversity which, according to the Qur’an, is the very reason why we have been made into separate nations and tribes. The scourge is tribal partisanship, whether American or Muslim. The last and best hope for mankind is not the compulsion inherent in exported fundamentalist and politicized ideologies and religious systems, whether American or Muslim, totalitarian or liberal, no matter how they may masquerade as progressive or transcendent ideals, but it is the adherence of mankind to the ideal of the fully human being represented in all authentic spiritual traditions.  Such human beings have existed at all times and in all societies, and it is their connection to what is divine and their evocation of the divine mercy through their faith, spiritual vision, and goodness that alone represent the best hope for humankind.” 

The most insidious threat to every individual person, and every community, and indeed to all humankind is the temptation to abandon one’s transcendent purpose in life and instead focus only on mere survival.  When a civilization becomes obsessed with maintaining order in order to survive, at the expense of justice and freedom, which are the only lasting sources of order, the civilization dies.  This is the iron law of history.

President Ronald Reagan based his entire life on this natural law.  In his first major foreign policy pronouncement on February 22, 1983, his basic thrust was to emphasize our “responsibility to work for constructive change, not simply to try to preserve the status quo”  “History,” he declared, “is not a darkening path twisting inevitably toward tyranny. … It is the growing determination of men and women of all races and conditions to gain control of their own destinies.”  In this foreign policy manifesto, President Reagan showed his courage by recognizing the Palestinian nation and asserting that satisfaction of this “people’s legitimate rights is a fundamental objective of our foreign policy.”
President Reagan called American policy makers, both Republican and Democrat, to recognize, as he put it, “the central focus of politics – the minds, hearts, sympathies, fears, hopes, and aspirations not of governments, but of people – the global electorate.”  He concluded, “The American dream lives – not only in the hearts and minds of our own countrymen, but in the hearts and minds of millions of the world’s people in both free and oppressed societies who look to us for leadership.  As long as that dream lives, as long as we continue to defend it, America has a future – and all mankind has reason to hope.”

*  This is a pre-publication copy, with copyright in the name of the author, Robert D. Crane.  Parts One and Three of this book are scheduled for publication separately by the International Institute of Islamic Thought as part of the Conference Proceedings of a panel, entitled “Countering Islamophobia: The Intellectual’s Response,” held at the IIIT’s offices in Herndon, Virginia, on October 17th, 2007.  Part Two is scheduled for condensation and publication by the IIIT as Part Three of the book, Compassionate Justice: The Normative Approach to Human Rights, Robert D. Crane, 2008.  The final published version will include all of the notes and references.

  Dr. Crane is a former Franciscan monk of the Third Order who embraced Islam as a spiritual path while living in the Gulf emirate of Bahrain in 1976-77 writing the book, Planning the Future of Saudi Arabia, Praeger/CBS, 1977.  He earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1959 with a specialization on comparative legal systems.  He is Director for Global Strategy at the Abraham Federation: A Global Center for Peace through Compassionate Justice, and author or co-author of a dozen books, including Compassionate Justice: Source of Convergence Between Science and Religion.