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Sunday, Dec 02, 2001

pound foolish

"The policy of using political Islam as an anti-Communist tool was a crucial reason why so much of the Muslim world came to be dominated by stagnant, undemocratic but stable (so it seemed) and adequately pro-Western governments, on one hand, and the traditional forces of political Islam, reconfigured for the latter half of the 20th century, on the other. The crowning achievement of such a policy was the defeat of the modernizing alternative: those movements that hoped to avoid aligning with either the Soviet Union or the United States; to develop their societies along secular lines by, ideally, ever more democratic means; and to substitute nationalism for colonial humility and Islamic traditionalism."