Thursday, August 29, 2013

Islam, That Religion Professing Peace Having It's Problems With Adherents

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                
The Middle East is raging war.  Islam, the religion touting the label as the "religion of peace", is having its problems in following Mohammad's wishes for such peace.  Perhaps it was his way of recruiting followers; by a sword.  In trying to bring his message to a violent group of tribesmen, he had little choice but to get tough.  He even used this method on Jews who already were living peacefully in Medina, Saudi Arabia,  and believing in the one G-d that Mohammad intended to bring to his own people. He even married a Jewish girl, Safia.   It is said that his own city of Mecca at first rejected his teachings and him, which usually happens to gifted artists, anyway, so he fought hard to spread the word he received from the angel Gabriel.
The differences between the two entities are political as to who the next leader was after Mohammad died. Those that wanted to elect the next leader did so, and Abu Bakr, Mohammad's close friend and advisor became the leader of the Sunni Sect.  The others felt that the leadership should stay in the family and wanted his male cousin and son in law, Ali bin Abu Talib as the leader and he became the head of the Shi'a movement.  This led to some variance in following Mohammad's rules.

Even Arab cousins have disagreed with each other and fought.  The Hajj Mohammed Amin el-Husseini, who was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, disagreed with his cousin, Abdullah, grandfather of the King of Jordan, Hussein.  The Mufti went to Hitler in Germany and sided with him against the Jews, causing riots in Jerusalem.  His cousin, King Abdullah of Transjordan, had already met with Chaim Weizmann and had a moderate attitude towards Zionism.  He thought the Jews would bring in education for his Arabs to upgrade themselves.  He was later assassinated by his cousin, the Mufti, Haj Amin el Husseini.  Both were probably Sunni Muslims.  Abdullah had been the 2nd son of Hussein, sherif of Mecca who was later the King of Hejaz.  He had been the most educated and recognized Arab leader of his time.

From 1980 to 1988,  Iran, a Shi'a Islamic state,  fought against Iraq, a Shi'a/Sunni secular state so long that they were including young boys in their armies.  Today's papers are full of the violence going on.  The ongoing civil war of Syria, a Sunni/Shi'a state,   has taken over 100,000 lives by the people's own government, and now includes possibly over 1,000 that either the government or their adversaries have taken in chemical warfare.  This political battle includes elements of Shi'a against Sunni with the Alawite president Assad leading the way.  The Alawites are a sect of Shi'a.

Iraq had been ruled by Saddam Hussein. The USA stepped in after 9/11  and on May 1, 2003, killed him  and left  Shiite and Sunni still attacking each other.  A Shiite district was hit by a car bomb around Baghdad in the yesterday morning  that killed 80.  Iraq is spiraling into mayhem again.  Their government is also on high alert due to a possible retribution against Syria by a coalition of Western powers.    Iraq has suffered from a wave of killings of thousands since April, the worst ever since 2008.  The worst seen was in 2006 and 2007 when they were almost in their own civil war.  This month of August has had 510 killed.

A military convoy was hit south of the capital, so security forces sealed off the blast scene.  "What sin have those innocent people committed?" asked Ahmed Jassim who was a witness in Baghdad's Hurriyah neighborhood.  Another neighborhood, Kazimiyah, home of a Shiite shrine, was the worst hit.  2 bombs went off in a parking lot followed by a suicide car bomber who rammed the  crowd who had gathered. This alone killed 10 and wounded 27.  Al Qaida, a Sunni terrorist group under the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is thought to be the culprits.  They've been becoming more practiced and brazen.   Al Qaida, the terrorist group started by Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, is a radical Sunni group also following Sharia law.

Afghanistan, a Sunni/Shi'a Islamic state,  is fighting against the Shi'a Taliban terrorists who just killed 7 Afghans and wounded 10 Wednesday at a base used by Americans and Poland in the eastern section.  The total killed was 19 and 63 were wounded.  3 other attacks were from insurgents in their campaign against the international coalition and government of President Karzai.  Those storming the base in Ghazni were repelled and who suffered 10 killed.  The terrorists had rammed a truck full of explosives into a wall, but the wall didn't break while another terrorist group fired from the opposite side of the base.  Those were killed by Afghan security forces.  Their hospital had 7 dead of which 4 were just civilians and 3 police officers.  35 others were treated including 12 children, all wounded in the melee.

Another suicide bomber rammed into a car on an Afghan army base in the Nad Ali district. which killed 3 soldiers and wounded 4.  Then a rocket fired overnight at another parking lot used by truck drivers carrying fuel for the coalition.  it hit a loaded truck with caught fire, killing 6 Afghani drivers and wounded 10 others.

The one thing all the Middle East groups seem to agree on is to oust Israel, and have tried it in unison in 1947-48, 56, 67, 73 and so on.  Thanks to our one G-d that we all believe in, Israel has survived these numerous outnumbered attacks somehow.  It's odd because they agree that Jews and Arabs stemmed from Abraham of Ur,  They look upon Noah, Moses, Kings David and Solomon as well as Jesus as prophets, forerunners of Mohammed.  Islamic legends absorbed much material from the Jews' Midrash, much as they might want to deny that.  We have many religious laws in common, such as not eating the meat from a pig, images, fixed times for prayers.  Jews and Christians were regarded by Mohammad as "People of the Book"who should enjoy religious freedom in return for paying their poll tax.  The Shi'a were more reactive and stern in their attitude towards Jews.  Jews were rarely  persecuted  for religious reasons, but now political ones have crept in and are being used instead of a deep religious hatred taught to their people since the Ottoman Empire fell in WWI. Today I can't tell the difference between Shi'a and Sunni hatred for Zionistic Jews.

Qaradawi, head Sunni preacher from Egypt living in Qatar, broadcasting from al Jazeera TV, said, "Oh Allah, take your enemies, the enemies of Islam. Oh Allah, take the Jews, the treacherous aggressors. Oh Allah, take this profligate, cunning, arrogant band of people. Oh Allah, they have spread much tyranny and corruption in the land. Pour Your wrath upon them, oh our God. Lie in wait for them. Oh Allah, You annihilated the people of Thamoud(Sodom) at the hand of a tyrant, and You annihilated the people of 'Aad with a fierce, icy gale, and You destroyed thePharaoh and his soldiers – oh Allah, take this oppressive, tyrannical band of people. Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one"  He thinks of himself as an Islamic Sufist.   Qatar’s new emir, Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa, may have ousted him back to Egypt.  He was seen in demonstrations in Egypt June 30th.  He was probably there to stir up protests for the Muslim Brotherhood.   

If one prefers to blame Zionistic Jews for their problems, what is motivating both sects of Islam who fight in their own territory?  They have had this tendency ever since Mohammad (570-632 CE) came along and tried to tame them.  One needs only to study the clash of Arab civilizations over the centuries to see this.  The culture is much different than found in the West, but the cause of problems comes from within their own competitive culture, not from the Jews or the West.  Christianity is known as the religion of "love."   Jews are to lead  by example and to be the "light of the world,"  Islam's leaders are not practicing peace in order to earn the title of the "religion of peace." Maybe that is because they refuse to turn on the light to see better.

Reference:  Oregonian newspaper 8/29/13 page A6 Morning blasts target Shiite areas of Baghdad by Adam Schreck and Sinan Salaheddin, AP; and Taliban attacks NATO base by Rahim Faiez, AP
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
The Strong Horse, power, politics, and the clash of Arab civilizations by Lee Smith


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