Is religion responsible for the world's violence?
As conflicts rage within Nigeria, Iran, Sudan, Pakistan and on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, we are reminded of the late Samuel Huntington's observation about the world's "bloody borders."
BY: Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
few details about the life and teachings of Baha’u'llah, the prophet founder of the Baha’i faith.”
In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a frequent target of Islamist terror are the Ahmadis, a religious sect which claims to be Islamic, but which is rejected as heretical by Muslim fundamentalists. Qasim Rashid for the Huffington Post describes a recent attack on an Ahmadi mosque: “Out of the silent night, two men moved swiftly through the mosque’s front gate. Magazines loaded and safeties off, one stopped at the front door, the other proceeded through. All that separated a fully loaded Kalashnikov in the hands of a madman from 50 innocent worshippers was a straw curtain that hung helplessly in the doorway.”
Opening fire, the gunmen killed eight and injured 20. Rashid tells how after the massacre, “I listened silently as Yusef related the events in his hometown of Mong, Pakistan. The 50 innocent worshipers were Ahmadi Muslims. In Pakistan, Ahmadi Muslims are nothing more than ‘the Wrong Kind of Muslims,’ and therefore declared worthy of death.”
And trouble is brewing on the former India-Burma frontier. “Running north to south along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border, a forgotten ethnic minority group of the modern world – the Rohingya – are dying by the thousands,” reads a call to action printed worldwide in such newspapers as the Malaysia Sun Daily and on websites across the globe in the last week.
“According to witnesses, hundreds have been turned away by authorities in neighboring Bangladesh after attempting to flee the fighting in Myanmar,” writes Azril Mohd Amin, the vice president of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia. “The Rohingya are Muslims and have never been granted citizenship or any other right by the Buddhist Myanmars, who don’t want them and have always tried to force them over to Bangladesh.”
What follows is a justification for armed action against Myanmar’s Buddhists that is far too reminiscent of Hitler’s reasons for invading Poland and Czechoslovakia, sparking World War II. He was “protecting” German-speakers in both countries.
Amin acknowledges that what is going on in Myanmar is part of a worldwide phenomenon – the persistent, violent confrontation of Islam against its non-Muslim neighbors: “Aside from the spiritual clash which marks so many other ‘bloody’ borders (as Samuel Huntington calls them), there seems to be no possible reconciliation between the monotheists and polytheists of the world. The polytheists hold the money while the monotheists suffer untold miseries arising from lack of economic as well as educational equity.”
Muslims consider themselves monotheists, believers in one god, Allah. They accuse Christians of being polytheists or believers in multiple gods because of the doctrine of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
“Bloody borders” was coined by the late Huntington in a 1993 article “The Clash of Civilizations?” in Foreigns Affairs magazine. He elaborated in his book The Clash of Civilizations and The Remaking of World Order. Here’s a quote from the article:
“The interactions between civilizations vary greatly in the extent to which they are likely to be characterized by violence. Economic competition clearly predominates between the American and European subcivilizations of the West and between both of them and Japan. On the Eurasian continent, however, the proliferation of ethnic conflict, epitomized at the extreme in ‘ethnic cleansing,’ has not been totally random. It has been most frequent and most violent between groups belonging to different civilizations. In Eurasia the great historic fault lines between civilizations are once more aflame.
“This is particularly true along the boundaries of the crescent-shaped Islamic bloc of nations from the bulge of Africa to central Asia. Violence also occurs between Muslims, on the one hand, and Orthodox Serbs in the Balkans, Jews in Israel, Hindus in India, Buddhists in