As I See It: Walking a tightrope
As I reflect on the most recent events in the world it has become clear to me that too many people think we can show the world how strong and sensitive we are while trying to maintain our balance on a tightrope.
Instead of defining and defending our national interests and behavior on the basis of the solid foundation of right and wrong, we think we can have it all while risking nothing by feigning sensitivity. Our president can praise Muslims for "building the very fabric of our nation" and claiming they were in part responsible for "the core of our democracy," but that sure doesn't make it so. He and others want us to believe if only everyone understood how nice and inclusive we are, they would eagerly join us around the campfire, hold hands and sing Kumbaya.
That's so very wrong.
It is time to address all the people who profess to be Muslims and ask them who they support - the militant fringes of all their sects and the radical clerics who provide the justification for their inhuman/inhumane acts, or those who hold to the principles of their faith and wish to live in harmony with those of other beliefs.
We who are not Muslim do not have to make that choice; but they must.
I keep waiting for the Islamic voices of reason to loudly denounce the terrorists. I keep waiting for the Islamic voices of reason to speak out against the slaughter of Christians in an African shopping mall or the kidnapping of hundreds of young girls in another African country.
And where is the outcry over the recent stoning to death of a supposedly adulterous woman in Syria? I'm really fearful for the Christians and other non-Muslims in Iraq and other countries. I don't believe our limited air strikes will do much to stop the ISIS juggernaut - and another bloodbath of us infidels appears to be on the horizon.
Too many people would rather condemn Israel for its actions against Hamas in Gaza than to face the facts that Hamas and its supporters have called for the destruction of the Israeli State and is likely funded and supplied with all its weapons by Iran. The media has done a great job slanting the coverage to make Israel's actions appear totally disproportionate while ignoring the tunnels under the border between Israel and Gaza and the amount of explosives discovered in those tunnels that could have resulted in thousands of Israeli deaths.
The Muslim/Jewish conflicts have their root in the Book of Genesis in the Bible as Ishmael and Isaac are both offspring of Abraham - Ishmael is the son of Hagar, who was Sarah's slave. Hagar and Ishmael were banished by Abraham after Isaac was born of Sarah. The Jews (and Christians) recognize the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as the beginning of the 12 Tribes of Israel. The Muslims point to Father Abraham and Ishmael as part of the lineage of the Arab people.
The Crusades of the middle ages also didn't enhance the Christian/Muslim situation very much, although one needs to read all the historical sources to understand the true level of excesses on both sides.
In the modern day conflict, elements of a civil war, a war of tribes and clans, a war of religions, and a war of economic disparity are all present and are likely to be unresolved, unless and until enough people who wish to make - and keep - peace speak up loudly enough for their voices to be heard and followed.
But the conflict between Israel and the surrounding Muslim nations is simply a microcosm of the larger, and currently somewhat more subdued, conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims that will not stay that way forever.
Muslims have made many contributions in mathematics, science, the arts and culture in many parts of the world. But they do not stand out ahead of the crowd in any one area other than perhaps militancy.
And in one man's opinion, those who profess themselves to be peace-loving Muslims must make their feelings known loudly and clearly or we may eventually witness a national or worldwide conflict of Biblical proportions - no pun intended.
Well, that's the way I see it.