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Musings and Meanderings

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Thoughts on Fundamentalism in general, and Islamic in particular

Of course what is being practiced by these fanatics in Iraq today is not Islam. I know you know that so don't think I'm preaching to you of course!

Through out time immorial individual or small groups of men have used the guise of their Religion to further their strictly political or power ends. These people have never represented the face of their true faith, but have always perverted it to gain their own ends. Alas in today's highly armed world, these small groups of fanatics are able to wreak ever increasing destruction, all while wrapping it up in the blanket of their fundamentalism.

Probably more than ever before in human history fanaticism threatens world peace and individual freedoms. I see no difference between the Islamic Fundamentalist who blows up Christians, the Judaic Fundamentalists who seize Palestinian's homes and property or the Christian Fundamentalist who kills "Abortion Doctors". Their degrees of damage to the social structure of their community or the world may vary, but their danger to the peaceful coexistence of peoples of different beliefs is identical.

What the solution is to this situation is of course the terrible question for today's world. Although it is patently obvious that as these groups come to the surface and begin their reigns of violence, they need to be nipped in the bud by the World Community, it seems also obvious to me that it will be a never ending battle unless the causes of these extremist views are ameliorated.

Of course each situation calls for different solutions, but much of the unrest in the world today is sadly and squarely on the shoulders of the Islamic world. It is no coincidence in my mind that it is the same Islamic world which on the whole experiences the most abject suffering and poverty in the world as well. As long as these conditions exist new generations of terrorists will always be coming to the fore.

I think it behooves the Western world to do what it can to reduce the horrible conditions that breed this sort of hate. This is not an alternative to hunting down and killing Fundamentalist Terrorists who threaten individual or world peace, but must be done in conjunction with it. Policies like this mean that Dictators like Saddam Hussein must be removed of course, but that there is a program in place to "win the peace". It means the Western world must once and for all take a stand on a Palestinian homeland and stop turning a blind eye to the the actions of the fundamentalist Zionists in Israel. It dictates that the Western World do everything in its power to help the poor lift themselves out of poverty in these countries.

I don't think this means handouts, I think it means giving a hand, be it economic development programs, educational programs or medical help. Actually all three are of equal need. When I speak of the Western World of course I mean not only the US but the EU, Nato and other "First World" alliances. One thing I do know, the US cannot do it alone, we don't have the resources nor the world standing.

I'm sure you are waiting for me to turn this into some sort of comment upon the present political situation. I do believe however that these problems are bigger than grubby US politics. I am fairly hopeful that you agree with most of my thoughts on this subject. For us to be able to possibly disagree upon which group of people would implement these types of policies best is what democracy is all about.

posted by Mike 11:02 PM


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The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind