The International Reporting (and Life) Adventures of Vivian Salama

The new world order: Islam as an equal

Posted by vmsalama on November 15, 2007

My pal, and fellow PostGlobal panelist, Ali Ettefagh in Tehran sent me the following article today.  Militarily, the Islamic world will not – at least not for a very long time – match the power of the United States.  However, there comes a point when through the simple policy of resistence and nonalignment, a Muslim leader like Musharraf can seriously stick American policy between a rock and a hard spot. 

The New World Order: Islam as an Equal

by Peregrine Worsthorne

For about 100 years, the British took it absolutely for granted that they had a God-given right to tell the American colonists how to conduct their own affairs.

Then, quite out of the blue – to the utter amazement of the British – the Americans started, quite literally, to shoot the British soldiers rather than continue accepting their orders. What had seemed perfectly normal before was suddenly transformed into an intolerable affront.

I was remembering this last week after reading about how President Bush had telephoned President Musharraf to tell him to hold an election… or else. By the standards of the last 50 years, this was par for the course – part of what had become a natural post-war internationalist order. No longer. Something profound has changed; even to my old imperialist ears Bush’s command sounded like the most stupendous cheek; and how it must play in the Islamic world defies description. This does not mean democracy has necessarily lost its charms; only that America has.

In the case of the American Revolution it took a bitter war before the English learnt their lesson – no more royal ordering about; no more assumptions of superiority. An equal relationship, once out of the question, was henceforth to be the order of the day.

A cosmic shift of something of the same order, I believe, is now happening between the West and the Islamic world. Rather as the very idea of an English monarch bossing the Americans around has become unthinkable, so has the very idea of an American president bullying the leaders of Islam. It has become part of a vanished world. Not yet in the mind of George Bush, for sure. But then George III, too, was a slow learner.



One Response to “The new world order: Islam as an equal”

  1. Niyaz PK said


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: