Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Islamic issues that are causing violence and warfare

I apologize about the repetition here, but these issues are a large part of the reason why violence and warfare is so common in the areas of the world where Islam is in contact with other cultures.

1) Separation of church and state – Islam is designed as a nation-state. Loyalty to Islamic laws and concepts over the government that represents you.

2) Moral obligation to kill the ‘occupiers’ of Muslim land – This is a basic cause of the Arab – Israeli conflict. This helps explain why so much effort at obtaining a peace has been so elusive. This is also a basic cause of much of the warfare against the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan.

3) The penalty for leaving Islam is death. - This is responsible for much of the internal conflict within Islam. The Sunni/Shiite dispute is a classic example.

4) Tribute – Payment of ‘non-believers’ to Muslim authorities has triggered wars.

5) Stoning people to death as punishment. Removing this medieval ‘law’ from Muslim culture has and will trigger violence.

6) "In Muslim tradition, the world is divided into two houses: The house of Islam and the house of war". – No comment necessary.

7) Jihad – Historically, the most common interpretation has been ARMED struggle for the advancement and defense of MUSLIM power.

In 40 years of my study of warfare, I cannot think of ANY armed conflict where I was able to identify a list of reasons for the cause of the violence in anything like the numbers presented here. Please note that this list is NOT complete, as my understanding of Islam is not complete. I would like to point out that ‘extremists’ within the Islamic world are NOT the only Muslims who believe in these concepts. A sizeable minority if not a majority of Muslims worldwide believes in at least some of these concepts. All it takes is one or two to cause war and the loss of life that results from the organized violence.

I consider the vast majority of Muslims to be ‘good’ people. A basic problem here is that like the good southerners who defended the evil of slavery and the way of life that revolved around that ‘peculiar’ institution, the ‘good’ Muslims will also defend these concepts with their lives. And like the good southerners, they will not change their beliefs without open warfare. Like the war to end slavery within the United States, this is a war that MUST be fought. As the constant Arab-Israeli wars have demonstrated, attempting to persuade them to change on their own will result in failure and open warfare. In other words, we will have to kill many of these ‘good’ Muslims before this war is over.

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