Should we blame Islam for today’s war?
War has prevailed from the moment humans beings stepped on earth. It has undoubtedly been an inevitable part of human life. Throughout the course of human history, the means and the purpose of war has been changing significantly.
In the primitive society, humans were engaged in physiological wars with each other. The wars were fought for food and survival. In the present age of industrialization, globalization of market and technology, where goods and services are in abundance, the physiological wars among humans have disappeared.
The human struggles are based on several issues; struggle for existence, domination and glory. All wars, be it in the past or present, were based on economic, political and intellectual issues. Victory of one side was the victory of their religion, ideology, civilization or culture.
Industrialization has revolutionized warfare making it distant from immediate human experience. Thus making it easier to engage in war a daily phenomenon. This has led to further bloodshed among humans. As we are well aware of the history of mankind, we know for a fact that war has always been a recurring problem of the civilizations that have existed over the years. War has dehumanized and debased human life, both psychologically and physically.
There is a huge debate on the burning issue of Islam and Muslims. Today’s wars and violence are usually associated with Islam and Muslims. Muslims are suspiciously looked at by many people across the globe. Muslims are labelled as terrorists and are accused of killing innocent men, women and children. The recurrent bombings and suicide blasts has been used to exemplify how ‘only Muslims’ indulge in spreading terror. Thus, almost all terrorist are allegedly associated to Muslims.
“Islam is regularly diagnosed as a cancer in the present times,” was a statement by General Michael Flynn. Even today, policymakers suggest that non-Westerners and non-white groups have not contributed to human civilization. The predominantly Christian country of Slovakia passed a law on 30th Nov, 2016 that effectively bans Islam as an officially recognized religion. In May, the Prime Minister Robert Fico proclaimed that “Islam has no place in Slovakia”. This clearly shows that Mr. Fico is under the (faulty) impression that Islam is a threat to Slovakia’s peace and that it will destabilize the nation’s security.
Craig Biddle published an article titled “The Evil of Whitewashing Islam” on the website “The Objective Standard”. Biddle explicitly expressed in his article that Islam is evil because it commands or condones murder, slavery, rape and so on. In other parts of his article he claims that Islam is the mother lode of evil intentions.
For all those who have been continuously blaming the Muslims and Islamic faith for today’s war, my answer to them is this: For the clear understanding of today’s war, it is essential to understand three things - first, human nature; second, world politics and finally, world history.
History has proved that it is only natural that once war and conflict sparks in one place, it spreads violence to other places. Even today, this notion holds true. Once a war is over, the next war begins and it has inherited something from the previous war. Similarly, the next generation will bear witness to the outcome of the present wars and will inherit today’s gruesome actions.
Many interpreters of world history have noted that the seeds of future are often sown in the past. Each new war is more brutal and involves more bloodshed than the previous one. If we turn the pages of history, we will find that a few centuries ago, one empire war led to another. After that, nation states were created. Then the war was among nation states, like the First World War. The First World War created the Second World War, and the Second World War created the Cold War. The Cold war period created the present war on terror. So, the present war and violence is the outcome of the Cold War.
The twentieth century claimed 170 million lives in the armed conflicts among humans. Were these people killed only by Muslims? Of course not. By any one particular religion? Obviously not. In fact, they were killed by people from various religions and ideological, political and economic leanings. They were killed by the larger world population which has often meekly watched, silently. It is humans who have waged wars against each other, driven by their despicable reasons and nonsensical justifications. They have become victims to their own invention, of modern weapons, which have claimed millions of lives in merely one century.
All humans are the same, irrespective of their religion. Carl Von Clausewitz, a Prussian career soldier (1780-1831), believed that the concept of war has always been dominant human thinking like rivalry, hatred, anger, revenge, interest, discrimination and pride that becomes the notion of war and wages one to kill a fellow being.
We are living in a world of injustice, not because of differences in religion, but due to the cultural and historical problems in humanity. Human history has been witness to innumerable occasions where humans have been oppressed and abused their own kind. We have been doing that in the present time and will continue to do it in the future as well. It would be wrong to say that the world was peaceful and prosperous before 2000 or 9/11 and the Islamic extremism suddenly sparked and destabilized the world peace in the 21st century.
Throughout history, there have been incidents of brutality. Some of the instances include The Spanish Iinquisition, The Holocaust, The European Anti-Semitism, The Cuban Ggenocida, The American Ggenocida, The Rwandan Genocide, The Vietnam War involving entire civilizations and geographic populations. The British Colonization in Asia and the Indian subcontinent, which took the lives of more than 15 million Indians. One must also not forget the nuclear bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The British concentration camps in Africa and the enslavement of black Africans is yet another example. Likewise, the ethnic ‘cleansing’ of Australia’s aboriginals, Vietnamese being subjected to phosphorous gas by the US, 200,000 killed in the Mexican caste war of Yutucan, and 40 millions of Russians killed by Stalin are a few other such cases. Thus, human beings have clearly suffered many atrocities.
Pride, fame, power, glory, and desire to be rich have been a constant reminder of what humans have been capable of. Everyone wants these elements at any cost. They spend their entire lives trying to achieve these things for their nation or religion or culture. When war is completely eliminated among human populations, only then will there be peace and prosperity. Then, will everyone live in complete harmony and love each other? To answer this question is beyond my capacity. The answer is utopian. But looking at the present phenomenon of war from a pragmatic approach, I think war will always be an integral part of human civilization; it is inevitable.
View expressed in this article are of the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Pajhwok’s editorial policy.