Saturday, February 21, 2015

Prescription For Peace - Don't Blame Islam

"[President Bashar Asad's] war against his own people and deliberate stoking of sectarian tensions helped to fuel the rise of (Islamic State). And in Iraq, with the failure of the previous government to govern in an inclusive manner, it helped to pave the way for (Islamic State's) gains there."
"[Muslim clerics and scholars] have a responsibility to push back, not just on twisted interpretations of Islam, but also on the lie that we are somehow engaged in a clash of civilizations; that America and the West are somehow at war with Islam or seek to suppress Muslims; or that we are the cause of every ill in the Middle East."
"Obviously, there is a complicated history between the Middle East, the West. And none of us, I think, should be immune from criticism in terms of specific policies, but the notion that the West is at war with Islam is an ugly lie. And all of us, regardless of our faith, have a responsibility to reject it."
"This requires ... wealthier countries to do more. But it also requires countries that are emerging and developing to create structures of governance and transparency so that any assistance provided actually works and reaches people. It's a two way street."
"When people are oppressed, and human rights are denied -- particularly along sectarian lines or ethnic lines -- when dissent is silenced, it feeds violent extremism. It creates an environment that is ripe for terrorists to exploit."
U.S. President Barack Obama
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty ImagesBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images    U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism as Syrian cleric Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi listens on Feb. 19, 2015 in Washington, DC

Another daily lecture from the master explainer. Well, he is correct with one observation, to label as a lie the contention in some Muslim quarters that the West is at war with Islam, when in actual fact it would be more accurate to claim that Islam is at war with the West. It is pure Islamic and fundamental to Islam that as it represents the finished version of monotheism it has an obligation to the Almighty to ensure that all other religions fall and their faithful surrender to the one true faith.

Jihad, so vital to Islam as part of the struggle to see that Islam conquers all opposition to its global conquest for the hearts, minds and lives of humankind in a universal caliphate, is entitled to use all means to convert those who stubbornly resist the call to surrender. It is such a simple matter, after all, to convert to Islam; a quietly final declaration of submission in the declaration that "There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger".

Poof! another conquest. But the stubborn must be led to their fate; against their will if required. Which is where terror enters the picture, alongside martyrdom and slaughter. The West has no institutions, no single or collective ideology or religion whose ultimate purpose is universal conquest, the leading of the eager as well as the recalcitrant to admission to a cult whose numbers are constantly growing. One of the most potent tools of prosetylization is immigration; infiltration by the masses, then entitlement to recognition of Sharia law.

The clerics to whom Mr. President appeals are often the very sources to ensure that jihad is never far from the minds of the faithful. The purity of purpose of Islamism and its rise to become the threat to the world order that we see today has been gradual, sustained and inexorable. Those Muslim governments that view it as a threat, attempt to sideline the movement, to no avail. Islamist jihad owes nothing to the West but resentment of it, fuelling its determination to surmount and conquer it.

The rise of al-Qaeda and of the Islamic State owes nothing to the West and to claims that they are the result of colonialist interference in the lands in which they have arisen. They arose out of a crucible of rejection of Western values and perceived moral corruption of the West, which, though representative of all that's wrong in the opinion of the Islamists, is ascendant, leading Islamists to the will to destroy democracy, incompatible with complete surrender to Islam.

In alluding to Syria and Iraq, Mr. President points out without meaning to, the starkly malevolent divisions within Islam born of a tribal, ethic sectarian antipathy to ethnic, tribal, clan and religious counterparts with their differences that become hostile, hateful and murderous. There is no counterpart elsewhere in the world today quite as influential and widespread and destructive in loss of lives and numbers of refugees fleeing conflict and oppression as that caused by Islamism.

Typically, Mr. President calls upon the visceral guilt that Westerners feel when speaking of the downtrodden, the misunderstood, the oppressed and the poor in opportunities and welfare, to urge those that have to surrender to the needs of those that have not. And while this is an excellent prescriptive in balanced, civilized societies, it doesn't work quite as well in societies whose values lean heavily on a culture reflective of Medieval society.

Mr. President stresses that the lack of democratic freedoms in countries suffering the burden of violent extremism must be addressed. By whom? It was addressed time and again by his predecessor, determined to bring the blessings of democracy to the Middle East and anywhere that totalitarian governments rule the roost. In toppling unrepentant and controlling dictators in Iraq and Libya, the door was opened to extreme fanatics whose tribal and sectarian hostilities toward others turned massively deadly.

Mr. President has prescribed fixes for his own nation, to attempt to equalize gaps between the wealthy and the poor, to provide social services and and social welfare in a fair and just manner to his own population, and all his prescriptives have realized rejection. Now he reaches further to impress upon the world at large its obligation to itself, when much of the world feels no obligation to itself let alone to others, other than to prevail in their pathologies of isolation, hatred and vengeance.

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