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Jurgen Todenhofer's 10 theses regarding relations between the West and Muslim countries

Dr. Jurgen Todenhofer, a German executive, author and former politician, has travelled to Iraq several times before, returned there independently. On this occasion in Ramadi, he met those about whom we know very little: Iraqi resistance fighters from Baathist, nationalist and moderate Islamic groups. His conversations with them revealed shocking personal stories, experienced by people such as Yussuf, a Christian who fights alongside Muslims, Aisha, who speaks for the mothers of the resistance fighters, and 22-year-old Zaid.

In a detailed epilogue, Jurgen Todenhfer has honed his view of the relations between the West and Muslim countries into 10 theses. His conclusion: the main cause of terrorism is a tradition of colonialism and neocolonialism going back more than 200 years, and ignorance and condescension in the attitude of the Christian West toward the Islamic East. The West must at last treat the Muslim world just as fairly as other cultures and religions, and give up its policy of waging war on terrorism. For their part, Muslims must make a sustainable commitment to an Islam that stands for progress and tolerance.

The ten theses, along with their explanation, can be read at this link:

Here are the main headings:

1. The West is much more violent than the Muslim world. Millions of Arab civilians have been killed since colonialism began.

2. Faced with the warmongering of the West, it is really not surprising that support for Muslim extremists continues to grow.

3. Terrorists in Islamic disguise are murderers. The same holds true for the ringleaders disguised as Christians who wage wars of aggression in contravention of international law.

4. Muslims were and are at least as tolerant as Jews and Christians. They have made a major contribution to Western civilization.

5. Love of God and love of one's neighbor are the central commandments not only in the Bible but also in the Qur'an.

6. Western policies towards the Muslim world suffer from a shocking ignorance of even the simplest facts.

7. The West must treat the Muslim world just as fairly as it treats Israel. Muslims are worth as much as Jews and Christians.

8. The Muslims must champion a progressive and tolerant Islam, as did their prophet Muhammad. They must strip terrorism of its religious mask.

9. Nothing fosters terrorism more than the West's "war on terror". Muslim countries must resolve their problems with radical Islamism themselves.

10. What is needed now is the art of statesmanship, not the art of war - in the Iran conflict, the Iraq conflict and the Palestine conflict. 

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