Saturday, March 26, 2011

NATO and French plans to topple Gaddafi have been on track since last November 2010....

At there is an article entitled "Sarkozy declared war on Italy"

Ma quale Gheddafi! Sarkò ha dichiarato guerra all'Italia"

According to this article:

For three years French President Nicolas Sarkozy was extremely keen to sell to Libya:

(1) an entire fleet of Dassault fighter aircraft ....and the famous Rafale....

(2) nuclear plants in and around Tripoli.

These sales were discussed by Sarkozy and Gaddafi in December 2007 in Paris.

As it turned out, Gaddafi bought very little from France....

Gaddafi bought from Russia and Italy.

Sarkozy frothed with rage.

Now France is bombing Libya.

France is bombing the planes Gaddafi bought from Russia.

On 25 March 2011, at we learn that French plans to topple Gaddafi have been on track since last November

From this we learn:

According to Italian journalist Franco Bechis, plans to spark the Benghazi rebellion were initiated by the French intelligence services in November 2010.

This revelation has the blessing of the Italian secret services.

Timeline of events

October 6, 2010

Former Gaddafi supporter Nouri Mesmari, working with the French secret service, is to mastermind the revolution against Gaddafi.

Documents on this have been leaked to the Italian newspaper Libero.

Mesmari gives the French much information about the Gaddafi regime.

October 20, 2010

Mesmari, under the protection of French secret services, heads to France.

He has several top secret meetings with secret service agents and other top people close to Nicolas Sarkozy.

November 18, 2010

A French ‘commercial’ delegation leaves for Benghazi.

In the delegation there are officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and representatives from Cam Cereals, France Export Cereals, Cargill, Glencore, France Agrimer, Soufflet, Louis Dreyfus, and Comagra.

Among the delegation, posing as government officials, there are French secret service agents and military staff.

Their 'business' is meeting army officers ready to defect from the Libyan army.

While in Benghazi, contact is made with Libyan air defense colonel, Abdallah Gehani.

USA plane in Libya... Secrecy surrounds pilot and weapons officer in F-15 crash

November 28, 2010

An international warrant of arrest is issued by the Libyan government for Nouri Mesrami.

Foreign Minister Musa Koussa is held responsible for the defection of Mesrami and his passport is withdrawn by the authorities.

December 2, 2010

Muammar Gaddafi sends messages to Nouri Mesrami to win him back saying that he forgives him for what he did and invites him back to Libya.

December 23, 2010

A delegation of Libyans arrives in Paris for meetings with Mesrami and other French officials.

The Libyans are Ali Ounes Mansouri, Farj Charrant and Fathi Boukhris.

These three men will be known later, together with Ali Hajj, as leaders of the revolution, that started from Benghazi.

The Libyan delegation together with Mesrami and French military and secret service personnel dine at an elegant French restaurant at the Champs Elisée.

December 25 – 31, 2010

" The situation in Benghazi is boiling".

January 22, 2011

Protests turn into clashes and army officials desert.

The rebels capture important cities.

The French government is the first European state to recognize the new Libyan National Council and establish diplomatic relations.


Sarkozy and Gaddafi were keen on doing military deals worth billions of Euros, before they fell out, according to the Telegraph

'Libya funded Sarkozy's election campaign'

On 25 March 2011, The Guardian has an article entitled:
Libya remembers, we forget: these bombs are not the first

From this we learn:

"The world's first aerial bombing campaign took place in Libya ... in September 1911."

The Italians bombed Libya, hoping to make it part of their empire.

The Italians carried out "the deliberate destruction of villages, wells and herds with force.

"Nearly 100,000 people were interned or deported, and thousands died of disease or malnutrition in labor camps.

"Italian planes ... dropped mustard gas in defiance of the 1925 Geneva protocol...

"The Italians ... devastated the old pastoral economy, and depopulated much of the land..."

After World War II, Libya's new British-backed king, Idris was eventually replaced by Colonel Gaddafi.

"Gaddafi ordered British and American air bases to close and kicked out the 20,000 Italians still living in the country, nationalizing their property...

"Two years after forcing the Italians to leave, the socialist Gaddafi was inviting Italian corporations back in, turning the former colonial oppressor into Libya's chief European business partner...

"The Libyans ... will remember what we have forgotten – that these planes are not the first..."

Not for the first time have the "rats" in Paris done back-stabbing: Laurent Fabius was happy to take Ceausescu's money in 1981 for the Mitterrand campaign then plotted with Ion Ilescu in summer 1989....
Just ahead of two Libyan jets which landed in Malta on Monday February 21 were two large French helicopters which arrived,apparently, from Libya. The two copters carried seven people who told the authorities that they were French but only one had a passport.
Pictures of the helicopters here,plus the jets, and fascinating discussion on all pages either side...

"It's very very confidential" according to Mr Friggieri (re asylum applications)
Last news March 10th.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dawn of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Tunisia, KSA, "Syria soon enough..."

Website for this image

....Dawn of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Tunisia, KSA, "Syria soon enough..." and elsewhere....CIA tactics and methods....

"An ex-CIA agent and counter-intelligence expert has revealed in a special report that Barack Obama has quietly appointed individuals who are friendly to radical Islam to key posts within the Administration." (Report - Obama quietly appoints Muslim Brotherhood to key posts.)

On 19 March 2011, Egyptians vote in a referendum on changes to the constitution.

On 17 March 2011, we read that, the constitutional changes will help the Muslim Brotherhood

According to the Financial Times: "The Muslim Brotherhood ... looks poised to emerge as the main beneficiary of new political arrangements to be put in place by Egypt's transitional military authorities."

Egypt's CIA-controlled generals seem to have decided to side with the CIA-controlled Muslim Brotherhood against the 'youth-led secular groups'.

"Some analysts and political activists said the Supreme Military Council ... may have decided that an alliance of conservative forces presents a better option for the future than that offered by the young secular groups." (the constitutional changes will help the Muslim Brotherhood)

Hossam Tammam, an analyst who specializes in Islamist groups, says "There are signs the military may have decided to bet on the Brotherhood as the biggest organized force on the street.

"The others (small parties and secular groups) may be seen by the army as representing an unwanted and radical transition to democracy." (the constitutional changes will help the Muslim Brotherhood)

The Muslim Brotherhood and Mubarak's National Democratic party "look set to dominate the next parliament." (the constitutional changes will help the Muslim Brotherhood)

The Brotherhood "is the only political group to have been represented on the panel of legal experts handpicked by the military that drafted the constitutional changes." (the constitutional changes will help the Muslim Brotherhood)

Eisenhower in the Oval Office with members of Muslim Brotherhood (What Is the Muslim Brotherhood, and Will It Take Over Egypt ...)

Remember Iran, and compare the Shah with Mubarak.

According to this article: "The British, the Middle East and Radical Islam - Red Moon Rising":

"Prior to the British-sponsored massive public relations campaign on behalf of the Ayatollah, the government of the Shah was despised by the vast majority of the Iranian population...

"The Shah began to push forward a number of nationalist policies that increased his megalomania at home and abroad....but, in some cases, worried the Anglo-American Establishment because of the savagery of SAVAK/MOSSAD tactics for decades.....

"First, he signed petroleum agreements with ENI, the Italian oil company.

"Then in 1963 he pushed forward on a series of popular reforms that became known as the White Revolution.

"The Shah evolved into a nationalist whose path paralleled that of Nasser far too much for the Establishment's liking:

"He bought land from the upper classes and, along with the crown's own land, sold it back cheaply to tenant farmers, allowing over one a half million people to become land owners and ending the old feudal system.

"He allowed women the right to vote, and brought an end to the wearing of the veil, which were 'Westernizing' moves unwelcomed by the religious sector.

"He pushed forward on a $90 billion nuclear power program.

"He moved to shut down the lucrative opium industry that had been created during the days of British Empire control that had been running for a hundred years.

"The attack on the Shah's government came through the Muslim Brotherhood and through the mullahs and ayatollahs of Iran, supported and manipulated by CIA and British Intelligence..."

Radio Free Iran reportedly claimed that while at Qom Khomeini received a "monthly stipend from the British, and he is in constant contact with his masters, CIA and MI6...."


It would seem that the US and NATO prefer Moslem governments to be fundamentalist because fundamentalists are easier to control....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

“Resistance to tyrants is obedience to the God”

“Resistance to tyrants is obedience to the God”....

With Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in Egypt – widely considered to have one of the region’s most stable regimes until only recently – and Colonel Muammar Qaddafi clinging to power in Libya, there is no clear end in sight to the turmoil sweeping across the Arab world. Protests have already toppled governments in Tunisia and Egypt, leaving other Arab countries faced with widespread discontent.

The unrest caught most people by surprise – both inside and outside the region – and has fundamentally upended at least five conventional beliefs about the Arab world.

Arabs don’t go into the street. Before the protests began in Egypt and Tunisia, many people argued that there was no real urgency to political reform, and that those who were calling for change did not understand the public mood – things weren’t as bad as the dissidents made them out to be. This line of thinking led governments to believe that Arabs would not demonstrate in large numbers and demand change. In each country, rapid reform was seen as detrimental to national interests.

This argument clearly is no longer tenable. No one predicted what happened in Egypt and Tunisia, which means that no Arab country is immune. Governments don’t have the luxury of waiting forever, and they can no longer use the myth of popular quiescence to avoid initiating the necessary reforms that will address the public’s underlying grievances.

Economic liberalization should precede political reform. Arab governments – and many Westerners – claimed that privatization and other economic reforms should be given priority over political change. But, while it is easy to argue that citizens want bread before freedom, economic liberalization came without a system of checks and balances, and thus largely resulted in neither bread nor freedom.

Instead, the benefits of privatization and other initiatives went largely to political and business elites. As a result, Arabs have come to view liberalization and globalization negatively. It is clear by now that economic reform must be coupled with political reform, so that institutional mechanisms of accountability are developed to monitor any excesses and ensure that benefits are made available to all. Governments have been quick to believe that the protests are fundamentally about high prices and unemployment, but the issue that unites Arab discontent is inadequate governance.

Closed systems are necessary to prevent Islamists from taking power. The West is often afraid that democracy will give Islamists the opening they need to gain control – a fear that Arab regimes exploit to justify maintaining closed political systems. But Islamists did not play a big role in Egypt or Tunisia, and they are not expected to lead any of the new governments that are formed – though they are an important part of Arab societies and should play a role in their emerging regimes.

So it is untrue that the only viable alternative to unrelenting absolutist rule must be Islamist. The protests are clearly the result of ordinary citizens becoming fed up with corruption, the lack of any semblance of rule of law, and arbitrary treatment. There is an opportunity here to start developing pluralistic systems where not only Islamists, but also other parties and discourses can play a role.

Elections equal democracy. No one is fooled by this claim anymore. In order to maintain their dominance, Arab governments have relied on flawed laws and elections that don’t produce strong parliaments or lead to real change. Indeed, in countries like Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia, government and parliament alike were unpopular. Throughout the region, elections have been used to create a façade of democracy aimed at impressing citizens and the outside world while insulating the regimes from pressure for genuine reform.

The Arab public, however, will no longer accept the status quo. People will not be satisfied with economic handouts or cosmetic changes in governance; they are demanding real change that puts their country on a clear path toward democracy.

The international community has no role to play. While the reform process should certainly be homegrown, the United States and the rest of the international community can encourage democratic development without imposing it from afar. President Barack Obama rejected many of the policies of the George W. Bush administration that were seen as trying to force democracy on Arab countries. But the subsequent silence on democratization aggravated – though it certainly did not cause – the unraveling of the Arab reform process in the last few years.

The US and the West can discuss with Arab countries how political reform should be carried out in a way that would contribute to greater openness and opportunities for power-sharing. The West should not sacrifice these objectives for others; if allies ultimately lose power in popular revolts, such a tradeoff would not have furthered the West’s interests, to say the least.

The unfolding events grabbing headlines around the world have shattered key myths about the Arab world. These countries’ people need to start gradual, sustained, and serious political reform now. At the dawn of a new Arab era, it is up to them to build new, open political systems that can head off the looming threat of escalating crises.

Marwan Muasher.

“Resistance to tyrants is obedience to the God” Thomas Jefferson

Why have uprisings and the revolutions taken place in Arab states? That’s the question most journalists, political scientists, analysts, experts in the Middle East and Northern Africa studies ask, pondering over the reasons that triggered tectonic transformations in that part of the world. But instead of focusing on socio-cultural, political, economic or, above all, socio-economic reasons behind the Arab “spring of peoples” one may offer an alternative, unconventional approach to turbulent developments in the Arab civilization. How could Arabs stand up to their regimes and change power in a matter of days or weeks? That’s an essential question. The social network’s factor (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) was crucial in Tunisian “Jasmine Revolution” and the uprising in Egypt that toppled Hosni Mubarak. But the banal, trivial truth is that there are no simple answers to complex questions. The paramount paradox is that obedient, law-abiding, meek, and fearful of their governments Arabs dared to defy their authorities, took to the streets and squares and ousted the dictators in Tunisia and, subsequently, Egypt. And as the Arab proverb says in such a case, ‘If the wind of change blows, ride it’. The subsequent uprisings in Yemen, Jordan, Oman, Bahrain, KSA, Algeria and the revolution in Libya were caused not only by successes in Tunisia and Egypt, but, above all, by deeper understanding of the dominant religion – Islam. Better education, higher literacy rate and high percentage of young population (about 65 % of Arabs are younger than 35 yrs) played a paramount role in it. And here lies the truth. As a matter of fact, Islam means full and absolute obedience to the God (as translated from Arabic). If we really think that “resistance to tyrants is obedience to the God” (as Thomas Jefferson famously put it in “The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America”), then those Arabs who challenged the incumbent tyrants just showed their obedience to the God. So it was not the Facebook which was a main medium of social communication and key source of information in coordinating protests. Social networks were just catalysts in ‘the chain reaction’ of Arab revolutions, but it was the very combination of many factors (and religious, in my opinion, was the dominant one), which had such a powerful synergetic effect in changing geopolitical status quo in the world’s most conservative region...

Serhiy Blavatsky, Ph.D. in Social Communications.

Saturday, March 12, 2011



Istanbul by mandalaybus )

Is Turkey already part of the New World Order?

Is it therefore immune to the CIA coups that have hit North Africa?

The key groups in Turkey are:

(1) the generals

(2) the Fethullah Gulen movement.


Both are said to be tools of the CIA.

Gulen in the USA.

In previous decades the CIA controlled Turkey by getting the Turkish generals to carry out false flag terrorism and coups. (KILLING KIDS ON A FIELD TRIP; ERGENEKON AND 9 11)

Now the CIA may be using the Moslem Gulen movement to control Turkey.

a dancing party below our palace
Turkey - © noborders )

On 11 March 2011, at Todays Zaman, we read about Journalism during the time of Ergenekon

Ergenekon is the name given to the gang which carried out acts of false flag terrorism in Turkey.

It is said to have been run by Turkish generals, the CIA, NATO, and Mossad; and it is said to have links to the heroin trade.

Nedim Şener and Ahmet Şık are award-winning journalists who helped expose the Ergenekon network and a coup plan.

They have been arrested.

It is claimed by the authorities that they were members of Ergenekon.

Some people think they were arrested because of the book they wrote containing allegations against the Gülen movement.

The Gülen movement has influence in the judiciary and police.

However, it is possible that the Ergenekon gang has got certain people to write books that will 'confuse people and damage the legitimacy of the Ergenekon case.'

posing for the first time ever...
TURKEY - © noborders )

Allegedly, Gulen has links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

In Egypt, the U.S. Secretly Backed the Brotherhood.

According to former editor of the Japan Times Weekly, Yochi Shimatsu, writing on 17 February 2011:

1. A leaked diplomatic cable shows the US State Department, over the past three years, had secret talks with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

2. The December 2008 cable is entitled "Meeting and Regime Change in Egypt".

Half of the suspected 9/11 hijackers, including Atta, were Egyptians linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

At the first major Cairo protest on 25 January 2011, Jared Cohen, a former State Department staffer in charge of planning the Twitter revolution, was physically present with his proteges in the American-sponsored April 6 Youth Movement.

The April 6 Youth Movement is allied with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Cohen has links to Israel and the writings of Gene Sharp.

5. Former Cairo ambassador Frank Wisner Jr, an intelligence expert whose father organized Operation Gladio, landed in Egypt on 31 January.

Libya, CIA, MI6, MOSSAD, and the MSM....

Vietnamese victims of the fascist USA.

On 11 March 2011, the Libyan Ambassador to Ghana, Dr Ali Gadban, disclosed that the CIA and MI6 have been working together to topple Ghaddafi .

(CIA & MI6 scheme to topple Ghaddafi-Libyan ambassador to Ghana)

Gadban, at a press conference in Accra, said that Libya had intercepted recorded phone conversations between Libyan rebels and operatives of the CIA and the MI6.

He said that CNN, the BBC, Al-jazeera and Reuters were all part of the plot to create disaffection in Libya.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The disappearance of the nightmare Arab

The disappearance of the nightmare Arab
By James Carroll

Since 2001, Americans have been living with a nightmare Arab, a Muslim monster threatening us to the core, chilling our souls with the cry, "God is great!" Yet after two months of world-historic protest and rebellion in streets and squares across the Arab world, we are finally waking up to another reality: that this was our bad dream, significantly a creation of our own fevered imaginations.

For years, vestigial colonial contempt for Arabs combined with rank prejudice against the Islamic religion, exacerbated by an obsession with oil, proved a blinding combination. Then the September 11, 2001 attack pulled its shroud across the sun. But like the night yielding to dawn, all of this now appears in a new light. Americans are seeing Arabs and Muslims as if for the first time, and we are, despite ourselves, impressed and moved. In this regard, too, the Arab revolution has been, well, revolutionary.

Absence of Arab perfidy, presence of god
For those same two months, jihadists who think nothing of slaughtering innocents in the name of Allah have been nowhere in sight, as millions of ordinary Arabs launched demonstration after demonstration with a non-violent discipline worthy of Mohandas Gandhi. True, rebels in Libya took up arms, but defensively, in order to throw back the murderous assaults of Muammar Gaddafi's men.

In the meantime, across North Africa and the Middle East, none of the usual American saws about Islamic perfidy have been evident. The demonizing of Israel, anti-Semitic sloganeering, the burning of American flags, outcries against "Crusaders and Jews" - all have been absent from nearly every instance of revolt. Osama bin Laden - to whom, many Americans became convinced in these last years, Muslims are supposed to have all but sworn allegiance - has been appealed to not at all. Where are the fatwas?

Perhaps the two biggest surprises of all here: out of a culture that has notoriously disempowered women has sprung a protest movement rife with female leadership, while a religion regarded as inherently incompatible with democratic ideals has been the context from which comes an unprecedented outbreak of democratic hope. And make no mistake: the Muslim religion is essential to what has been happening across the Middle East, even without Islamic "fanatics" chanting hate-filled slogans.

Without such fanatics, who in the West knows what this religion actually looks like?

In fact, its clearest image has been there on our television screens again and again. In this period of transformation, every week has been punctuated with the poignant formality of Friday prayers, including broadcast scenes of masses of Muslims prostrate in orderly rows across vast squares in every contested Arab capital. Young and old, illiterate and tech savvy, those in flowing robes and those in tight blue jeans have been alike in such observances. From mosque pulpits have come fiery denunciations of despotism and corruption, but no blood-thirst and none of the malicious Imams who so haunt the nightmares of Europeans and Americans.

Yet sacrosanct Fridays have consistently seen decisive social action, with resistant regimes typically getting the picture on subsequent weekends. (The Tunisian prime minister, a holdover from the toppled regime of autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, for example, resigned on the last Sunday in February.) These outcomes have been sparked not only by preaching, but by the mosque-inspired cohesion of a collectivity that finds no contradiction between piety and political purpose; religion, that is, has been a source of resolve.

It's an irony, then, that Western journalists, always so quick to tie bad Muslim behavior to religion, have rushed to term this good Muslim behavior "secular". In a word wielded by the New York Times, Islam is now considered little but an "afterthought" to the revolution. In this, the media is simply wrong. The protests, demonstrations, and uprisings that have swept across the Middle East have visibly built their foundations on the irreducible sense of self-worth that, for believers, comes from a felt closeness to God, who is as near to each person - as the Koran says - as his or her own jugular vein. The call to prayer is a five-times-daily reminder of that infinite individual dignity.

A rejection of violence and the old lies
The new Arab condition is not Nirvana, nor has some political utopia been achieved. In no Arab state is the endgame in sight, much less played out. History warns that revolutions have a tendency to devour their children, just as it warns that every religion can sponsor violence and war as easily and naturally as non-violence and peace.

History warns as well that, in times of social upheaval, Jews are the preferred and perennial scapegoat, and the State of Israel is a ready target for that hatred. Arab bigotry has not magically gone away, nor has the human temptation to drown fear with blood. But few, if any, revolutions have been launched with such wily commitment to the force of popular will, not arms. When it comes to "people power," Arabs have given the concept several new twists.

Because so many people have believed in themselves - protecting one another simply by standing together - they have been able to reject not only violence, but any further belief in the lies of their despotic rulers. The stark absence of Israel as a major flashpoint of protest in these last weeks, to take a telling example, stands in marked contrast to the way in which the challenged or overthrown despots of various Middle Eastern lands habitually exploited both anti-Semitism (sponsoring, for instance, the dissemination through Arab newsstands of the long-discredited Protocols of the Elders of Zion) and the plight of Palestinians (feigning sympathy for the dispossessed victims of Israeli occupation while doing nothing to help them, precisely because Arab dictators needed suffering Palestinians to distract from the suffering of their own citizens).

Not surprisingly, if always sadly, the Arab revolution has brought incidents of Jew-baiting in its wake - in late February in Tunis, for example, by a mob outside the city's main synagogue. That display was, however, quickly denounced and repudiated by the leadership of the Free Tunisia movement. When a group of Cairo thugs assaulted CBS correspondent Lara Logan, they reportedly hurled the word "Jew" at her as an epithet. So yes, such incidents happened, but what makes them remarkable is their rarity on such a sprawling landscape.

To be sure, Arabs broadly identify with the humiliated Palestinians, readily identify Israel as an enemy, and resent the American alliance with Israel, but something different is unfolding now. When the United States vetoed the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the very thick of February's revolutionary protests, to flag one signal, the issue was largely ignored by Arab protesters. In Palestinian areas of the West Bank and Gaza, the spirit of Arab revolt showed itself mainly in a youth-driven and resolutely non-violent movement to overcome the intra-Palestinian divisions between Fatah and Hamas. Again and again, that is, the Arab Muslim population has refused to behave as Americans have been conditioned to expect.
The mainstreaming of anti-Muslim prejudice
Conditioned by whom? Prejudice against Arabs generally and Islam in particular is an old, old story. A few months ago, the widespread nature of the knee-jerk suspicion that all Muslims are potentially violent was confirmed by National Public Radio (NPR) commentator Juan Williams, who said, "I get worried. I get nervous" around those "in Muslim garb," those who identify themselves "first and foremost as Muslims".

Williams was fired by NPR, but the commentariat rallied to him for simply speaking a universal truth, one which, as Williams himself acknowledged, was to be regretted: Muslims are scary. When NPR then effectively reversed itself by forcing the resignation of the executive who had fired him, anti-Muslim bigotry was resoundingly vindicated in America, no matter the intentions of the various players.

Scary, indeed - but no surprise. Such prejudice had been woven into every fiber of American foreign and military policy across the previous decade, a period when the overheated watchword was "Islamofascism". In 2002, scholar Bernard Lewis's book What Went Wrong? draped a cloak of intellectual respectability around anti-Muslim contempt. It seemed not to have occurred to Lewis that, if such an insulting question in a book title deserves an answer at all, in the Arab context it should be: "we" did - with that "we" defined as Western civilization.

Whether the historical marker is 1099 for Crusader mayhem; 1417 for the Portuguese capture of Ceuta, the first permanent European outpost in North Africa; 1492 for the expulsion from Spain of Muslims (along with Jews); 1798 for Napoleon's arrival as a would-be conqueror in Cairo; 1869 for the opening of the Suez Canal by the French Empress Eugenie; 1917 for the British conquest of Palestine, which would start a British-spawned contest between Jews and Arabs; or the 1930s, when vast oil reserves were discovered in the Arabian Peninsula - all such Western antecedents for trouble in Arab lands are routinely ignored or downplayed in our world in favor of a preoccupation with a religion deemed to be irrational, anti-modern, and inherently hostile to democracy.

How deep-seated is such a prejudice? European Christians made expert pronouncements about the built-in violence of Islam almost from the start, although the seventh century Koran was not translated into Latin until the twelfth century. When a relatively objective European account of Islam's origins and meaning finally appeared in the eighteenth century, it was quickly added to the Roman Catholic Index of forbidden books. Western culture is still at the mercy of such self-elevating ignorance. That's readily apparent in the fact that a 14th-century slander against Islam - that it was only "spread by the sword" - was reiterated in 2006 (on the fifth anniversary of 9/11) by Pope Benedict XVI. He did apologize, but by then the Muslim-haters had been encouraged.

Western contempt for Islam is related to a post-Enlightenment distrust of all religion. In modern historiography, for instance, the brutal violence that killed millions during paroxysms of conflict across Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries is remembered as the "religious wars," even though religion was only part of a history that included the birth of nations and nationalism, as well as of industrial capitalism, and the opening of the "age of exploration," also known as the age of colonial exploitation.

"Secular" sources of violence have always been played down in favor of sacred causes, whether the Reformation, Puritan fanaticism, or Catholic anti-modernism. "Enlightened" nation-states were all-too-ready to smugly denounce primitive and irrational religious violence as a way of asserting that their own expressly non-religious campaigns against rival states and aboriginal peoples were necessary and therefore just. In this tale, secular violence is as rational as religious violence is irrational. That schema holds to this day and is operative in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies pursue dogmatically ideological and oil-driven wars that are nonetheless virtuous simply by not being "religious".
No fatwas for us. Never mind that these wars were declared to be "against evil", with God "not neutral", as George W Bush blithely put it. And never mind that US forces (both the military and the private contractors) are strongly influenced by a certain kind of fervent Christian evangelicalism that defines the American enemy as the "infidel" - the Muslim monster unleashed. In any case, ask the families of the countless dead of America's wars if ancient rites of human sacrifice are not being re-enacted in them? The drone airplane and its Hellfire missile are weapons out of the Book of the Apocalypse.

The revolution of hope
The new Arab revolution, with its Muslim underpinnings, is an occasion of great hope. At the very least, "we" in the West must reckon with this overturning of the premises of our prejudice.

Yes, dangers remain, as Arab regimes resist and revolutionaries prepare to erect new political structures. Fanatics wait in the wings for the democrats to falter, while violence, even undertaken in self-defense, can open onto vistas of vengeance and cyclic retribution. Old hatreds can re-ignite, and the never-vanquished forces of white supremacist colonial dominance can re-emerge.

But that one of the world's great religions is essential to what is unfolding across North Africa and the Middle East offers the promise that this momentous change can lead, despite the dangers, to humane new structures of justice and mercy, which remain pillars of the Islamic faith. For us, in our world, this means we, too, will have been purged of something malicious - an ancient hatred of Muslims and Arabs that now lies exposed for what it always was.

James Carroll, bestselling author of Constantine's Sword, is a columnist for the Boston Globe and a Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Suffolk University in Boston. His newest book, Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), has just been published.