To those who believe that what’s happening in that boiling and tumultuous region, known as the Middle East, is nothing but the repercussions of an old unsettled business.. One that ‘History’ baptised “The Crusades”; to them I say that the appearances may seem perfectly symmetric, but only in one single aspect: the use of religion as an accelerating factor to ignite larger fires, more difficult to tame and much longer to last. So let us agree to what we know in that regard, before jumping to some quick conclusions which could lead us to the wrong decisions. Five successive generations have already had their share of that.. Hasty wrong decisions I mean.
The Colonial campaigns – known as Crusades - were fought mainly by Roman Catholic forces against Muslims for a mixture of religious, economic, and political reasons; and they have produced far-reaching political, economic, and social impacts, some of which have lasted into contemporary times.
The immediate cause of the First Crusade was the appeal of the Byzantine emperor ‘Alexios I’ to Pope ‘Urban II’* calling for mercenaries to help him resist Muslim advances into territory of the Byzantine Empire. In 1071, at the Battle of Manzikert, the Byzantine Empire was defeated, which led to the loss of all of Asia Minor.
And that is what History keeps telling us. But today, I fear that the drums of another “Holy War against the Infidel” are once again beating loudly in either sides, the Christian as well as the Muslim.
Now that the Roman Catholic Church, having temporarily shelved the “Cultural Dialogue for Consolidation”; to thrive harder and unite with the Eastern Orthodox and other Christian churches to contain the tidal wave of conservative extremism, presented by a more radical right all over the Christian world, before resuming its intended Dialogue with Jewish and Muslim world; we observe that Western Geo-political aspirations dictate another agenda where dialogue was never a topic on its priority list. The agenda, as always, is set to: a) aggravate religious differences and use that to; b) stimulate cultural and sectarian adversities in order to; c) destabilise areas of strategic interest so that, d) armed conflicts become inevitable, and e) the immediate intervention would be a must. Under whichever name: Humanitarian Aids, Technical Assistance, Intelligence Gathering, Training, or simply “Protect our Nationals working and living there”. Anything except the truth.. That it’s all about “Possession and Control of RESOURCES”.
In both sides, the matter was never, and will never be, Faith or Religion.. Not even to ensure Justice.. It’s only about power. And Religion alas is only a perfect cover-up.. A pretext.. An incentive.. A motivation.. Nothing more. Just look at this figure (representing the “Nations where Christians are menaced or persecuted and haunted”) to realise how media use misinformation techniques to mobilise the lazy and unaware public opinion to doubt and fear the “Muslim Next Door” who’d soon be turned into the “Terrorist Next Door”.
But then, I have to admit that the root cause of such a permanent incurable “Chronic Hang-Over” is the only expected result of man’s persistence on getting drunk of an ancient heavy blend made from emotional judgement seasoned with ignorance mixed with poverty all shaken well then aged in old tribal cult casks by a shrewd Bartender who’d carefully pour it inside the Indifference Cup. Cheer up and raise your glasses, you’re most welcome at the Globalisation Bar open 24 hours 365 days.
Right or wrong, sacred or profane, the conflict is decided and is on.. Just take a look at the head-lines of the press in any camp: Christian, Muslim or Jewish; in West or in the East, North or South.. You’ll find an aggravated exchange of the exact same words here and there.. Terms like: Infidels, Holy War, Devil Worshipers, Apostles of Satan, Criminals, Assassins, Terrorists, Good vs. Evil, Hell, Paradise…etc. Both demanding “Plenary Indulgence” and promising an eternal infinite life in Paradise.
I say that those who believe and follow such ‘Propaganda’ (whether Jews, Muslims or Christians) may have read their “Holy Book” or even recite them in full blindly; but haven’t understood a single syllable of their teachings. And because only the “Merchants of the Temple” are the ones collecting gains out of war, better a Holy one; as long as they keep blowing strong gusts of hate over its fires. But your son and my nephew will aliment these fires burning under the crucible of that boiling hate.
Can’t we all have some time to take a closer and wiser look into our BOOKS, and try to really understand what Allah actually expects from us; instead of cancelling our brains and lending emotionally our ears to a handful of unscrupulous ‘Pastors’ preaching prejudice, hate, intolerance and exclusion of the ‘Other’!! And for what? Not for the Eternal Paradise, but for Oil, Gas, Water, Diamond, Uranium, Food, Power, Territory…Etc.
Believe me, your son and my nephew will not have a share in any of those.
· When two forces grow strong, their conflict is inevitable..
· When a Catholic Hitler, preaching his “Aryan Supremacy” above every other race or belief, forced his Reich over Europe, and aimed at the rest of the world to become his Empire, he called it sacred to pursue Evil; but no one called his mad slaughter “Conflict of Cultures”.
· When the Soviet American 40 years power race was named “Cold War”; though apparently it seemed a confrontation of the Western Roman Catholic before the Eastern Byzantine Orthodox doctrines; not a single historian, scholar or analyst referred to it as an ideological or a religious struggle.
· But whenever, throughout many human civilisation’s life cycles, the Arabs (or any population in Africa or Asia) got strong enough to reach higher helms than Western expectations (in arms, in science, philosophy, resources, culture, politics…etc.) or possessed larger fortunes; the war drums beats got stronger, and the blood spelled filled wide green valleys creating large crimson lakes breeding pain and cultivating hate, thus corroding the banks of faith and drowning reason. And of course religion, belief and faith will remain the centre-stage protagonists smartly exhibited under blinding bright spot lights, just to keep anything else hidden in the shadow.
Name it as you wish, but be certain that all of that is, and will always remain, nothing else but the old Western Empires’ Geo-Political Hegemony race, triggering an emotionally volatile Oriental reactions.
Otherwise why Hate Crimes are punishable in every Penal Code, and Hate Wars aren’t??
Extracted From: The Utility of Islamic Imagery in the West (Part 2 of 4) Author: J.A. Progler