Tag Archives: Islam and despotism

ISLAM and the myths of unity and peace

Islam and the Myths of Unity and Peace


By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent  – THE SEOUL TIMES

A Kurdish refugee holds her baby. The Kurds are an Ethnic-Iranian ethnolinguistic group mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan including adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey.

The so-called Islamic world is in crisis because many see enemies all over the place, be it democracy, Westernization, liberalism, socialism, and so forth. While alternative faiths are frowned upon, therefore, Christian and Buddhist missionaries must be aware for merely talking about your faith can mean either prison or death. Yet the real threat to Muslims and minority Muslim groups within various different nations is their fellow co-religionists, so why are outsiders hated so much when the real threat is Islam itself?

After all, since 1970 approximately 5 million Muslims have been killed by fellow Muslims, however, one mention of Israel, and we hear about the Muslim unity card. However, the real “Muslim unity card” is a non-starter and this applies to the very foundations of Islam itself because the majority of early Muslim caliphs were killed by Muslims. Therefore, the current situation is similar to the past because it is based on internal tensions and mutual hatreds which run deep.

The Kurds are a prime example because the majority of Kurdish people follow the Islamic faith, most are Sunni. Despite this, the Kurds, irrespective if Sunni or Shia, face persecution in modern day Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. The Kurds, ironically, have much greater freedoms in mainly Christian Armenia where a minority reside or throughout the European Union where many have fled because of persecution in the Middle East.

Therefore, the Kurds, the biggest stateless people in the world are marginalized and persecuted by fellow Muslims throughout the Middle East where they reside. Yet Muslims in the Middle East often speak-out for the Palestinian cause, however, the very same people often remain silent about the Kurdish cause. Therefore, it is clear that double standards are at play and Israel is a very easy scapegoat.

After all, look at recent history and the reality of the modern world. For since 1970 at least 5 million Muslims have been killed by their co-religionists on the grounds of Sunni-Shia divisions, ethnic tensions, political tensions, and other issues.

This applies to the Iran-Iraq war; the persecution of African Muslims in Darfur by the Arab Muslim dominated government in Khartoum; Kurdish persecution in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey (deaths have been a lot lower in Syria but persecution does take place); Pakistan-Bangladesh war; Algeria, Somalia, Syria (1982); Tajikistan; Yemen; and other nations. Also, roughly 150,000 Shia Muslims have been killed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, by Sunni Islamic fanatics.

Despite this reality we have world leaders like President Obama of America appealing to the so-called Muslim world for a fresh start. Yet surely an internal fresh start is needed first, however, it seems most unlikely because the spiral of hatred runs very deep.

Therefore, do Shia Muslims in America, France, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and other mainly non-Muslim nations reside in fear? Of course the answer is no. Yet Shia Muslims have been targeted in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and other nations, by Sunni Islamic zealots. Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia it is clear that Shia Muslims are second-class citizens because the Sunni elite do not believe in religious equality.

Then if we look at one Muslim branch, the Ahmadiyya’s, and the Bahai’s which is an offshoot from Islam (but an independent religion), it becomes apparent that internal Islamic hatred and persecution is strong. After all, the Bahai community in Iran and the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan, suffer enormous persecution.

Therefore, many Bahai’s and Ahmadiyya’s have fled both Iran and Pakistan respectively, but if either branches fled to Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, or other conservative Muslim nations, then they would suffer persecution once more. Given this, many Bahai’s and Ahmadiyya’s have fled to mainly non-Muslim nations because they have much greater freedom.

Then if we focus on al-Qaeda (al-Qaida) and Osama Bin Laden and fellow Sunni Islamic zealots, then we see a similar pattern. For when al-Qaeda emerged in Afghanistan they took their deadly sectarian ways with them and Shia Muslims were murdered in cold blood by forces loyal to al-Qaeda. The same happened when al-Qaeda entered the Iraqi civil war because once more they slaughtered Shia Muslims at will and moderate Sunni Muslim leaders were also killed by Sunni Muslim fanatics who had been brainwashed.

Given this, it is clear that Muslim unity is not only a sham but it is based on lies and sadly many elements within the mass media are ignoring this reality. Yet if Israel kills Palestinians in self-defence or during a military operation, then the usual mantra of Muslim brotherhood and Muslim persecution is raised.

However, the real reality is very different because the vast majority of Muslims who are killed throughout the world are killed by their co-religionists.
Therefore, the biggest persecutor of Muslims in the modern world is being done by their own co-religionists. At the same time, the deniers of democracy, religious freedom, female emancipation, and other important issues, are Muslim elites in many Muslim majority nations.

Also, it is abundantly clear that America and other nations are not anti-Muslim. After all, you have had three wars in Europe involving Muslims and Orthodox Christians in recent times. This applies to Cyprus, Bosnia, and Kosovo (Serbia), and every time America supported Islam against Orthodox Christianity. Just like America supported Indonesia despite countless massacres of Timorese people in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s.

However, when the Arab dominated regime in Khartoum, Sudan, was killing millions of mainly African Christians and Animists in southern Sudan did mainly Muslim nations enter Sudan to stop the bloodshed. Of course they did not and many African slaves in Sudan were sold internally but the outcry was very silent in the so-called Muslim world.

Despite everything, the President of America, Obama, is offering an “olive branch” but surely it should be the other way around. For in America people have the right to follow any religion they want or to have no religion. Yet in the land of Mecca and Medina (Saudi Arabia) you are not allowed to have one single Christian church, Buddhist temple, Hindu temple, or any other non-Muslim place of worship.

Therefore, what is the real agenda? Is it that Saudi Arabia can do whatever it likes because of their massive amounts of oil reserves? For this nation is spreading radical Sunni Islam to Afghanistan, Chechnya (Russian Federation), Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and many other nations, without any fear. Or is it that political correctness means we have to be pro-Islamic to show how nice we are, therefore, minority Muslim branches, Christians and other non-Muslims are allowed to be “lambs to the slaughter of Islam?” Or is it a mixture of both or collective amnesia?

Maybe I will always be in lament because Israel is the easy scapegoat and of course many Muslims appear to believe that they are victims. However, the real truth couldn’t be further away because the biggest threat to minority Muslim groups and to the freedom of Muslims, is being done in the name of Islam by either radical zealots or despotic rulers who invoke Sharia Islamic law in order to preserve their respective power bases.

The mass media should take a long look at itself and start to question the so-called House of Islam, Arab unity, Muslim brotherhood, and so forth. For Arab unity ignores both Arab disunity and the many non-Arab groups who reside in Arab dominated nations. While the House of Islam was divided within a short time of the death of Mohammed and Muslim brotherhood is based on unreality.



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ISLAM needs to be challenged by true democracy

Islam Needs to Be Challenged by True Democracy


By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent    –  THE SEOUL TIMES

Islamists pray at a mosque in Seoul.

In the distant past major democratic nations could blame the Cold War for supporting despots like Suharto in Indonesia and authoritarian nations like Saudi Arabia and a host of other nations. However, after the demise of the Cold War many people had genuine hope that a New World Order would arise from the ashes of political and ideological divisions. Therefore, democracy “in your own backyard” is no longer good enough because it leads to mass hypocrisy.

After all, is it right to lambast North Korea but remain quiet about Saudi Arabia? Let us be frank, when the President of America, Obama, visited Saudi Arabia then all his human rights credentials “were thrown out of the window.” For females and non-Muslims suffer greatly in Saudi Arabia and the same applies to the minority Shia Muslim community which suffers so greatly.

So how can Obama lambast North Korea but remain silent about Saudi Arabia? From a female point of view, then women in North Korea have much more rights than they do in Saudi Arabia. Also, the vast majority of people who were responsible for September 11th were Saudi nationals, and of course not one single North Korean was involved. Yet sadly “oil politics” does get in the way and this is the problem, either you have a consistent policy or you should remain quiet.

For North Korea, unlike Saudi Arabia, is a victim of outside nations because “old” Korea was a victim of Japanese imperialism and brutality, and then global power politics helped to divide the Korean peninsula. More recently, America remains firmly entrenched in South Korea and sadly both Korea’s have been victims of past outside history. However, can Saudi Arabia claim the same divisions of society on outside powers to the same extent? Obviously not, but despite this Saudi Arabia can get away with anything, including not building one single Christian church or Hindu temple to serve the migrant population.

More recently, we had President Obama making an emotional plea towards the so-called Muslim world but look at the two nations he decided to launch this fresh agenda. Yes, he went to Saudi Arabia, the land that kills all converts from Islam to Christianity and where Saudi women face severe restrictions. Then he gave his lecture in Egypt, a land where Coptic Christians suffer persecution and where the same leader governs with an “iron fist” year after year. So once more, democracy, religious liberty, equality, and so forth, is “thrown out of the window” and “democracy is on a backburner.”

The “New World Order” was meant to usher in a new period whereby communism was defeated and “the march of democracy” was going to flourish. However, the “New World Order” never got started because capitalist nations still desire to trade with important nations like China and Saudi Arabia, and a host of others, which are undemocratic.

However, in China it is clear that greater freedom is happening and this nation is opening-up because commerce and trade is deemed to be more important than a rigid ideology. So the China of Mao Zedong is long gone and the current leaders of the Chinese Communist Party are very mild when compared with past leaders in the 1950s and 1960s.

Yet when we focus on mainly Muslim nations, the picture is very different because unlike China, opening up is not on the agenda when it comes to greater freedom. Yes, you have some mainly Muslim nations which are democratic, for example Indonesia, Malaysia, Senegal, and Turkey. However, in Turkey you have the Kurdish issue and marginalization of religious minorities and in Indonesia you have Christian-Muslim tensions in parts of this nation and West Papua suffers greatly.

Despite this, you have many positives within the above mentioned nations yet sadly, when we look at the “bigger picture” then it is clear that religious minorities see little in the way of “true democracy.” After all, if a Muslim converts to Christianity, Buddhism, or any other faith, in Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and some other nations, then this crime is punishable by death.

Meanwhile, in nations like Bangladesh the mainly Buddhist tribals (some are Hindu or Christian) suffer enormous persecution and the same applies to Hindus within Bangladesh. In Pakistan, all minorities suffer at the hands of radical Sunni Muslim zealots and in so-called moderate nations like Egypt, it is clear that you have many anti-Christian laws when it comes to equality.

Also, thousands of women, and the numbers could be in the tens of thousands, are killed in the name of so-called honour every year. These so-called honour-killings mainly go unpunished or very light sentences are given. Therefore, it is clear that women suffer at the hands of conservative Islam and honour killings have now began to happen in Western nations by migrants who have maintained this barbaric tradition. Other non-Muslim societies are also blighted by this terrible crime against humanity, however, it is clear that in parts of the Middle East and other areas like Pakistan, that this problem is severe and for the majority of Islamic clerics they appear to be silent about this real and tragic issue.

So today we have a new leader in America who “is bending over backwards” to accommodate mainly Muslim nations. However, what about the rights of Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, women, Muslim minorities, secularists, socialists, and others, who suffer in so many mainly Muslim nations? How can change happen when no constraints are put on trade or via major international institutions?

Democracy in your own nation is fine, providing you do not try to lecture other nations about the virtue of democracy and providing you state clearly that the human rights of others do not count. Yet nations like America and the United Kingdom use “democracy” to bash North Korea but remain quiet when it comes to Saudi Arabia. This dual policy is sickening and based on “power politics” and self-interests.

Given this, democracy, religious freedom, gender equality and universal rights, are being hindered so conservative Islam can keep on persecuting their respective dhimmi communities. Therefore, the House of Islam is free to spread radical Islam while at the same time Islam can persecute and kill non-Muslims or Muslim minorities in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and other nations.

Therefore, I am ashamed by democratic nations which do not give two hoots about the rights of others in distant lands. Yet, the same democratic nations will use the “democratic card” to lambast weak nations like North Korea. So clearly America, the United Kingdom, and many other democracies, only use the democratic issue when it suits them but just like radical Islam, you can not switch democracy on or off.

So why is it correct to have democratic freedoms in Western societies and gender equality in Western law, when this criterion is not applied to other nations? Is this really what democracy means in America, the United Kingdom, and other nations?

The answer at the moment to this is clearly “yes.” And I am ashamed of such blatant “double standards” and surely human rights must be a universal right. What makes the situation even worse is that Western trade in nations like Saudi Arabia is vital for their economy and Western nations do have economic and political leverages at their disposal.

For example nations who welcome democracy, gender equality, religious freedom, and so on, should be brought into economic blocs and trade should be focused on these nations. In time both economic and political incentives will encourage greater democratization and this will help internal democratic movements or mere demands for greater human rights.

Of course I am not stating that this policy will work in every nation, or that it will eradicate all global problems in the world. Yet a “first step” needs to be taken and it is clear that this “step” must focus on the Islamic world in the main and other mainly non-Muslim nations like Myanmar which use persecution.

This may seem idealistic, and of course much research must be done to implement global policies with regards to economic blocs like the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement, and other important institutions, like the International Monetary Fund. Yet a policy of greater democratization needs to be implemented and a “New World Order” needs to begin.

Look at the consequences if this is not implemented. This applies to massive poverty, gender persecution, religious persecution, migration, civil wars, regional conflicts, terrorism, and countless other negative problems. Also, this upheaval does not only apply to far away lands, but to all nations, for September 11 proves that world problems are indeed great.

More important, isn’t democracy hollow if it only applies to internal democracy? For why should children, women, religious minorities, and so on, continue to suffer due to Western nations “turning a blind eye?” Surely democracy and universal human rights are more important than trade? So let us hope that political leaders will understand the need to change direction.

If not, then it is essential for voices which are”crying to be heard” in nations like Saudi Arabia to be met with genuine concerns in the West and not based on an economic agenda. If this means that lay people have to call for these demands, then get writing or demonstrating. For “silence” kills and allows persecution to continue.

The world now needs a “New World Order” based on democracy, liberty, freedom, religious freedom, gender equality, and so on. For don’t our fellow humans deserve equality in nations Saudi Arabia and any undemocratic nation, irrespective if they are mainly Muslim, mainly Buddhist, mainly Christian, or whatever? And isn’t democracy tainted when democratic nations openly trade with Saudi Arabia and countless other despotic nations?

Therefore, it is essential that the Obama way, the way of pandering and appeasement, is challenged because the global reality in many mainly Muslim nations is one of persecution or alienation, or both. Senegal, and a few others, are rare democratic nations within the Muslim dominated bloc, therefore, true democracy needs to challenge nations like Saudi Arabia but will this ever happen?



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