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Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Modernization of Middle East is a Sight to See

The Modernization of Middle East is a Sight to See

by Amir Taheri  •  July 16, 2017 at 5:00 am
  • In our neck of the woods, that is to say the Middle East, the machinery of state had modernized itself by enhancing its powers and developing new modes of control, manipulation and repression.
  • The late Ayatollah Khomeini's discourse owed more to Lenin and Stalin than to the great Muslim philosophers and theologians of ages. Iran became modernized when Khomeini organized the execution of at least 4,000 people in a weekend, something even the bloodthirsty Agha Muhammad Khan Qajar never imagined doing. Syria became modern when Hafez Al-Assad killed 20,000 people in Hama, something no Umayyad Caliph would imagine doing.
  • All we have kept from our traditions is that of denying our own responsibility, blaming it all on others.
The footage from Syria and Iraq reminds of newsreels from Japan in the wake of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Pictured above: Nagasaki, Japan on September 24, 1945, six weeks after the city was destroyed by an atomic bomb. (Image source: (U.S. Marine Corps/Wikimedia Commons)
In every age intellectuals shape and cling to one concept as the organizing principle for an understanding of the present and speculation about the future. From the end of the 1940s, as the colonial era drew to a close, the fashionable concept was "modernization" and its variants such as "development" and "progress"
But what constituted modernization wasn't quite clear. Nor after what model should nations aspire in their quest for progress and development.

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