The only predictably accurate estimate of the future state of the Middle East would entail the shameful continuance of war and horrific bloodshed. Religious zealots, who seem to sprout up, like harmful weeds in the garden, foment and act as catalytic agents for holy war have, for many centuries, fanned the flames of hatred for apparently receptive audiences.
Recently, even those American citizens, usually given to non-enlightened, reductive solutions, have eschewed their usual military stance (“boots on the ground”) for the universally apparent reason that the only predictable outcome thereof would be the tragic loss of life and waste of treasury.
The totalitarian intolerance of alternate belief, propagated by such religious zealots, has become a seemingly permanent blemish on man’s historical record. It would virtually take a firm of efficient accountants to tally up the shameful number of contemporary lethal conflicts caused by religious intolerance, from Europe to Africa, Middle East to Asia, as well as elsewhere throughout the world.
It has become fashionable for right-thinking members of society to espouse the strategy of fighting evil ideology with the offer of better ideas; a commendable strategy respecting which no one has to date suggested any proposed ideas nor the logistics of their delivery.
One suggestion, contained in one of our earlier blogs, is to widely and effectively disseminate the apparent fact that the enormous number of refugees, desperately fleeing for their lives, from Syria and Iraq gives the lie to the propaganda of ISIS that it is building a Muslim paradise on Earth.
Recently in a T.V. interview by Charlie Rose, Tom Friedman, arguably the most brilliant, incisive and knowledgeable commentator on the subject of Political Science and world affairs, appeared to express significant frustration with the known fact that the 7th Century dispute as to whether the successor to the Prophet Mohammad is to be selected by vote or familial succession, is the underlying basis of the multi-centuries hatred and bloody war between the Shia and the Sunni Moslem people.
Yet the simple and too deadly cause is not (with profuse apologies to Tom Friedman) such things as the referenced debate. (See Blog #3)
As recounted in Blog#3, each individual acquires his culture and belief system by the mere accident of birth (as opposed to some expressed prenatal philosophical preference). The seeds for all religious and other conflicts are sown by the well-meaning parent with those traditional lessons on “we” and “they.” Once that destructive seed has germinated in the fertile soil of the child the stage is then effectively set for a bitter harvest of myth-making, evangelism and, ultimately, lethal conflict.
Ethnic and cultural differences ought to be intelligently and sensitively revealed in a worldly diverse context of “us” (mankind). The alternative future has been, sadly and consistently demonstrated by the hateful Shia-Sunni tragedy (which is not systemically founded on the specific dispute cited). -p.