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Shifting sands in Middle East (3)

By He Wenping (China Daily)

08:23, September 19, 2012

US political scientist Samuel P. Huntington proposed the clash of civilizations theory and pointed out that the great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict would be cultural. Unfortunately, the West has failed to heed Huntington's words, and instead chooses to provoke Muslims by mocking Islam.

Muslims' anger over perceived Western insults to Islam has exploded more than once. For instance, The Satanic Verses, a novel by the British author Salman Rushdie, was accused of insulting the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and outraged Muslims. The Western world especially the US must learn to respect other civilizations, cultures and religions.

Fourth, the US should reflect on its policy toward the Middle East. Last year US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised the rebels in Libya for "taking back their country". After the US ambassador was killed, Clinton could not help asking: "How can this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city (Benghazi) we helped save from destruction?" Indeed, Stevens worked closely with the Libyan rebels to overthrow the Gadhafi regime and remained a key figure pushing forward the "Arab Spring". As a commentary from the US' Foreign Policy pointed out: "It is a tragic irony that the US diplomat who had done so much to free Benghazi from grip of a dictator that it despised would die at the hands of that city's residents only months later, in a spasm of religion-fueled hatred."

Anti-US protests have swept across the countries that have been through the Arab Spring and have spread to countries such as Iraq that the US believed had entered a period of stabilization after democratic transition. The US is now paying a bloody price for facilitating the so-called democratic transitions in the Middle East. In response the US will be even more cautious in developing its relations with the Islamic regimes in the Middle East and will seek to enhance its cooperation with moderate Islamist groups in a bid to crush the radical Islamic forces.

【1】 【2】 【3】

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