It’s weird the way we both despise and envy the ‘other’

Robert Fisk“We are fighting evil. Nothing to do with the occupation of Palestinian land, the occupation of Afghanistan, the occupation of Iraq, the torture at Abu Ghraib and Bagram and Guantanamo. Oh no, indeed. ‘An evil ideology’, a nebulous, unspecified, dark force. That’s the problem….

“The London suicide bombers were Muslims (or thought they were) so the entire Muslim community in Britain must stand to attention and – as Muslims – condemn them. We ‘Christians’ were not required to do that because we are not Muslims – nor were we required as ‘Christians’ to condemn the Christian Serb slaughter of 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica just over 10 years ago.

“All we had to do was say sorry for doing nothing at the time. But Muslims, because they are Muslims, must ritually condemn something they had nothing to do with.

“But that, I suspect, is the point. Deep down, I wonder if we do not think that their religion does have something to do with all this, that Islam is a backward religion, un-renaissanced, potentially violent. It’s not true, but our heritage of orientalism suggests otherwise.”

Robert Fisk in the Gulf Times, 31 July 2005