The Fundamentalist conservatizers in the Islamic world who support or

passively sympathize with those who are attacking us perceive themselves

as under a grave threat. To assess the accuracy of their perception, we

must look at what they fear. Since 1945, the international legal system, at

the initiative of leading Western modernizing states, has established a set

of ground rules of political and other social organization based upon what

it considers to be universally valid and self-evident principles. These

ground rules are embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human

Rights. Although the United Nations Charter purported to reserve the

domestic jurisdiction of states from international concern, Western

governments and the human rights lobby have vigorously diminished the

scope of domestic jurisdiction so that it no longer buffers the internal legal

arrangements of statesfrom the application of international human rights

law. The values we designate as "universal" are, indeed,

"universalizable," in contrast with tribal or other ethnically or religiously

restrictive values that limit their reach and confine their benefits to

members of a particular group. But "universalizable" values are not

necessarily universally held. Nor are they "natural."