Sunday, February 12, 2006

A very good opinion piece, and an interesting point about the leadership of the security council

There is an excellent opinion piece (link) that really does focus on the mindset and cultural differences that are boiling under this mess.

A quote:

The cartoons did not cause the disease of hate that we are seeing in the Muslim world on our television screens at night - they are only a symptom of a far greater disease.

Such a true statment. Hatred is best described as a disease. One of my favorite depictions of Christ is as Divine Physician. Not only for physical problems, but for the diseases of hatred and fear.

In school in Gaza, I learned hate, vengeance and retaliation. Peace was never an option, as it was considered a sign of defeat and weakness.

They said: "May God destroy the infidels and the Jews, the enemies of God. We are not to befriend them or make treaties with them." We heard worshippers respond "Amen".

My friend looked scared; I was ashamed. That was when I first realised that something was very wrong in the way my religion was taught and practised. Sadly, the way I was raised was not unique.

The above quote speaks for itself. It runs counter to the western perception that the fundamentalists are "only a few compared to the vast number of Muslims." This may have been true, but they are the ones who run the shcools and the governments. Eventually, after so many years, they have spread the cancer of hatred very far.

The next passage is something I did not know. But it brings into perspective the questions of why was there no outcry when the cartoons were published originally. Why did no one care when they were published in October in Egypt. I do not usually go in for conspiracies, but this statement of fact brings the motives of Iran and Syria into even greater question:

Indeed, with Denmark set to assume the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, the flames of the cartoon controversy have been fanned by Iran and Syria. This is critical since the International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to refer Iran to the Security Council and demand sanctions. At the same time, Syria is under scrutiny for its actions in Lebanon. Both Iran and Syria cynically want to embarrass the Danes to achieve their dangerous goals.

It is summed up very well:

Is it any surprise that after decades of indoctrination in a culture of hate, that people actually do hate? Arab society has created a system of relying on fear of a common enemy. It's a system that has brought them much-needed unity, cohesion and compliance in a region ravaged by tribal feuds, instability, violence, and selfish corruption. So Arab leaders blame Jews and Christians rather than provide good schools, roads, hospitals, housing, jobs, or hope to their people.

For 30 years I lived inside this war zone of oppressive dictatorships and police states. Citizens competed to appease and glorify their dictators, but they looked the other way when Muslims tortured and terrorised other Muslims. I witnessed honour killings of girls, oppression of women, female genital mutilation, polygamy and its devastating effect on family relations. All of this is destroying the Muslim faith from within.

It's time for Arabs and Muslims to stand up for their families. We must stop allowing our leaders to use the West and Israel as an excuse to distract from their own failed leadership and their citizens' lack of freedoms. It's time to stop allowing Arab leaders to complain about cartoons while turning a blind eye to people who defame Islam by holding Korans in one hand while murdering innocent people with the other.

Muslims need jobs - not jihad. Apologies about cartoons will not solve the problems. What is needed is hope and not hate. Unless we recognise that the culture of hate is the true root of the riots surrounding this cartoon controversy, this violent overreaction will only be the start of a clash of civilis-ations that the world cannot bear.

I can not add any insight to the above passage. It comes from the writers personal knowledge and experiences. But, to me, it is right on the mark.

I pray that the cancer of hatred is removed from all of our hearts. May Christ, the Divine Physician bring health to our souls.

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