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    Posts: 11187
  • Darwins +1865/-9

It's hard to even know where to begin with all the stereotype-slinging going on here. Let me just say that there have been some very advanced, cultured and literate Muslim societies and some pretty terrible ones in the past few hundred years.

Hard to separate the reasons for the terribleness of many Muslim countries in the past 50-100 years from the Cold War and colonialism, when the people were not even able to choose their own leaders due to powerful external forces.

Afghanistan, for example and Iran, were modern westernizing states in the 1960's and 1970's. I have students from those areas who show me photos of their grandmas as young women in bikinis, who were college students then. Women studied law and medicine, no burkhas unless they wanted to wear one. It would be hard to characterize either country as "barbaric".

Now after lots of Cold War interventions, infusions of weapons, propped-up dictators, retaliatory revolutions, and reactionary religion, one is a failed "barbaric" state in poverty and chaos, on the verge of civil war, and the other is a scary, repressive (but relatively stable and functioning) theocracy. Women's and democracy groups in the region could use some financial help instead of more bombing.

Same stuff happened in Latin American "sh!tholes" from 1950's-1980's. Now the region is able to slowly get its collective act together because the US and the Russians are off chasing money and power elsewhere.[1]If outsiders could leave the "sh!tholes" in the Middle East and Africa alone for a while, the people there will eventually kick the dictators' a$$es out and reform their countries--regardless of religion.

But that is not going to happen, as long as there are oil and strategic rare minerals to control.

And oh, yes, democracy and freedom. &)
 1. No coincidence that more women and populist male leaders are being democratically elected in South America now, instead of repressive dictators taking over in violent coups.
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