Robert Burns (AP) had an interesting article shown on AOL News June, 14, 2009 which points out a little known "dirty little secret" about the real leaders of Islamic politics in the Middle East. Western media have paid little attention to the degree to which Islamic terrorism and anti-Israel policies are not simply cultural and political issues, but are the declared policy of many Muslim Clerics. Quite incorrectly, our media have regularly endorsed the Cleric's claim that they deplore violence and have nothing to do with the fanaticism of the terrorist organizations. And yet we know many of the Islamic schools throughout the Middle East, and especially in Saudi Arabia, teach their children to hate the West as "The Great Satan."
And, in dealing with Iranian news, American media have concentrated coverage on the supposed leader of Iran, but Burn's paints a very different picture: "Ahmadinejad is Iran's political face to the world, but the clerics and their military wing, known as the Revolutionary Guard, are the real masters of the country's destiny. They dictate every important policy and decide who is allowed to run for elected office."
Burns goes on to quote Anthony Cordesman, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who has been a close observer of the Iranian scene for decades. "Obama's advisers know the limits of change in Tehran as long as the country is ruled by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his supporting cast of theocrats. They realize that it is the supreme leader and those around him who shape any movement in terms of U.S.-Iranian relations," Cordesman said. "This was going to be true regardless of who was elected as Iranian president. I don't think anyone expected that in an election where four candidates were allowed to run — who all had to conform to the control of the supreme leader — the outcome was going to produce dramatic changes in Iran's nuclear posture or its relations with other states in the region."
The American war on Terrorism has been hampered by the apologists for Islam who insist that religion has nothing to do with terror. They regularly excuse the Moslem leaders for any part in the terror, even though many such clerics, even those in mosques within the United States, play a part in the recruitment, training and financing of terrorists. We must understand that we are dealing with theocracies, where religious leaders actually control policy, and political fanatacism is an expression of religious zeal. Otherwise we give a blank check to those groups that simply stay in the background and direct others to execute their policy.
Western nations found a way almost a thousand years ago to separate political and secular affairs from religious and spiritual matters. The strength of Western Civilization was enhanced ever since by applying Logic and practical Reason to matters of State, while preserving the personal benefits of Faith for their citizenry. And, the very diversity of Western religions, all available by free choice to religious people in the West, added further strength and spiritual sustenance to our culture. But only the uninformed will believe that the Muslim Faith is in any way comparable to Christianity-- Muslim policy, being an integral expression of their religion, will not be restrained by Reason and Logic, but will seek to prosletyze, convert, and conquer all unbelievers to further their Faith.
The failures of Clerical control in the Middle East has been demonstrated by the almost 1,000 year slide in their nations' economic and political standing. Their people have remained uneducated, unskilled, and taught only to obey their religious leaders. Ever since Al-Ghazali won the favor of clerics over his fellow Islamic scholar Averrhoes, in the twelfth century, Islamic nations have been in a tailspin. The clerical establishment liked Ghazali because he argued that all causal events simply represent the doings of God, and rejected Greek thought, opposed the Mutazilites' call for reform within Islam, and led the return to Fundamentalism in Islamic Society.
Averrhoes, a leading Islamic scholar in Moorish Spain, advocated the scientific method and separation of Reason and Faith, but he found no following in eastern Islamic cultures. Instead, his teachings were valued by Western Europeans who called for a separation of church and state and initiated modern scientific inquiry --the Domincan and Franciscan monks that manned most of the first European universities around 1200 AD. The result was progress for the Christian West, failure for the Islamic Middle East--and this pattern has persisted for 800 years! As scientific experiments go, 800 years of consistent results represents compelling evidence.
It is this ancient process of control over the masses by the clerical elites in the Middle East that lies at the heart of today's problems. Kudos to Robert Burns of the AP for making one small reference in the major media to this fundamental issue. It is ironic that many of the Far Left in America, who generally champion, or at least excuse the Islamic religion's role in terror, would be horried if our Religious Right could dictate American policy.