What better example of this is therenthan the garish homes of oil-rich sheiks?nThrough it all, the people remainnpoor, with very little real hope for thenfuture. Yet failure does not weaken thenfaith. On the contrary, failure is portrayednas its strength, confirming thenwidespread belief that the West succeedsnmaterially because it is unspiritual andnmaterialistic, while the Islamic peoplenfail because they are holy. The errornhere is common: although there arenpoor people who are in fact virtuous,nthey are not virtuous because they arenpoor. Some people are poor because theynare shiftless, intemperate, lazy or stupid.nAnd some people are rich because theyncheat and steal—it is impossible to statenvirtue in terms of wealth. But if Islam isnever going to advance its people, it willnbe with rulers like the Shah and PresidentnSadat, dictators both, one thing they hadnin common with the other rulers of theirnfaith. The embarrassing fact for ThirdnWorld apologists is that the Shah was denposed because he was too progressiven—giving women rights, trying to bringnhis country into the 20th century. Isnthere anyone today who can seriouslynclaim that Iran is better off with thenAyatollah.?nIf there is a flaw in Naipaul’s otherwisenperceptive work, it is that he seemsnnot to understand the Judeo-Christiannbasis of the Western world he so admires.nDr. Said, though he might notnagree with these basic values, at leastnacknowledges their existence. Still,nsuch a misunderstanding does not preventnNaipaul from making his pointnand accurately assessing the failure ofnthe Islamic countries. Theocracy is usuallynthe sign of an immature faith, onenwhich fails to acknowledge the truennature of the world and its flawed inhabitants.nIn many ways it mirrors thenfallacies of communism. In the face ofnIslam’s built-in resistance, progressnhas to be forced against centuries-oldnpractice, which requires rulers like thenShah and Mr. Sadat—dictators whonunderstood tradition.nFor now, Iran has reverted to thenpast, attempting to eradicate every vestigenof the Shah’s influence. Egypt’snposition is precarious, to say the least.nMore than its perpetual poverty, thenmajor defining characteristic of Islamnhas been its zeal and persistence. It hasnendured for centuries under conditionsnthat have overwhelmed other faiths. Ifnnothing else, Naipaul’s characters shownthat the belief is still there, real andnsolid, ironically not harmed butnstrengthened by the turmoil surroundingnit. •nOld Times Here Are ^oi Forgotten…nTHE SOUTHERN PARTISANnHAS ARRIVED!nThe Conservative Voice ofnthe Unreconstructed South.,.nPresented with Wit and Style…n! Ill S )1 1 III llNni Liijijaws” ••f-^nTHEBURninCnOFGOLUmBIR…n”… for those concerned aboutnpreserving Southern Culture.”n—HUMAN EVm^T^n”… a breath of fresh air… a voicencrying in the wilderness.”n—CHARLESTON “^E^^n& COURIERn”AT LAST!”n—CIVIL WAR PRESS CORPSnREAD: Andrew Lytle – Russell Kirk – M.E. BradfordnUnpublished work by Richard Weaver – And more innTHE MAGAZINEnYOU^VE BEEN WAITING FORnYes! I’d like to try THE SOUTHERN PARTISAN at thenspecial introductory rate of $12.00 per year.nNAMEnADDRESSnD Bill me D $12.00 check enclosednCITY STATE. ZIP.nMail to: The Southern Partisan, P.O. Box lim, Columbia SC 29211nnnccnMarch/^prill98Sn