I see that President Bush gave a speech in the Middle East during his recent tour, claiming, as if it were a bad thing, that Iran wants to take us back to the Middle Ages. As Dinesh D’Sousa quite rightly pointed out in his book, The Enemy at Home, this might not be a bad thing if viewed from a Muslim perspective.
What we call the Middle Ages are known in the Muslim world as the Golden Age of Islam. In this respect, Iran would like to go back to that glorified past. On the other hand, western civilization wants to escape from that time when ignorance, barbarism and cruelty reigned in Europe.
D’Sousa’s point is that if we keep looking at Islam through our Amero-Eurocentred prism, instead of trying to look at the world, and history, through Muslim lenses, we will never understand the enemy we need to defeat.
This is lesson the forces of good grasped in the Second World War. Allied intelligence knew that Hitler was superstitious and consulted with astrologers, so we used astrologers to consider what advice might be influencing Hitler’s thinking.