Thursday, June 14, 2012

In Allah's Holy Name

"A group of pilgrims were walking and passed by a tent offering food and drinks when a car exploded near them.  People were running away covered with blood and bodies were scattered on the ground."  Wathiq Muhana, Iraqi police officer

There is a wearying sameness to this description.  This is a never-ending war conducted by one segment of a religion against the faithful of another segment of that very same religion.  This is the religion of the 7th Century Middle East Bedouin tribes, the inspiration of a man whose name and memory is now venerated by those who engage in wholesale slaughter but yet who view him as a saint whose name cannot be invoked without a benediction.

This is a religion whose suspicion and hatred toward others of their very own ilk has continued down throughout the ages.  This is a religion that was meant to unify and to pacify, to bring greater understanding between peoples of different tribes and cultures.  Instead it has failed to halt human nature in its seemingly irreversible propensity to fear and hate and to murder.  It is not the sole religion in the world whose faithful fatefully detest one another, but it is the most notable.

In the world today, Muslims whose fanaticism has led them to practise violent Islamist jihad outrank by sheer numbers and outrageously vile murderous techniques any other religious groups who have no wish to recognize the legitimacy of other religions and other people to worship freely as they will.  In today's world, the ancient tribal animosities that set one tribe against another persist, and are magnified by the allure of doing Allah's will.

This is a religion mired in time, refusing to move forward.  And he religion mirrors a group of people whose tribal mentalities remain firmly in the grip of the 7th Century.  These are people whose comfort lies in their heritage and that heritage just happens to be rife with violence and conquest, assassinations and armies on the march.  For the greater glory of Islam.

The rewards tantalizingly offered by the sacred scriptures recommending martyrdom to further the interests of Islam, and guaranteeing irresistible rewards of paradisaical virginal harems to those sacrificing their lives and taking along with them as many innocent people, both Muslim and non-Muslim alike in the process, successfully enlists eager conscripts to the universal cause of the Caliphate.

But beyond control of the outside, non-Muslim world, there is the aggravated bitterness that exists between the two main branches of Islam, where Sunni and Shia detest one another's versions of Islam and saintly antecedents so that they celebrate every opportunity to demonstrate their detestation by launching bloody attacks on one another.  Islam is a sacred religion calling for peace and brotherhood, yet its clerics call also for purity.

And purity is interpreted as continuing into infinity the example of The Prophet who led his savage armies of Islam's jihadists on a never-ending mission to turn the world toward total surrender to Islam.

Iraq's population, whose iron-fisted tyrant ensured that the sects lived in grudging harmony, reverted to kind when the U.S.-led invasion led to Saddam Hussein's overthrow.  In his absence, society has been infiltrated with the menace of jihadists dedicated to the overthrow of order and government other than a fiercely fundamentally theocratic one.

If the Sunnis represented by al-Qaeda-inspired jihadis bomb mosques, it is because they are the wrong mosques.  If the Shia represented by Iran's proxy militias bomb mosques, it is because they too are the wrong mosques.  Shia pilgrims are now the targets in Iraq of Sunni ' insurgents', those who indulge in blood-letting as terrorists who claim themselves to be servants of Islam.

In 2006 and 2007 tens of thousands of Iraqis were butchered; the Shia by the Sunnis, the Sunnis by the Shia.  In the present time with an agreed-upon coalition government purportedly representing Sunni, Shia and Kurdish population blocs, the Shia-led parliament has accused its Sunni counterparts of terrorism, removing the equality quotient and setting the country again at war with itself.

In Allah's holy name.

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