I was one of millions in Manhattan on September 11, 2001 and, like many others, the terrorist attacks on that day changed my life. Thankfully, no one I knew was hurt or killed but I can say that a certain political naïveté was shattered when those buildings came crashing down. I had long thought that countries like the United States and Britain - liberal democracies - were imperialist powers responsible for most of the world's ills and that wide-spread poverty and economic desperation in the Muslim world drove some Muslims to commit desperate acts, like blowing themselves up in pizza parlors in Tel Aviv, slamming planes into buildings in New York City or terrorizing commuters on the subways of London and Madrid. As I learned more about the perpetrators of these acts of violence it became clear that they were not members of some lumpenproletarian under-class. These were educated middle-class men following an ideology that stands against everything liberals are supposed to defend: open societies, equality for the sexes, political pluralism, free expression, the list goes on and on. It's high time that those of us who consider ourselves progressives and liberals stood up against what is the greatest global threat to freedom and democracy in the world today, the threat of Islamist totalitarianism. It's shameful that it's taken so many of us so long - myself included - but I am proud to be a signatory to this document.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Evan Matthew Daniel: Against everything liberals should defend
Normsblog on another signer of Unite Against Terror,