Lou Sandler

The Real ‘Religious Wars’

“The biggest danger we face, is not returning jihadis, but a widening religious war which threatens, not just to engulf the Middle East and change its borders, but to spread across the entire global Islamic community with potential consequences for peace on a much wider scale.”

This came from Paddy Ashdown, the British Liberal Democrat leader and former high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina in response to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron’s plans last August to present new ‘anti-terrorism’ measures to Parliament.

This increasing state of ‘war’ across the larger Islamic community is a primary driver to the draconian measures taken by El-Sisi in Egypt. It is probably is the only reason the butcher in Syria, Hafez Al-Assad, has not been taken out of power by a still disoriented west. There is an increasing struggle between religious and militarized Islam which has also been largely overlooked in the West.

The militarized Islamists are not bound by national or state borders and until we realize that; realize that we can’t also be bound by artificially created borders, militarized Islam will continue to push forward. Iran and Qatar may sponsor terror selected groups but are also both at risk from many of those same terror groups. Attacking Iran, for instance, will wildly inflame not manage or neutralize. A whole scale international reorganization is needed; politically and militarily.

Another incredibly important point but one never made by the western mainstream media is that militarized Islam has brutalized and slaughtered far, far more of their own then they have even come close to across any other group.

The cyber televised beheadings of a handful of western citizens recently by ISIS was horrifying. At the same time, those 4 or 5 men are but a drop when compared to the numbers of Muslims killed and brutalized by other Muslims throughout the Middle East.

A point, however, is that this ‘widening religious war’ is not just among the ‘global Islamic community’ or less developed nations but across the western nations…across Britain and the United States; across the ‘global’ community itself. The chaos and sharp splits even in the Islamic community with regards to the recent spasm of chaos and brutality between Israel and Hamas are part of this larger reality.

Those who continue to write of Israeli ‘genocide’ of Palestinians in the context of ‘Religious Wars’ are, either, demonstrating a dramatic misunderstanding of these terms and/or primarily communicating their own agenda. Israel knows where the leaders of Hamas are; Abbas continues able to fly in and out of New York to pontificate in front of the UN. These are not examples of genocidal practice by Israel.

For those wanting real and recent examples of true ‘ethnic cleansing’ and genocidal practice consider Hitler in Germany, Milosevic in Serbia, Albania in 1912/1913 and the slaughter of Tutsis by the Hutu majority in Rwanda.

Hamas, in fact, has the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of every Jew from Israel in their basic charter; they have the murder of any Jew anywhere in their basic charter. Israel wants to stop the missiles and the murder tunnels.

If Hamas was prepared to do that; if Hamas were ready to invest the money they are now spending on missiles and tunnels in random attempts to kill Israelis on the citizens of Gaza and Gazan infrastructure instead, I’d expect that Israel would also respond very differently.

Perhaps if Israel actually had more western collaborators, real time support and on the ground allies, the intensity could be pulled back. Perhaps those now so over focused on Israel should write to Hamas to suggest they revoke their charter that calls for the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Jews from Israel. Tell Hamas to build infrastructure for their own citizens. If that happened, I’d also bet that Israel would respond very differently.

The Israeli hard Right and their sycophants; from the radicalized settler movements to so named American ‘Christian Zionists’ are far more of a threat to the short term stability and long term viability of Israel than the PA and Hamas combined; even if the PA and Hamas could stop trying to cut one another’s throat long enough to get themselves organized. Everybody is absolutely certain but absolutely nobody has an answer short of that which is either functionally impossible and/or wholly amoral.

Netanyahu, the tertiary leader of the Israeli Far Right, like Abbas of the PA, really only care about staying in office; of making it from week to week. If Netanyahu grew a spine and a lick of real understanding, he could be of benefit. If Abbas would discontinue his increasingly delusional monologues and international histrionics, he might find receptive ears in Israel.

But each are far more focused on keeping their day jobs at almost any cost than actually leading and both lack a clearly identifiable moral center. But the ease in which Israel is routinely demonized by elements of the world community only strengthens Netanyahu and the Israeli hard Right while fueling Abbas’ political delusion. Neither is useful.

So far as the true breadth of ‘religious wars’ which seems to only focus on militarized Islam, read even a few of the horrific statements made by the American far neo-theological Right; from positions on Obama, public schools and gun ownership to white-Christian supremacy, non-‘Christians,’ gay marriage and homosexuality and federal authority to name but a few topics. One American politician has actually advocated stoning homosexuals.

And while you are at it, look up the New Apostolic Reformation right here in the United States. Read just a few of the statements by national GOP political figures like Michele Bachman, Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz. Palin is also directly affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation. Read just a few of the statements and writings of GOP operatives, activists and figures at the state and local levels. Read Christian Supremacist literature.

The global and western communities are in deep danger and ‘religious wars’ are not only coming…they are here and escalating.

About the Author
I was born in Baltimore, MD and have since had a wide range of experiences including a year plus in Israel. I've been a progressive organizer, writer/media spokesperson, coordinator and freelance. I am a PhD level Clinical Behavioral Analyst specializing in severe behavioral need in children (and adults) and their families. I write through no ‘agenda or special interest’ other than being a passionate supporter of Israel and Israel's future.