Re: "A Call to the Muslims of the World"

From: Bill Douglass (
Date: Fri Oct 26 2001 - 23:55:17 MDT

---- Greg Burch <> wrote:

[I'm snipping the bulk of this long and very informative post, just to
make one comment - BD]

> ... I've run out of time this morning, but I leave to further discussion
> the
> question of how prevalant the more militant and totalitarian forms
> of
> Islamism may be. My "gut guess" is that there is something like 10-
> 20% of
> the Islamic world that have become utterly radicalized, a population
> of some
> 100-200 million people.
> Greg Burch
> Vice-President, Extropy Institute

Daniel Pipes has a similar estimate, 10 to 15 percent. I'll post the
last couple paragraphs of the relevant article below.


This difference between Professor Forte's and my views has immense policy
implications. He can cheerfully advise Washington to work with the huge
majority of Muslims to isolate a tiny fringe of violent ideologues. I
grimly tell the policymakers that the problem is not just the miniscule
element he points to but the much larger one of fundamentalists, which
I estimate at 10 to 15 percent of the Muslim population. Professor Forte
does not explicitly say so, but his argument suggests that the U.S. government
can cooperate with regimes such as those of Iran and Saudi Arabia in
an effort to isolate the Taliban; I see all three as just different aspects
of the same problem.

I wish I could subscribe to Professor Forte's sunny conclusion that "By
recognizing bin Laden's evil for what it is, Americans can begin a process
of engagement with the vast populations of the Muslim world." Instead,
I must offer a more pessimistic formulation: "By recognizing the wide
backing of bin Laden's evil for what it is, Americans must begin a process
of confrontation with 10 to 15 percent of the vast populations of the
Muslim world."

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