The attack on KFC in Lebanon and the protests in Libya and elsewhere demonstrate that while Salafis, Wahhabis and related categories of Islamists and their supporters, are more than happy to tolerate various degrees of military, political and economic imperialism in Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon and of course Palestine, they will not countenance cultural and ideological imperialism.
Rejecting cultural/ideological imperialism while countenancing and even allying with political imperialism does not make one an anti-imperialist, but merely anti-Western. To be sure, cultural and ideological imperialism must be confronted but only when situated within the wider framework of justice and the rejection of oppression; it must be guided by a specific political POSITION. Otherwise, it just distracts us from the bigger struggle against the Empire and Israel and plays into the hands of the US and Arab monarchs who are only too happy to launch inter-faith dialogue initiatives (the World Economic Forum’s Council of 100; the US-Islamic World Forum set up by a partnership between the Brookings Institute and Qatar; Saudi King Abdallah’s initiative for Interfaith Dialogue; Queen Rania’s Youtube interfaith campaign and other nauseating ventures) all designed to divert and sublimate anti-imperialist impulses by channeling them into strictly cultural avenues. In this manner, Islam is reduced to a cultural identity, an end in itself, rather than a means for achieving justice and liberating the oppressed.