October 26, 2010

Religion and Politics: A Volatile Mixture

This week in the news everyone is talking about the termination of Juan Williams from NPRǂ. I am no big fan of Juan Williams but one can certainly understand his concerns when flying with Muslims. I personally don’t think the man should have been terminated from his position with NPR just because he said what everyone else thinks when on a flight with such individuals. Ever since September 11th I think most people are in agreement when I say fanatical Muslims and aircraft are a volatile mixture.

It is sad that the actions of a few extremist Muslims has branded their faith as terrorists in the eyes of most Westerners. I on the other hand think it demonstrates how organized religions are continuing their roles as quintessential WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction). That right I said WMDs. You might ask, what are you talking about?

Well, let me explain. All through history I think it can be argued that whenever the powerful want to eliminate their enemies or take over resources from another person one of their tools is religion. It is a conscience decision that Political leaders bang on the drum of religion to stir the blood of otherwise docile people and get them to do unspeakable harm.

It has always seemed easy to get the Christians to attack the Muslims and vise versa throughout history with this tactic. Just look at the Crusades. During the Crusades armed pilgrimages intended to liberate Jerusalem from Muslim control. Jerusalem was part of the Muslim possessions won during a rapid military expansion in the 7th century through the Near East, Northern Africa, and Anatolia (in modern Turkey). The first Crusade was preached by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095 in response to a request from the Byzantine emperor, Alexios I Komnenos for aid against further advancement. At the time Europe had a population explosion and need to expand. The Muslims were in their way and also expanding so they had to go. Plus there was wealth and plunder to be had in the Middle East. Now not to be out done in hatred the Muslims attacked America on 9/11, Britain on 7/7, and Spain on 3/11 all in the name of god and for all the same reasons.

Who knows maybe without all the political intervention it may have been acceptable for each of these otherwise peaceful faiths to live side by side in harmony but their leaders are never willing to share their power with each other. So they got their followers to demonize each other in the hopes of eradicating the other faith. It doesn’t take a genius to soon realize that no matter how much violence is heaped upon the other side you just can’t simply destroy one’s beliefs.

It is obvious that God has little to do with any of these attacks be it Muslim or Christian who instigated it. It has everything to do with political power and faith is the tool of choice. It is always the same story just different characters.

It begs the question why does anyone need religion in the first place? Can’t we all just worship God in our own way without all the silly rules and dogmas? Are we not just setting ourselves up as pawns in the game of world political chess when we follow these so called leaders of faith?

ǂ The Juan Williams Story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/21/juan-williams-fired-npr_n_770901.html

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