December 14, 2003
Liberal education versus Islamo-fascism

Looking for more reactions to the capture of Saddam Hussein, I came across this, from way back in October:

Calculating terrorists long ago determined education is a major battleground in their global struggle. The war for brainpower matters, since creative minds seed the future.

Al Qaeda has its own school system. Al Qaeda-backed madrassahs serve as Islamo-fascist recruitment and training centers, with the Koran as interpreted by Osama bin Laden their core text. Graduates hijack jets and commit mass murder.

"Alternative" education, of course, challenges the terror cadres' noxious curriculum. Thus, the terrorists wage war on "Western" education. The war on liberal education rarely makes the news because sources are so effectively silenced. Islamist terrorists use a mafioso method, personally threatening Muslim intellectuals and scholars. Here's the offer the scholar can't refuse: Shut up, or we kill you. In lands without the rule of law, radical guns hush rational voices.

This war, however, was a footnote to a recent headline. The U.S. convoy ambushed by Hamas killers in Gaza Oct. 15 carried diplomats preparing to interview Palestinians for Fulbright scholarships. Getting an American education is an attractive proposition, particularly for students in the world's more bitter and chaotic corners.

And we are also, after decades of ignoring it and hoping it will go away (not an unreasonable attitude I'd say), educating ourselves about Islamo-fascism. Fulbright scholarships to get Palestinians to come to the West is all part of that.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 02:52 PM
Category: Higher education