CHARLOTTE, NC, June 13, 2014 — There’s a new kid on the block in the Middle East known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).
A month or so ago, the new Islamist group was Boko Haram. July or August will bring create some new jihadist group. It is a never-ending pattern of hatred perpetuated by a medieval religion.
Some analysts claim that ISIS is so radical even al-Qaeda rejects them. Does that really matter? They all spring from the same root established by the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century.
Others try to point out that each country in the Middle East is different, therefore we must deal with each situation on an individual basis. That is only partly true.
Apples, pears, bananas, peaches and oranges are all different. They look different. They are shaped different. They taste different. They all have different colors. But they also ALL have one thing in common. They are ALL fruit.
The various factions in the Arab world come from a tribal desert heritage. True the Sunns and Shias are different. Hamas has different goals than al-Qaeda. The Taliban wants different things than Boko Haram. But they all spring from the same seed. They are all products of Islam.
And different though they may be, the ultimate goal is global supremacy for Muslims.
Journalists in the United States love to talk about how much the Islamists hate us. They do. But they hate not only us. They hate everything that is non-Muslim. Even among themselves, if one tribe is not Muslim enough they hate each other.
Leon Uris expressed it best in his novel “The Haj” when he wrote, “…before I was nine I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; and the tribe against the world. And all of us against the infidels.”
Later in the book, Dr. Nuri Mudhil says “…Islam is unable to live at peace with anyone. We Arabs are the worst. We can’t live with the world, and even more terrible, we can’t live with each other. In the end it will not be Arab against Jew but Arab against Arab.”
What is happening today in Iraq was predictable. It will happen in Afghanistan, too, once American boots leave the desert.
We are now witnessing the results of our failed policies in the region. Not just by the Obama administration, although they are aggravated by his weakness, and not the Bush administration before that, even though the war in Iraq was also misguided.
No, this is a Western problem. This is a lack of understanding that democracy cannot be established it in a land where church and state cannot be separated and where politics and religion are one in the same.
The innate goodness of the West to aid victims of horrendous human rights violations is a noble cause, but it cannot be won using Western values against a medieval mindset.
Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria and on and on may have all been tyrannical regimes that defied Western morality, but if we are unable to deal with Islamists through knowledge and understanding of their culture, then we are better off not to shed American blood for hopeless causes that never end.
It is a harsh reality, but the commitment must be total or not at all.
How profetic Uris was in a few simple paragraphs that summarize the scope of what we deal with today throughout the Middle East, “….every last Arab is a total prisoner of his society. The Arabs will never love you for what good you’ve brought them. They don’t really know how to love. But hate! Oh God, can they hate! And they have a deep, deep, deep resentment because you have jolted them from their delusion of grandeur and shown them for what they are – a decadent, savage people controlled by a religion that has stripped them of all human ambition,”
Uris continues, “This land bullied everyone who attempted to exist on it. So harsh, so brutalizing were the forces of nature that those people imprisoned upon it were convoluted into forming a society where cruelty was commonplace. One day our oil will be gone, along with our ability to blackmail. We have contributed nothing to human betterment for centuries, unless you consider the assassin and the terrorist as human gifts. The world will tell us to go to hell. We, who tried to humiliate the Jews, will find ourselves humiliated as the scum of the earth.”
Apologizing is not the answer. Trying to be “friends” does not work either. Negotiating is a waste of time.
Individual goals may be different, but the source of those goals is the same, an illiterate prophet who was a product of the same brutal mindset that pervades the Middle East today
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).
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