Interesting piece. This describes the rise of fundamentalist Islam in Thailand, which has never really had a foothold before Islamic schools in the south began receiving funding, in the form of money that flows like water, from Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries.
An interesting question was posed on Instapundit. One which I am loathe to answer. “Saudi Arabia, ultimately, is the real problem. When are we going to do something about them?”
I don’t have an answer to that. I think that he may be right though. Saudi Arabia is a wealthy middle eastern nation. It is, perhaps, one of the role models for Islamic culture. The problem is, the example that is being set. The rights of others are not highly respected in Saudi Arabia. It seems, that if you are a from another country, or a woman in Saudi Arabia, you have no rights.
One of the reasons our nation was founded, was because of this lack of respect for an individual’s rights. Our bill of rights was signed, and sent to the King of England as a protest to the treatment colonial Americans had been receiving at the hands of the crown. So began our revolutionary war. Here, the rights of the individual are generally respected. It’s something we teach our children. Respect for the property and feelings of others is a primary school lesson in the United States.
Women here are treated with high regard compared to Saudi Arabia. Here, women are lawyers, Senators, CEOs, computer programmers, bridge builders, Supreme Court Justices… hell, in a few years, we may even have a woman for President, perhaps as early as 2008. We are taught from our early years that we can do anything, be anything. And many of us… go out and do precisely that. The neat thing is, this doesn’t just happen in America. It’s happening all over the globe! Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America, even in Africa.
Saudi Arabia certainly is behind the times when it comes to these issues, and I’m not certain they are the role model that the Islamic world needs to become a respected power in the modern world.