The man in the grey flannel disdasha
The Big Pharaoh notes that in actuality Arabs and Muslims are much like everybody else. It may come as a surprise that not evreyone is the tooth-gnashing automaton of popular culture.
I accidentally bumped into this blog yesterday. The Land of Sands describes himself as "an underground writer from the Arabian lands of sands." He is in the United Arab Emirates (where Dubai is) and is obviously an atheist. His blog introduction says: In the land of sand lives millions of people whose brains were programmed by fixed standards that define the course of their thinking. They dig in the sands trying to find truth which is shinning over their heads, exactly like the Arabian desert burning sun. Wake up. They are lying at you.
Interesting. First we had an Egyptian lesbian blogger, then a young Egyptian girl (or hottie as she calls herself) talking about what she intimately does with her boyfriend, then we're having an atheist blogger from the Emirates. This blogging thing is amazing. It's a revolution. These people would have never found another way to voice their opinions. Here you have 3 different people talking about 3 completely different thing yet they are common in one thing: they couldn't say in public what they post on their blogs. They would become toast if they did.
One of the hardest things to truly grasp is that people the world over share the same biology. Hunger, fear, humor and despair are common to all. And the key to motivating yourself to victory lies not in believing yourself different from the opponent, but in understanding that you are fundamentally the same. Any guerilla leader knows the first thing he must impress on his troop is that behind the enemy's uniform lies a man who can bleed. Recently the Hezbollah was deliriously happy to establish that Israelis were actually men like themselves.
Much of the counsel of despair at ever defeating Islamic fascism is basically premised on the idea that men in beards and women in veils are somehow fundamentally different from the familiar men of the West. Blinded by fanaticism, resistant to pain, possessed of limitless endurance and patience they are supermen at war. As the Big Pharaoh points out, it's an image that might surprise those looking at the problem from the other point of view.