Document Type


Publication Date



In the West, Muslims are regarded with anxiety, mistrust, and fear. Many of us choose not to travel to Muslim countries for fear of becoming victims of terrorism. Most westerners worry about the Muslims' firm grip on the spigot of the world's oil reserves. And in 1991 we convinced ourselves that Saddam Hussein represented a threat on par with Hitler.1

But Muslims cannot really scare us. After all, it took but a few weeks to vanquish fully the "Butcher of Baghdad," who had up until that time the world's fourth largest army. We united in a stalwart international coalition against the Iraqi menace, while most of Saddam's supposed Arab allies joined our ranks. We need only to remember the Iran-Iraq war to console ourselves with the memory of an internecine inter-Muslim struggle, something not seen in the West since the Second World War. Granted, each of us can probably recall some personal hardship 1973 and 1979 when the Arabs or Iranians withheld "our" oil. Now, however, we all realize, along with such economists as Maddison (1982), that these embargoes merely exacerbated imminent or existing world recessions.


International Institute of Islamic Thought

Publication Information

The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences