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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."

Rohingya refugees on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border

“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.

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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.”

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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.

The late Samuel Huntington

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:

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Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

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