When I read this news item from the Montreal Muslims, I nearly tossed my cookies. This is such a load of horse hockey that it defies belief and shows the lack of any attempts at advancing the Islamic culture and stands as an example of why that civilization never advanced beyond the 13th century.

DAMASCUS–For prominent Syrian career woman Luna Rajab, the moment of truth came last Ramadan at an evening social gathering of friends and colleagues. Steeling herself to express outwardly what she had felt inside for many years, the 34-year-old architect stepped forward to reveal a decision that would earn the dismay of many of those closest to her, her mother and grandmother included.

Rajab’s favourite motto had always been “say it with actions, not with words.” And on this night, she said it all by covering her hair with that most Islamic of accessories – the hijab. Never before had she worn the head scarf. Never before had anyone in her social circle, or even her own family. Today, she won’t take it off. Rajab’s hijab is here to stay.

She knows the decision to wear hijab placed her out of step with many in her circle. But taken in the context of the larger Arab world, she says, it is her friends who are out of step. Which is okay by her. Rajab does not believe in forcing anyone on the question of hijab. In a free world, it is a personal choice, she says. Yet Rajab takes comfort in the fact that by just about any standard one might care to apply, Islam is on the rise again in the Middle East.

And why?

Lebanese sociologist Abdo Kahi describes the drift toward Islamic identity as anything but ideological. “Ideology has logic, but the return to Islam is happening as an idea without logic. It is happening by default, without discussion, as a matter of the heart. What all human beings share is the universal desire for hope, security, justice, values – and one day perhaps, real democracy.

And whose fault is it that democracy has not come to the Middle East? Why America, of course.

Arab thinkers lost faith. (Arab thinkers? Thinking people turn to logic to solve problems – not faith.) What some describe as the “democracy hypocrisy” was laid bare one year ago with the surprise election of Hamas in Western-backed elections in the Palestinian territories. Those who actually covered the campaign saw the Palestinian electorate embrace a deftly played Hamas election platform built as a war on corruption without so much as a mention of the word Israel.

What a crock! Not so much a mention of the word Israel? It’s in their charter? They want Israel destroyed.

“The Bush administration sees all Islamists as radicals and all radicals as terrorists and thus they all need to be eliminated. (No. Not all Islamists are terrorists. Most the majority of Islamists use the non-violent media, litigation, demographic, economic, and institutional jihads and the implementation of Shaira law to advance Islamism.) But this attempt to corner Hamas – clearly has backfired,” said Ahmad Moussalli, a political scientist at the American University of Beirut. “It sent a message to the entire Arab world that the promise of democracy is false. And it handed a gift to political Islam by keeping it outside the halls of power, thereby giving them an even greater aura of sanctity.”

Let me give you the 411, Montreal Muslims, about democracy. Just because you have a democrcy doesn’t guarantee a policy of human rights and individual freedom. Democracies can vote in a dictatorship just as well as a tyrant can establish it. Read up on Hitler. He was voted into office by the German people then through lawful means at his disposal, grabbed power and made himself Fuehrer.

So, since the ‘democracy conspiracy’ failed in the Middle East, it’s time to turn back the clock to a nicer, gentler time of the 13th century.

“Arab Muslims today see the George Bush project of democracy in the Middle East crashing to a halt,” said Kahi. “The only results they can see are McDonald’s, Madonna and bombs. There is nothing real in it for them. The only place left to turn is Islam.”

Blanket rejection also feeds radicalism, said Moussalli, as the pole of political Islam wavers between moderation and radicalism. “The more venues are closed, the more moderates get forced to the margins. The radicals are a much smaller force than the moderates, but without a political future some people will resort to military activities to change what they consider to be an evil reality.”

So on the one hand moderates are forced to the margin but accept Hamas as an example of ‘democracy’. Moderate Muslims would rather sit back and watch their countries just fold under the tyranny of Islamo-fascism by choosing the hajib instead of the Ann Taylor suit.

“There are only two ways for the West to contend with this. Either give a comparatively moderate Islamic group like the Muslim Brotherhood a chance to live up to their promises by having a chance to govern. Or conversely, they can undermine the Muslim Brotherhood by actually forcing the ruling governments in the Arab world to clean up their act by fighting corruption, governing properly and actually offering some freedoms to their people.”

The first option is insane. The Muslim Brotherhood is responsible for advancing the Islamist agenda throughout the world. The second option will not work until we are off the oil-tit of the Arab states. As long as those theocratic dictatorships have us over a barrel we’ll have little luck putting them over one.

If moderate Muslims don’t want to see their region slide into the hands of the likes of Iran then they should learn a word that has been very useful in the Western world when it comes to establishing freedom.

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