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Gaddafi Dead — So What?

Gaddafi, Mubarak, Bin Laden — even Obama — are not causes but symptoms of their societies. (Also read: A UN Probe Into Death of Gaddafi? They've Got to Be Kidding...)

by
Raymond Ibrahim

Bio

October 22, 2011 - 9:48 am
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In fact, since the Mubarak scapegoat has been ousted, and after Western media and politicians gushed and hailed “democracy,” Egypt has seen the worst Islamist inspired violence — especially from the state itself — against its non-Muslim minorities.

The lesson? To understand grand scale events, stop focusing on individuals — whether ousted Arab dictators (Tunisia’s ben Ali, Egypt’s Mubarak, now Libya’s Gaddafi) or slain jihadist leaders (Osama bin Laden and the various no-names the administration boasts of killing) — and start focusing on the forces, the “spirit of the time,” in this case, Islam, which creates bin Ladens no less than the tyrannical autocrats who suppress them.

Nor is this approach limited to comprehending the significance of the “Arab Spring.” To the many who think that America’s problems begin and end with Obama, consider the logic of the following quote, attributed to a Czech newspaper:

The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting an inexperienced man like him with the presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The republic can survive a Barack Obama. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.

In short, individual leaders do not cause societies to become what they are; rather, these leaders are symptoms — reflections — of their respective societies.

Also read: A UN Probe Into Death of Gaddafi? They’ve Got to Be Kidding…

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Raymond Ibrahim, a Middle East and Islam specialist, is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, World Almanac of Islamism, and Chronicle of Higher Education; he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, NPR, Blaze TV, and CBN. Ibrahim regularly speaks publicly, briefs governmental agencies, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and testifies before Congress. He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution, 2013. Ibrahim’s dual-background -- born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East -- has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former.
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