Is there hope?


As I was blogsurfing I stumbled upon this entry over at In My Opinion 3.0 : Bush's "war on terror" is a failure.

Read that first, then feel free to check out my points of view on it, as presented here.

In the last paragraph you seem to focus too much on Al Aqaeda and Muslim terrorists. All extremist fanatics are dangerous, no matter what they believe in. Religion is just a means for them to gather lots of support and has nothing to do with their view itself. What my point is, is that a religion itself poses no problem, not even if it sees certain things differently as an other religion. The fanatics are making it problematic.

How we - as a global and international community - can solve this, I wouldn't know. I totally agree that a long term plan based on equality and education is the path to take. However, certain politicians don't even consider the "long and winding road" but sell the uninformed mass a quick (and meaningless not to say lost) effort : war.

A few small victories, a few pockets filled, and an "after I step down I'll be happy and rich, let the next generation figure it out" attitude. Unless people start seeing and realizing that, there really is no chance to get through it all. It's just a matter of time before the final spark is lit and it's the end of civilisation as we know it.


I used to think the same thing about the extremist muslim organizations: they were only using their religion as a means to an end. But after reading The Age of Sacred Terror, I now know that that is not the case. You (and I did the same thing) are still thinking of al-Qaeda as "traditional" terrorists who use violence to make a political statement, or to force a government to change the way it acts. Those are not the goals of al-Qaeda. The goals of al-Qaeda are, simply, to destroy western society so they can bring back the caliphate.

This is not to say that I think all Muslim groups are our enemies. I do not. As I point out groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, although they are terrorist organizations, are not Jihadists like al-Qaeda. But extremism is spreading rapidly through the Muslim world and George Bush isn't helping us any. We've got to change course, soon, or, as you point out the "final spark is lit and it's the end of civilisation as we know it." And that is just what the Jihadists want.

I believe the root of this issue is religion itself. It deliberately places faith above reason and experience and even human compassion. Thus, with religion it is perfectly possible (and not that uncommon) to do things which are A) contrary to reason, B) defy one's everyday experience of the world, and C) totally fly in the face of humanitarian concerns. Case in point: the Roman Catholic Church was caught a few months ago telling 3rd-worlders not to use condoms on the grounds that "they don't stop AIDS." The problem is, they do. The World Health Organization was livid, naturally. But from the Church's position, it's quite an acceptable trade-off for millions of people to suffer and die so long as God doesn't get pissed off. He doesn't like condoms apparently.

In any case, this abandoning of reason and experience and human costs has a range of consequences. At one extreme end you have young men flying airplanes into buidings. At the other end you have lesser offenses. But both are part of the same package. Religion is at the core and unites them both, as they are different only in degree not in kind.

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This page contains a single entry by ServMe published on January 21, 2004 11:42 PM.

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