One year ago the first bombs were dropped on Iraq. It is estimated that some 10.000 Iraqi civilians died during the bombings but official numbers have never been mentioned. It was believed that people need a damn good reason to initiate a war today. But belief is an unstable thing.
Terrorists have invaded the country. Universities and museums have been raided. Power and water supply is rare. People get used to the daily bombings. And yearn for "a powerful leader". Which the Shiits are planning to install.
American officials may enter the country only secretely, announcing their presence when they're already back home. Over 100.000 soldiers cannot secure the country. After months of intensive search no WMDs have been found, sighted or heard of.
But who's counting.
Allah, Kyrios, Jahwe and the Bomb.
Maybe I have just read one article too many in which Islam is portrayed as the new world enemy. To be precise: the enemy of the so called West.
We are frequently told that we are faced with a new war of religions. Or cultures even. Judeo-Christian values against Islamistic values (side-note: the term Muslim has vanished somewhere along the way - everything seems to be Islamistic nowadays). The actual antagonism implied is freedom and democracy against totalitarism and terrorism. This view is not only short-sighted. It is plain foolish.
Let us remember the facts, shall we. Christianity has never been a guaranty for freedom and democracy. In fact, no religion has. When in doubt, feel free to consult your history books, the latest news on Christian extremist sects and Northern Ireland. The development of Western Europe is not an effect of its Christian belief, it is the direct consequence of a social and political process. The result was a new, a different orientation in religious matters: secularism. The correct description of the referred antagonism must therefore be: secularism vs. extremism.
To avoid confusion: secularism is not synonymous with atheism, agnosticism or materialism. Neither does it prefer any religion or belief. It is not a spiritual phenomenon but mental one. At its core lies a common wish for moderation and stability. In my opinion these are the only terms on which a society will be able to work peacefully.
The problem being the cause-and effect-loop. Secularism is the consequence
of a civilised society, not the other way round. Secularism cannot be taught, much less imposed upon others. Same goes for democracy. Imposed democracy is a contradiction in terms.
The popular portrait of the Islamistic threat is not entirely false, but nevertheless severely selective. Other terrorist groups like neo-fascists, fundamental Christians, ultra-nationalists represent the same quality of extremism. They might be inferior in quantity at the moment. But that should not keeps us from acknowledging the threat they pose.
Even though Islamistic terror is the prominent problem today, we must not forget that Muslims
are not extremists. They are not the enemy. And European Muslims are above all else: Europeans.
I do not trust religious people. They tend to do the right things for the wrong reasons.
Happy birthday, Albert...