Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Muslim victim argument

Muslims concerning the Arab-Israeli confrontation had suggested a victim argument. The argument basically says that because Arab losses are higher than Israeli, the Arabs must be the victims of Israeli aggression. This has to be one of the weakest arguments that I have ever heard.

Japan attacked the U.S. in 1941. Over the next 4 years, the U.S. lost around 40,000 men defeating Japan. We killed well over 2 million. (Men in uniform as well as non-combatants) Just because we were better at warfare does not necessarily make us the ‘bad’ guy. Aggression does not necessarily come from strength. In fact, in the form of warfare, many times it can originate from weakness.

In 1860, the southern states knew that once Abraham Lincoln became President, he and others would limit slavery to the areas that already had that ‘peculiar institution’. Slavery would not be allowed to grow in the form of new slave states as states were to be added into the Union. As these new, non-slave states were added, the relative strength of slavery would become weaker. Rising up in rebellion right then was their best chance to prevent a slow, long-term defeat. In other words, the weakness of the southern position helped to initiate the U.S. Civil War. Historically speaking, this is not an uncommon cause of warfare.

The fact those Arab losses are higher than Israeli only tells us that the Arabs are not as good at waging war as Israel. Israel has not always had the best equipment. Israel has not had the larger forces. However, Israel has had better discipline since inception. As important as numbers and equipment are in war, these factors are not always decisive in determining the winner or loser. In many cases, these factors do not play a decisive role in determining the losses each side suffers. In any case, these factors have nothing to do with who started the shooting, nor do they tell us who is the ‘bad’ guy in any particular case.

The Arab-Israeli conflict is an excellent example of the incompatibility of Islam and a democratic society. The lack of progress in any peace agreement and the constant violence that is generally initiated by the Arab side demonstrates Islamic concepts of co-existence. (Or more accurately, the lack of)

I hold political Islam responsible for most, if not all of the warfare and violence that is so common throughout the Muslim world. Many good reasons exist to wage warfare and generally it only takes one or two of these ‘good’ reasons to trigger open conflict. Political Islam contains numerous causes of open warfare*, both to defend and to attack. These reasons are the basic cause of the constant violence throughout the Islamic world and that will not end until political Islam is changed to such a benevolent form that Islam would be unrecognizable. This alone would trigger open warfare, as it should. Human nature demands it.

*I have identified more than 6.

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