The fear referred to by Ajami is the fear referred to by Mernissi, and these are collective fears which lead directly to "outbreaks of violence all the more murderous because they take place within the intimacy of the group" (Mernissi 6). This is the fear freedom entails, for the Arab world finds itself in control of its own destiny in a way it had not known before. The fear referred to is the existential fear of responsibility. This responsibility might generate a degree of anxiety at the best of times, but the Arab world today faces its own responsibility in a world filled with danger:
It is the lot of the Arabs today to make their choices in the eye of the storm. Their world has become too pivotal to be left alone. In their world can be seen not only their own quarrels and dilemmas but the dilemmas and fights of larger, more powerful entities. Whether a region at once so pivotal to the outside world and so vulnerable can be left alone to shape its own destiny is a debatable proposition (Ajami 20-21).
The international political economy of the Middle East is complex and derives both from historical factors and economic and political actions of recent origin. The tensions in the Middle East date back centuries, but they have been exacerbated by such actions in recent times as the creation of the state of Israel, Israeli actions with regard to the Palestinians, the discovery and development of oil in the Arab countries, and shifts in the world geo-political situation, with the results of the most recent shifts on the latter macro-level still in the process of working themselves out on the world stage. The Middle East holds a place of particular strategic importance, and the tensions existing there impinge on relations between nations outside the region.
As the discussion of community fear shows, though, an analysis of the political economy does not tell the whole story, for there is also a community-wide psychology, a...
Modern Arab World Countries. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 13:46, March 04, 2015, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1304282044.html