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Old 10-21-2019, 09:34 PM
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Is peace in the Middle East even possible when zealous fundamentalist religion is so dominant there?


Is the seemingly always ongoing conflict in the middle east fundamentally religious in nature?

This is no great insight but it's pretty clear that many Sunnis hate non-Sunni Muslims (and Jews), and many Shia Muslims hate the Sunnis (and Jews), but are okay with Alawites, but not so much the Druze and Bhai. And the Ismailis seem to be the Jews of the Islamic world. And that does not even begin to touch on some of the other related sects/religions in the region, e.g. Sufi, Yashedi, . . .

It seems today that even if Israel had never been established, there is enough religiously motivated hate in the middle east to guarantee ceaseless war regardless.

Is there any reason to expect such religious feuds and wars to ever end? Normally I suppose, you could say that with 'education' and especially by exposure to 'the other' in a successful integrated society, such things would gradually lessen. But so long as their societies are isolated, their people clustered in religious and ethnic enclaves, their temples kept separate in a region where the temple holds so much power, and when education is available primarily through religious instruction and access to other educational sources and resources such as the Internet are limited or banned outright, it seems unduly hopeful that things will change much.

One way to diminish the impact of militant religious tribalism might be to substitute another, secular, religion such as communism that could attract those of all faiths. To an extent, that was basically the approach used by Saddam Hussein (I think). But ultimately, it just provided another target, a more secular one, for certain religious and tribal fundamentalists.

Maybe it's this type of pessimism that appeals to Trump, Rand Paul, and others. 'Just let God sort them all out'.

Still, obviously, there is lotsa risk in leaving the region to its own devices and I am not advocating doing so. In addition to not providing a 'shining-city-on-the-hill' example to the locals, abandoning the middle east may make international export of religious zealotry and violence more likely, Israel could conceivably be more threatened and thus forced/duped into making unwise choices, and of course, the vacuum so formed by "The West's" leaving would likely be filled by 'less idealistic' states such as Russia or China (both of which, like the majority of middle east nations come to think of it, are getting close to embodying Orwell's "boot stamping on a human face - forever").

Anyway, is peace in the middle east ever possible when religion holds such much sway there? Would the region still not be at war with itself even if Israel had never come into being?

Or am I just stereotyping and generalizing on the basis of who and what gets media coverage?
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Old 10-22-2019, 04:13 AM
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A hopefully not-too-distant future will see widespread fusion power plants. Petroleum will be worthless as fuel and valuable only as a chemical feedstock. MidEast oil-fueled tyrannies can do whatever the merry fock they wish to each other; the rest of the world won't care.

I don't see religious ideologies as basic culprits. That honor goes to global warming, triggering agricultural crises leading to overthrows and civil wars from Indonesia to Turkey ca.1990-2010, and driving the refugee disasters with us now. Sectarianism shelters all sides, all classes, providing excuses. And we're nowhere near resolution.

Is MidEast peace possible? I'm surprised mushroom clouds haven't already blossomed over Jerusalem, Cairo, Riyadh, Damascas, Baghdad, Tehran.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:32 AM
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One possibility to consider is that maybe the Middle East and the Islamic world are basically where Europe was during the 16th and 17th (and even into the 18th) century. There were religious wars that tore the continent apart, repeatedly ravaging whole countries. Eventually, however, things calmed down wrt religion.

Perhaps the Middle East is going through something similar, except magnified as a lot of the conflict has more to do with the mish-mash of artificial countries and borders that were imposed on them by hamfisted Europeans who hadn't a clue or a care how things actually were, but just wanted the region as a resource box for themselves. My WAG on when things might calm down is when the artificial borders start to fall and the various peoples in the region are able to reconnect (like the Kurds, since they have been in the news so much lately).

I think peace IS possible. It's just taking longer than we thought...
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Old 10-22-2019, 04:44 PM
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One possibility to consider is that maybe the Middle East and the Islamic world are basically where Europe was during the 16th and 17th (and even into the 18th) century. There were religious wars that tore the continent apart, repeatedly ravaging whole countries. Eventually, however, things calmed down wrt religion.
Europe's (Counter)Reformation fights calmed a bit with colonization. (Luther's 95 theses came 25 years after Columbus sailed. Coincidence?) Those wars were cynically curious, with Catholic potentates hiring Prod armies and vice-versa. Religion was (and still is) usually a cover for greed. My sect deserves more than your filthy apostasy!

Sects, sects, sects - is that all monks ever think about?

Quote:
Perhaps the Middle East is going through something similar, except magnified as a lot of the conflict has more to do with the mish-mash of artificial countries and borders that were imposed on them by hamfisted Europeans who hadn't a clue or a care how things actually were, but just wanted the region as a resource box for themselves. My WAG on when things might calm down is when the artificial borders start to fall and the various peoples in the region are able to reconnect (like the Kurds, since they have been in the news so much lately).
Roman Catholicism was fairly unified and centralized, even across many realms. Protestant schisms reduced but didn't eliminate Vatican power. I don't see un-unified and un-centralized Islam staging a reformation but I can be very wrong. If/when fusion power renders petroleum a fairly minor commodity, MidEast borders and affiliations will sort-out unpredictably. Peacefully? Probably not.

Quote:
I think peace IS possible. It's just taking longer than we thought...
I think I've seen that phrase before.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
A hopefully not-too-distant future will see widespread fusion power plants. Petroleum will be worthless as fuel and valuable only as a chemical feedstock. MidEast oil-fueled tyrannies can do whatever the merry fock they wish to each other; the rest of the world won't care.
Poverty and violence, human suffering, will only serve to enhance the hold of religious fundamentalism (see: opiate of the people). I guess you could say that if they're poor they're powerless, but with modern asymmetric attacks, I'm not sure that holds anymore (see: 9/11).

The solution is integration with the rest of the world - to share ideas, hopes, respect, and tolerance . To see that the other is also a good person. But it's not gonna happen 'geographically' with foreseeable immigration trends (in both directions) and it seems that electronic liberation has ironically made it worse (in many cases).
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:58 PM
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Sects, sects, sects - is that all monks ever think about?
<.<

>.>

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