For Muslim Who Says Violence Destroys Islam, Violent Threats
By JOHN M. BRODER
Published: March 11, 2006
The New York Times
Dr. Sultan said the world was not witnessing a clash of religions or cultures, but a battle between modernity and barbarism, a battle that the forces of violent, reactionary Islam are destined to lose.
Is this something new? I think President Bush already said it several years ago. I suppose it’s new for The New York Times to quote a Muslim saying it in the 21st century.
It’s still wrong. Al Qaeda doesn’t want to live in the past, any more than the Bolsheviks, the Nazis, or the Bush 2004 voters did. They want to live in a bright, new future in which the whole world is governed by a single, all-powerful, benevolent authority. It is a very Enlightened future, when the rules won’t have to be enforced because everyone will want to preserve the peace. History, they believe, is inexorably on their side as they remake the human condition. As John Gray writes in Al Qaeda and What It Means to Be Modern, “If there is a uniquely modern myth, this is it.”