As President Clinton found out, the Middle East is not reasonable. The Oslo accords would have worked given that both sides were reasonable. Both sides accuse each other of being unreasonable. From the Arab point of view, Israel is unreasonable. From the Israeli viewpoint, the Arabs are unreasonable. The conflict has expressed itself ever since the formation of Israel in the violence that has been so consistent. This is a constant state of war. At least a few issues must be responsible, because I refuse to believe that so much of the world is that unreasonable without some really strong issues that is the actual root cause, as opposed to excuses.
Israel is more like the U.S. than any Islamic government. Although the United States has many faults, we are usually reasonable. Our interactions with the rest of the world throughout our history have demonstrated this time and again. All cultures and governments, including the U.S. and the rest of the world, have problems with violence. However, the Islamic world sets a new standard. Violence and organized warfare is much more common throughout the Islamic world. Muslims, and in particular, Arabs are easily insulted. And the common result is violence. Criticism sparks violence as well. In many cases criticism is considered an insult.
This is unreasonable in itself. Without criticism, it is almost impossible to implement positive change. Of all the areas that Islam needs to improve, it is the ability to take criticism positively. Yet the reaction is typically violence. In many cases, organized violence in the form of irregular warfare.
Islam has many issues that can’t be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction without violence because the issues themselves are not of the type that are negotiable. Some of the most serious issues involve unreasonable ‘laws’ that are extreme. A good example: The penalty for leaving Islam is death.
This ‘authentic’ law has been upheld by rulings in Islamic law and is part of traditional Islam. This law creates two serious problems:
1) If Muslims have a serious disagreement on a vital part of Islam, then the other viewpoint can easily be seen by the other party as having ‘left’ Islam. Hence they are Apostate and the penalty is death. On top of this, fighting (Killing) Apostates qualifies for Jihad, which qualifies those who fight to obtain booty and paradise if they are killed. Look at how the disagreement between Shiite and Sunni has gone to such violent levels. This has been going on for more than 1000 years! This helps to explain why so much internal warfare is so common throughout the Islamic world.
2) Once you are Muslim, you can’t convert to anything else. Islam is a one-way street in more than one way, but this concept also applies to land and ‘waters’. This helps explain why the Arab-Israeli conflict has no reasonable solution. A hundred years from now, Israel will still be ‘occupiers’ of Muslim ‘land’. This problem is evident in many other places where Islam has withdrawn, namely the Balkans. Palestine is a particularly sensitive area because it was one of the first areas to be overrun by Islam and is so close to the never center of Islam, Saudi Arabia, the home of Mecca and Medina.
Another area of Islam that is unreasonable is the fact that Islam is NOT a nation-state. Yet the leaders wield real power as if they are the leaders of a national government. Just look at Iraq for an example. Sadar has a personal army at his command. To have individuals like these wield the power of a nation-state is unreasonable. It invites civil war and open, violent conflict.
Traditional Islam as practiced in this way is unreasonable. Hence, constant violence and warfare.