Thursday, February 08, 2007

OP ED: Arab factionalism

There are times it appears that the United States and all of western civilization are at odds with the Arab/Muslim world. Christians against religious terrorists. Muslims against infidels.

Well, the great Muslim world is a hodgepodge of conflicting interests. There are the good Muslims, the bury-the-head-in-the-sand Muslims, the two-faced Muslims and the out-and-out maniacal, mass-murdering Muslims. In the extreme, there does not appear to be any other group on earth with the ability to hold a grudge longer, and settle more grotesquely. For thousands of years, they have been a culture in a state of perma-violence.

Their war on us infidels is only one facet of their score-settling approach. As much as the Islamic terrorists hate westerners, Americans especially, they are equally rabid in their hatred for each other.

Recent peace talks between the Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah have broken off due to internecine warfare between the factions, including street killings, kidnappings and bombings. Pakistan is America’s ally against Afghanistan. The Kurds and the Muslims are killing each other still. Iran has had a long enmity with Iraq, even before the American presence. The relationship between Iran and virtually the rest of the Arab world is belligerent. Syria is engaged in a constantly simmering war with Lebanon.

Contrary to popular misconception, Muslim violence is not a religious-based concept. It is the first option in dispute settlement, and has been for centuries. There have been genocidal conflicts throughout history and in other parts of the world today. No example of tribal warfare can rival the level, consistency and duration of Muslim-on-Muslim violence.

One is not likely to find another example were religious tenets are so frequently and so effectively used to justify blood baths. While some have abused and distorted religious doctrine to perform hideous deeds (Hitler, the Crusades and the Ku Klux Klan come to mind), rarely is any such violence truly encouraged or justified by dogma.

The turbulence in the Middle East is not the product of religious differences. It is not about oil. It is not about ancient land rights. It is about a culture of violence and terrorism for its own sake. The events of the world only provide the pretext.

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