A former Jordanian minister has seized upon commentary about the decline of Western power, saying on Arabic-language television that Islam will conquer Rome. He went on to say that Spain is an Islamic land that should be retaken and that America has begun to realize its “end is near.”
The remarks by former Jordanian Minister of Religious Endowment Ali Al-Faqir were broadcast on Al-Aqsa TV on May 2.
According to a transcript prepared by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Al-Faqir said Palestine from the Jordan to the Mediterranean is an Islamic land. “Spain – Andalusia – is also the land of Islam,” he said.
“Islamic lands that were occupied by the enemies will once again become Islamic. Furthermore, we will reach beyond these countries, which are lost at one point. We proclaim that we will conquer Rome, like Constantinople was conquered once, and as it will be conquered again.
“America has occupied, thundered, and foamed with rage, and proclaimed, like Pharaoh, ‘I am your supreme God,’ but it will come to its end, and they have begun to realize that their end is near,” he said.
Al-Faqir then alluded to commentary about the declining prominence of America and Europe.
“We have begun to read in American and European newspapers that ‘our glory is on the wane, and there is nothing we can do about it,’” Al-Faqir said, according to the MEMRI transcript.
“This morning on Al-Jazeera TV, I saw American scientists and strategic theoreticians, who said that America would soon come to its end. They said it before about the USSR, and, indeed, it has come to its end, and we say now that America and the EU will come to an end, and only the rising force of Islam will prevail.”
American and European pundits and commentators have recently discussed the perceived decline in American power, especially economic power.
Writing in the Los Angeles Times, national security columnist Fred Kaplan said President George W. Bush’s “follies” had accelerated the decline of American influence. “For half a century, we had been a super-power," Kaplan wrote. "Now we're upper-middle management in a world without bosses.”
Parag Khanna, a research fellow at the New America Foundation, wrote in the New York Times that the U.S. is “competing—and losing—in a geopolitical marketplace,” arguing that globalization has eroded American primacy.
Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, published excerpts from his new book in the May 12 issue of Newsweek. Zakaria argued that a “seismic shift” in power and attitudes has transported the world into a post-American phase where the United States will not have the vastly unequal influence it has enjoyed in recent decades.
Other writers argue that American economic and cultural dominance will continue. The American Enterprise Institute’s economic policy director Kevin Hassett has advised readers to “ignore the obituaries.”
A video of Ali Al-Faqir's remarks can be viewed at: http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1761.htm