Especially since 9/11, there have been many reports and expert analyses – both historical and current – on Islam and Islamic culture, laws and attitudes. Some analyses contrast that with Western Judeo-Christian, democratic and multicultural principles, values, norms and laws.
Many differences exist. Some are antithetical.
Most obviously distinguishing the peace-minded, war-averse West from much of the Muslim world is that religious cultural Islam has spawned many radical Muslim factions that seek to drag not just Muslims, but the entire world, back to the Seventh Century. To that end, these factions and lone radicals are driven to wage war against non-Muslims (i.e. the West) until Islam is victorious and globally reigns supreme. Underscoring the gravity of this difference is that since 9/11 there have been over 29,000 global Islamic terrorist attacks.
Another difference relates to the treatment of diverse people in society. Unlike the West that treats men and women of diverse backgrounds equally and tolerantly, most religious, cultural Islamic nations treat women as inferiors; homosexuals as sinful or, worse, criminals deserving death; and discriminate against and, in some instances, persecute non-Muslims.
Reputed expert, Raymond Ibrahim has long documented Muslim hatred, intolerance and persecution of Christians in Mid East – North African (MENA) nations. Many, due to ethnic cleansing, are being forced from their homes. Those who cannot leave for safer havens must endure life as second-class citizens or ‘dhimmi’ under Islamic rule.
In ISIS-controlled regions, Christians and Yazidis are not just being severely persecuted and wantonly murdered, but their women are being captured to be used as sex slaves for their troops and murdered or sold in sex-slave auctions if they refuse.
As hereafter noted, Saudi Arabia (oft cited for many human rights abuses), Jordan and the UAE, all with political, economic and military ties to the West (U.S. and U.K. in particular), are three of the greatest supporters of slavery and sex slavery in MENA nations. (See Christian (& Yazidi) Girls are only Meant for One Thing, the Pleasure of Muslim Men and Islamic State sex slaves auctioned off in UK/US ally Saudi Arabia)
Slave markets in Mid East and North African Muslim nations are not, however, only about the sex-slave market. (See: Shameful and striking: Slavery is alive and beating in the Middle East)
“The reality is that the scourge of slavery is alive and omnipresent in the modern world. According to a report released by the Walk Free Foundation last week, as many as 29.8 million people are victims of slavery globally. These are people who are held in bonded labor, are victims of human trafficking or are forced into child marriage.
With over 150,000 slaves, Mauritania ranks first globally as the country with the largest slave population. In other hot spots of the MENA region, Sudan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE were scarlet lettered out as the countries that had the ignominious honor of hosting the most number of slaves.”
Western political, lay and religious institutional leaders, including the main stream media, know all about the bourgeoning slave-trade industry in the MENA and the involvement and support it receives from the allied countries of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE. They are also aware that these countries discriminate against and persecute Christians, Yazidis and other non-Muslims and many other significant or antithetical differences between the West and many Muslim nations.
Unfortunately, the institutional leaders of the West have historically been loath to draw regular, close, critical attention to such differences.
To the contrary, these Western institutional leaders have – for obvious, but no good or honest reasons – typically employed appeasing gestures to the Muslim world that ignore, gloss over, minimize or deny those antithetical differences altogether.
Even when openly denouncing radical Islamists, Western leaders hasten to add appeasing qualifiers such as ‘radical Muslims do not represent the peaceful religion of Islam’ or ‘…but the vast majority of Muslims are good, decent and law abiding.’
To conclude, the powerful West continues to eschew its power and instead, meekly and weakly employ appeasement as a means of maintaining and protecting their perceived strategic, political, economic, military and even social ties with some Middle East nations, in particular, and the Muslim world generally.
Though some good and decent ordinary Westerners, small advocacy organizations and even some Muslims do raise awareness of antithetical differences between the West and the Muslim world, such as the unequal and discriminatory treatment of women and homosexuals, and do speak out for those non-Muslims in the MENA region who are suffering persecution, ethnic cleansing and enslavement, it is not nearly enough to make any real difference for the better.
That difference will only come if and when Western political and other leaders fearlessly use their power to say and do what is right, moral and just.
It behooves good, decent, and ordinary people to push Western leaders to do just that.