Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1
RoofGardener

Religion, or Politics ?

40 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I've had this debate with several members in a variety of threads, and thought it might be interesting to give it its own ?

Note: I'm not intending this as a discussion on Religion per se (in the theological sense), but in terms of the driving force behind regional politics.

People... PLEASE don't turn this into an anti-Judaism or Anti-Islam thread. (I guess Christians and Hindu's can relax and open a bag of popcorn... :P ), or Orthanc will close it down faster than you can say Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysiliogogogoch !

Since Israel called itself into being, it has been in conflict with most of the surrounding nations. By this, I include Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen, Oman, Libya, and several other North-African and Arabian nations. Not simultaneously necessarily, and not continuously, but at some point or another. Many of these nations refuse to even recognise Isreal as a legal nation, and at least one is still nominally at war with it.

I believe that the driving force behind this animosity is not conventional politics, but rather religion. Specifically, Islam - or at least regional-specific interpretations thereof. Whilst all Abrahamic scriptures include elements of social law (e.g. telling us how to live, as opposed to just worship), the Islamic Sharia paradigm is the most pervasive of them all, and integrates into politics to a far greater sense than the other two. (Judaism and Christianity).

At the same time, Israel was created as a "Jewish State". Whilst secular, it has a strong Judaic character, and its Knesset is influenced far more strongly by Judaic scripture than - say - the Bible influences the UK Parliament, or Money influences the US Congress. (sorry.... couldn't resist :devil:)

I think that failure to understand this, and to factor it in, is a major reason why the West has so often been baffled at the outcome of peace negotiations.

I'll outline my reasoning... but I thought I'd pause for a bit for others to comment first ?

Edited by RoofGardener

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has Islam always had an antipathy to Judaism built into it? Hasn't Christianity rather adopted that as one of its basic principles until quite recent times? It may well be written that it is the only True way, and all others are infidels, but then, hasn't Christianity always insisted the same thing? Hasn't antipathy to Judaism been rather common whenever Jewish communities have existed in theoretically Christian nations? So if it is a basic principle of Islam that it must be hostile to Judaism, sadly it's not unique in that. So I think I'd still be stubborn and argue that antipathy to Israel is largely due to politics, and reasons that go back to Israel being planted out of the blue where it was one day, and displacing large numbers of people and setting up an aggressive, or perhaps aggressively defensive, military power right in the middle of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RoofGardener,

You are right.. Iron does not mix with clay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RoofGardener,

You are right.. Iron does not mix with clay.

? Is this some complicated geological metaphor?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is a little of both. The soldiers on the ground are doing it in the hopes of creating a religious state, but their leaders and backers are doing it for political control of the region.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is a little of both. The soldiers on the ground are doing it in the hopes of creating a religious state, but their leaders and backers are doing it for political control of the region.

that's so often the way, isn't it. Motivate the cannon fodder by spinning them some yarn about doing it for Freedom, or God, or their Country ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Read 'War is a Racket' by gen. Smedley Butler

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Religion is how the elite and powerful get the poor to fight and die in their turf wars. There is also you can't make money off bombs unless you use them. Arm both sides and it is an endless cash cow. War is a racket is the truth. There is no money in peace.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, there is money to be made during peace. It's called trade. But I hear what you're saying GreenmansGod. The wars and it's profits enrich the military industrial complex. It's a clear example of the broken glass fallacy.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Gardener, this should be a good thread. I noticed you and Yam do not think that religion is all that much a part of it.

This is where you two will be opposing me all the way through. What I am posting tonight is only a beginning, I have other material I will bring into this thread.

Start with the partition. Do you know why the whole Palestine region was divvied up so hodge-podge?

It was *all* about religion. Jews and Muslims had specific holy ground and holy sites they wanted.

Secondly, and I know this will get Gardener's blood pressure to rise, but....

What ISIS Muslim terrorists are doing right now is what Jewish terrorists were doing back in the 1940's right after WWII when some 700,000 European Jews came to Palestine. The were ridding thre land they wanted to steal of Muslims, for religious reasons.

You see in Iran how the people would prefer a more secular government but the heads of state, the most religious people, say "no", it will be a Muslim theocracy. It seems that that may be the case, too, with the Jews in Palestine The average Joel was likely a secular leaning type of person but if the leaders are strongly religious, then so be it! that is how the Jews all go.

I have more to post, will do it further into the thread.

'peace, love dove' (Carlin)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oooops - sorry for the delay in responding folks - I've been off with an eye infection.

Well, my thinking was that - back in 1948 - it WAS pretty much a conventional political war, based on land, and perhaps a rejection of Western colonialism. Many of the nations involved had just emerged from British or French rule, and where deeply suspicious of 'The West', especially in the light of the emergent oilfields in the region.

In addition, I would have thought that the creation of Israel (based, as it was, on the original "Balfour Decleration") would have been seen as Western Interference.

There was a tentative agreement between the nascent state of Israel, and Jordan, to allow Jordan to take over those area's allocated to an 'Arab State' by the UN Resolution 181. Both Egypt and Syria objected to this, and wanted some of those territories for themselves. The phillosophy of Pan Arab Nationalism was gathering momentum in Syria and Jordan. So there was a simmering cauldron of resentment against the creation of the new Israel, leading to the general Arab League attack in 1948. However, I don't recall religion being a particularly heavily cited motivation for the action.

With the formation of the PLO, I think things started to change. Yasser Arafat led the largest contingent within the PLO - the Fatah party. He had always rejected alignment with other Arab nations, preferring that the PLO be a specifically Palestinian operation. Now, Fatah had always been heavily influenced by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, wich espoused that Islam be the core of society. Arafat never joined the brotherhood, but fought alongside them, and was certainly exposed to their phillosophies. His two closest aids within FATAH where full members of the Brotherhood. So we see a PLO that is somewhat less influenced by external nations, and somewhat influenced by the Brotherhood.

Winding forwards to recent times; the most prominent group within the palestinian national authority is no longer Fatah, but HAMAS. This group is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, and is entirely dedicated to a strictly Islamist world viewpoint, with Islam forming the basis for all laws, organisation, and even strategy. HAMAS states this openly and without prevarication in its constitution.

We also have Hezbollah, though this group has been muted somewhat since being badly hurt in the last Lebannon incursion. The word "Hezbollah" means "Party of God" ... enough said, methinks ?

So, in a very brief nutshell, this is why I think that religion is currently the driving force behind the conflict against Israel. Any attempts at peace negotiations have to take this into account, or they are doomed to misunderstanding the motivations of one of the parties to the negotiations; which is a surefire path to failure.

OK... thats just the Palestinian/Arab/Muslim side ... I'll post about the Jewish Israeli side once my eyes stop hurting again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to see you back, Gardener, I hope to get home today from a bout of pneumonia in hospital.

I thought this thread was deleted, i must have missed it. be back to it today, later

PS: had to say something here, it got pretty sad when the lead thread in the Middle East boards was LOCKED :--) We need another war LOL

Edited by Earl.Of.Trumps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

International Law doesn't exist so the mess in the ME must be due to anarchy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Winding forwards to recent times; the most prominent group within the palestinian national authority is no longer Fatah, but HAMAS. This group is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, and is entirely dedicated to a strictly Islamist world viewpoint, with Islam forming the basis for all laws, organisation, and even strategy. HAMAS states this openly and without prevarication in its constitution.

Really?! I thought the PA was the most prominent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

International Law doesn't exist so the mess in the ME must be due to anarchy.

Hey, Black Red Devil, I agree with you 100%. Not enforcing laws is as good as saying you have no laws, which creates CHAOS.

Many times in these ME boards I have bothered to Point out that the UN is to blame for a lot of this ME chaos for over 65 years. The UN had two choices many years ago, PEACE by law enforcement, or allow for whatever Middle East that Israel creates.

c'est levie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oooops - sorry for the delay in responding folks - I've been off with an eye infection.

Well, my thinking was that - back in 1948 - it WAS pretty much a conventional political war, based on land, and perhaps a rejection of Western colonialism. Many of the nations involved had just emerged from British or French rule, and where deeply suspicious of 'The West', especially in the light of the emergent oilfields in the region.

In addition, I would have thought that the creation of Israel (based, as it was, on the original "Balfour Decleration") would have been seen as Western Interference.

No, the majority of conflicts in the Levant were due to western interference (Iran and the Shia, the Iraq/Iran war) or bad management (Partition Plan). Particularly the Partition Plan where 7% of Jewish land owners got 56% of land after WWII. Up to WWI Jews only made up 2%. So Arabs rejected that a minority group be given the majority of the country. Wouldn't you?.

Edited by Black Red Devil
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To most in the ME boards, associating religion to events in the ME from the Muslim view is pretty straight forward - Jihad, Allahu Akbar, Muslim Theocracies, Caliphate, and so forth.

The problem is, most people do not realize that all of the Zionist movement starting in the early 20th century was indeed, predicated on religious beliefs, beliefs founded in the Bible and Tora, to wit:

http://www.prisonpla...0806Fascist.htm

In 1940, Avraham Stern, inspired by Jabotinsky, formed Irgun Zvai Leumi be-Yisrael, or simply Lehi, a terrorist group dedicated to killing not only officials and soldiers of British colonialism in Palestine, but anybody, regardless of race or religion (including Jews), who stood in the way of realizing a “homeland in the Land of Israel within the borders delineated in the Bible,” as Stern declared in his 18 Principles of Rebirth (see David Ohana’s Zarathustra in Jerusalem: Nietzsche and the “New Hebrews”).

........ This belief that the Bible allows Jews to take that which they want is, of course, an idea based in religion, which BTW, also includes Syria, Jordan, Cyprus, and S. Turkey (the Levant)

“Neither Jewish morality nor Jewish tradition can negate the use of terror as a means of battle,” an article published in a Lehi underground newspaper stated in 1943. “We are quite far from moral hesitations on the national battlefield. We see before us the command of the Torah, the most moral teaching in the world: Obliterate—until destruction. We are particularly far from this sort of hesitation in regard to an enemy whose moral perversion is admitted by all…. But primarily terror is part of our political battle under present conditions and its role is large and great.” In other words, as commanded in the Old Testament (the reference to “obliteration” is taken from Exodus 17:14 and Numbers 14:45), enemies should be destroyed completely and their “remembrance” blotted out for all history. Such mass murder and brutality, uncoupled from any moral restraint, “shakes the Yishuv [settlers] from their complacency” (see the Wikipedia entry on Lehi and the justification for terrorism).

------ Just as the Bible delineates which land Jews will garner to form Israel, the Tora acts as a guide as to how the Jewish actions to acquire land will be executed, - with ruthless abandon and total destruction, using terrorist actions.

"Hamas" kills three Yasheva students...? Israel responds by killing 301 Gazan children. Sound familiar?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Islam, there is no difference between politics and dogma. Islam has less to do with faith than it does with obeying commands in how to deal with others in all aspects of life. Admiral Rhubarb stated “Christianity rather adopted that as one of its basic principles until quite recent times?” but I’m going to expand that out in a broader sense. Christianity was originally about something far different. It was all about personal faith and respect of each other. It drastically changed from the early years of Christianity. I’ve pinpointed that change at two different points. The first one was the Romanization of the religion which took it from a personal faith to one of group compliance. Christianity was never about obeying or roast in Hell but that’s what happened. The next change came during the Umayyad Conquest of Iberia when Christianity and Islam began to have contact with each other. In order to adapt and overcome the invasion, Christianity had to take on Islamic characteristics. That fully turned Christianity into a military order rather than a faith. Charlemagne would later use this Religo-Military Complex to unify Europe which kept Islam at bay. This was definitely a mixed blessing. But it took the Reformation to cause the pendulum from going much further. Faith began to find enlightenment among pockets like our Founding Fathers. They rebelled against the course that the current dogma led. Today, that enlightenment is rediscovering its roots in the original message of Christ.

I think that it is this history that has muddied the reasons. Most people, especially those in the West, still consider the conflict to be strictly about land. In other threads, I have shown that it is not or at least not the primary reason. If Israel did not exist, there would be no Palestine. The neighbors would have incorporated their claims. Lebanon would claim at least Acre/Haifa. Syria would claim the Golan Heights and Galilee. Jordan would claim the west Bank including Jerusalem. Egypt would claim Gaza and the Negev. That doesn’t leave much. And the Palestinian would be treated far worse at the hands of their brothers as what we saw during Black September. The Palestinian was considered Fellahin. A low, non-land owning class, laborer. They were perfect cannon fodder to expend against Israel and the real reason for the conflict.

Islam is a dualistic religion. It separates the world into two groups. One is that of humanity or the Ummah. The body of believers or dar al-Islam (House of Peace). And the other is anybody not Muslim, Kafir or dar al-Harb (House of War). That in itself speaks volumes. In the Judeo-Christian mindset, you have the Jew and Gentile but these are not as mutually exclusive. The Kafir is defined as one who creates mischief in the land and because of that, they should be killed to keep the peace. They are looked at as a rabid dog. In Islam, the major sin is “Shirk” or the practice of idolatry or the partnering of authority with Allah and Sharia law. Allah is the ultimate authority (secular and sectarian); there can be no Jesus or Yahweh. Even the US Constitution is incompatible with Sharia law.

Likewise, in Judeo-Christian theology, the first Commandment is “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” but that has more to do with denying the existence of GOD. Do we not respect all laws in this Country (that are not contrary to the essence of justice)? We see the influence of the Lawgivers on the frieze that lines the Supreme Court chambers (Hammurabi, Moses, Solon, Mohammad, Blackstone, etc). It’s easier for Christianity to accept that all religions have a shared origin and therefore a common core. When you hear people say that Islam is tolerant of others and is the religion of peace is deceptive. Depending on the situation, it may be covered by one or all of the terms Taqiya, Tawriya, Kitman, or Muruna. I won’t bother to go into the differences; you can do that on your own. The reality is that if you don’t live under Muslim dominance then there will be Hell to pay. This is not some anti-Islamic bash; this is what the religion is. This is its core. There is a difference between being critical of Islam and being biased against. This is being critical.

And this is the cornerstone to the conflict between Palestinian and Israeli. Israel is an abomination in the eyes of Islam. Hence the basis for Article 7 of the Hamas Covenant, otherwise, why would that article exist? This is also the basis for what ISIS is doing to minorities in Syria and Iraq. This is not radical theology; it is a fundamental building block. The fabricated claim of the Palestinian apologist that the Jews stole land or chased off the masses is but a distraction to the actual reasons. Bin Laden brings the same charges against the US in that we occupied Muslim land and that we rebel from the will of Allah. Many clerics believe that Andalucía was stolen, not paying attention to the fact that they stole it from the Visigoths. But others will say that it is not allowed for Muslims to try to regain lost land. If that is the case, then why does the Palestinian want Israel? It’s not the land, it’s the abomination known as Israel, Jew and regime alike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Gardener, this should be a good thread. I noticed you and Yam do not think that religion is all that much a part of it.

This is where you two will be opposing me all the way through. What I am posting tonight is only a beginning, I have other material I will bring into this thread.

Start with the partition. Do you know why the whole Palestine region was divvied up so hodge-podge?

It was *all* about religion. Jews and Muslims had specific holy ground and holy sites they wanted.

Umm.... I'm not so sure about that EoT. I thought it was a conscious effort by the British/UN to create local Arab and/or Jewish numeric majorities. If Holy Places had been a consideration, then the Jews would have been granted Jerusalem, and the Arabs would have been granted... well... nothing. Because there ARE no 'sacred' Muslim sites in the Levant.

Secondly, and I know this will get Gardener's blood pressure to rise, but....

What ISIS Muslim terrorists are doing right now is what Jewish terrorists were doing back in the 1940's right after WWII when some 700,000 European Jews came to Palestine. The were ridding thre land they wanted to steal of Muslims, for religious reasons.

I presume you ARE aware that in its brief year-and-a-half existence, ISIS has killed almost as many civilians in Iraq and Syria as there where palestinian civilians killed in the various Israeli conflicts and Infitada's since 1948 ? Moreover, ISIS has created a refugee crisis almost TWICE the size of the "Naqba" ? (currently 1.2 million refugees, and climbing, from ISIS actions alone).

I would suggest that your comparison of ISIS with Irgun and Lehi etc is mistaken..... by several orders of magnitude.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really?! I thought the PA was the most prominent

Ahhh... I was talking about factions within the PA. Fatah, HAMAS, and the PLO (itself a mosaic) are all components of the PA.

Actually... I've not quite said that correctly.

The PA is a sort of parliament. There are several political groupings within that parliament; HAMAS won the most votes in the last elections, and hence has the greatest nominal representation, though I gather it doesn't attend the parliament, prefering to spend its time occupying the Gaza Strip instead.

The next largest political grouping within the PA is Fatah. The Fatah party is also the largest - and dominant - component of the PLO. (The next two largest are the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, both of which are revolutionary Marxist/Communist groups.)

Do you remember the Peoples Judean Front sketch in Mont Python's Life of Brian ? Yup... they where taking the mickey out of the PLO, amongst other marxist splinter groups.

Not many people know that.

Now.... what WHERE we talking about.. ??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

funny. I thought PA was West Bank, and Hamas was Gaza

I guess I don't get out much :blush:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's Hamas' position vis-a-vis Isis, or as they're now known The Islamic State? Are they for them or against them? I suppose TIS would want to destroy Israel, everyone does after all, but are they allies of Hamas, or are Hamas far too weak and milquetoast* for them to be doing with?

* good old word, that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Umm.... I'm not so sure about that EoT. I thought it was a conscious effort by the British/UN to create local Arab and/or Jewish numeric majorities. If Holy Places had been a consideration, then the Jews would have been granted Jerusalem, and the Arabs would have been granted... well... nothing. Because there ARE no 'sacred' Muslim sites in the Levant.

Huh??? Like the dome of the rock, the wailing wall, Jerusalem is called - what, el Quds??? To Muslims this is 2nd in holiness next to Mecca. That is very holy land to all Muslims and they consider it occupied.

Come on, dude!

I presume you ARE aware that in its brief year-and-a-half existence, ISIS has killed almost as many civilians in Iraq and Syria as there where palestinian civilians killed in the various Israeli conflicts and Infitada's since 1948 ? Moreover, ISIS has created a refugee crisis almost TWICE the size of the "Naqba" ? (currently 1.2 million refugees, and climbing, from ISIS actions alone).

I would suggest that your comparison of ISIS with Irgun and Lehi etc is mistaken..... by several orders of magnitude.

It is true that Jews in Palestine were more interested in removing Muslims than killing them, granted. But the effect is similar.

Just something to think about... just where can one get these stats without them immediately being challenged, since you know the Jews in Israel are not going to let such figures out, and (almost) nobody from the west will listen to the Pals side of things, too.

Surely, pals who refused to be pushed out of Palestine were killed, so somehow, such people should be counted as much the victims as the Yaziddih in Kurdish lands. IMO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gardener, I will have to take it upon me to seek those stats out, as best I can.

you know ISIS has not really killed many people, not into the 10's of thousands, right?

we'll see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Umm.... I'm not so sure about that EoT. I thought it was a conscious effort by the British/UN to create local Arab and/or Jewish numeric majorities. If Holy Places had been a consideration, then the Jews would have been granted Jerusalem, and the Arabs would have been granted... well... nothing. Because there ARE no 'sacred' Muslim sites in the Levant.

Huh??? Like the dome of the rock, the wailing wall, Jerusalem is called - what, el Quds??? To Muslims this is 2nd in holiness next to Mecca. That is very holy land to all Muslims and they consider it occupied.

Well, RG is right in that the British tried to divvy things up via concentration of population. The Jews made the case that they should have Eilat, that’s why they got the Negev. Half of the Israeli partition was wasteland, not even the Palestinian wanted that. But EoT is right in that Haram al-Sharif is the 2nd holiest site in Islam. It was built on top of the Jewish holiest site in the typical Islamic tradition. Jerusalem was called Jerusalem long before el Quds.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.