Trump Is Right – Religious Radicals Are A Worldwide Scourge

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Source: Tweet by @No2ISIS

Donald Trump is absolutely wrong about all Muslims being radical and thus not fit to be trusted or allowed into the US. Rather this is calculated fear-mongering for his own political gain using the GOP Create Public Fear Playbook. Also Trump is using the other GOP Propaganda Trick, truthiness. Thus he includes just a small measure of truth [indeed a  small, virulent group of Islamic radicals are leading the Worldwide scourge of religious intolerance. The level of Muslim on Muslim and Muslim on non-Muslim terrorism is growing in ferocity – see just below] – and that glint of truth suffices for Trump as a justification for his draconian policies.

Most Americas, just like Dick Cheney, were until recently ignorant of the fundamental sectarian divide of Sunni-86% and Shia-14% of 1.6 billion Muslims [this is a must read link]. The divide is analogous to the Catholics versus Protestants in Christianity. Unfortunately there is great distrust between Sunni and Shia Muslims As a result in recent decades there has been increasing Muslim on Muslim conflict. In general, the consequences of religious conflict have been brutal over hundreds of years:

Religious War Death Tolls
Low Estimate High Estimate Event From To Religions involved % of  world population
3,000,000 11,500,000[14] Thirty Years’ War 1618 1648 Protestants and Catholics 0.5%–2.1%
2,000,000 4,000,000[15] French Wars of Religion 1562 1598 Protestants and Catholics 0.4%–0.8%
1,000,000[16] 2,000,000 Second Sudanese Civil War 1983 2005 Muslim and Christian 0.02%
1,000,000[17] 3,000,000[18] Crusades 1095 1291 Muslim and Christian 0.3%–2.3%
1,250,000 1,500,000 Iran -Iraq War 1980 1988 Muslim Sunni & Muslim Shiite  0.02%
143,000 340,000 Syrian Civil War 2010 ongoing Muslim Sunni & Muslim Shiite  0.006%
130,000[19] 250,000 Lebanese Civil War 1975 1990 Muslim Sunni & Shiite+Christian 0.005%

And to this list one could add the ongoing deadly religious conflicts occurring now in Burma [Buddhists vs Muslims], India [Hindus vs Muslims], Northern Ireland [Christian vs Protestants], Philippines [Muslims vs Christians], Indonesia [Muslims vs Muslims vs Christians], Palestine [Muslim vs Jews] etc. So religion as much as economic conditions or ethnic rivalries is a key cause  of  world strife and terrorism.

But Donald Trump Is Partly  Right About Religious Radicals

What is fueling the increased terrorism and conflict in modern times are religious radicals. And remarkably, US and Developed nations denial and cover-up of the religious radical’s role in terrorism has fostered their growth. These radical  religious groups can be  a minority in the population like the Orthodox Jews whose intransigent views are paralyzing any Palestinian-Jewish settlement. Or the Shia -Alawites 13% minority ruling class in Syria whose leader,  President Bassshar AlAssad, is destroying the country in a beastly civil war.

But perhaps the most dangerous Western  denial, is the role of Saudi Arabian based Sunni-Wahhabism. Their ultraconservative  Islamic beliefs are spreading terrorism throughout the Mideast and the World. The Saudis, awash in oil money, have financed  Wahabi radicals such as Osama bin Laden, various al’Qaeda affiliates, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan,  ISIS in Syria and Iraq.Using  complex funding networks. the Saudis finance thousands of mosques and madrassas where Wahhabi extremism are taught. And because Wahhabism condones takfir [a  Muslim who excommunicates other Muslims, or accuses them of apostasy] and jihad [has 2 meanings: 1)a personal struggle to maintain disciplined devotion to Islam; but more ominously  2) a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty against infidels ] – the result has been brutal acts of terrorist slaughter.  These terrorist attacks and broader jihad campaigns result in  both Muslim on Muslim  and Muslim on  infidels.mass killings throughout the world.

Saudis wash their hands of the responsibility of what their billions in funding has been used for. Thus, current King Salman of Saudia Arabia has declared  If there are those who change some work of charity into evil activities, then it is not the kingdom’s responsibility, nor its people, which helps its Arab and Muslim brothers around the world. ” And so in exchange for Saudi and Mid Eastern oil plus huge military contracts, the US and Europe have turned a blind eye towards a huge source of terrorist funding and theological support.

And so when Donald Trump demands that US ban all Muslims from entering the country until we know who is acceptable, there is just a glint of fact that would support his argument.

The Roots of Religious Radicalism

There are 6  major largely Western-created trends which are shaking the World to its core. Because these problems are often acute in Muslim countries they are a source of religious radicalism:

1)Relentlessly advancing automation, labor-cost cutting and job-out sourcing has devastated employment while creating huge pockets of 15-40% underemployment or outright unemployment in the Mideast,  North Africa, Southern and Eastern Europe, plus areas of South America and Asia.  As wages stagnate and government benefits face constant cutback, whole segments of societies, primarily among youth, have no steady incomes or ways of making a living;
2)Yet the executives and investors engendering these harsh economic  conditions on the working public are seeing their incomes balloon to new levels of income inequality. Thus the US phenomenon of  1% of the population controlling nearly 35% of all income is being repeated in  China, Russia, Brazil, India – all over the world;
3)The Economic turmoil of increasing magnitude and ferocity with the World-wide 2007-2009 Recession leaving countries throughout the world coping with wild currency fluctuations and huge wealth gaps awhile  the 1% elite class emerges with 50% or more of wealth in countries all over the world. These ultra wealthy oligarchs are often dictating government policies in countries throughout the world;
4)Already economically challenged, the inability of governments to cope with environmental and climate problems appears to confirm the sense that goverments are unable to handle ever more debilitating problems throughout the world. These conditions add more stress to daily public  life;
5)Unleashing technologies [ a third wave of artificial intelligence and computer automation which will further dumb down and outright eliminate jobs on an ever wider scale ] and social changes [ coping with the pace of change in urban life; the emergence of gay, lesbian and transgender rights; the rise of feminism and  womans rights in societies that have suppressed them are just a few contemporary social challenges ] that broad portions of global societies are unable to cope with;
6)The decline of religion worldwide has deprived  segments of the population of a source of support and  coping. Also as their cultural traditions are under attack, It also makes these members of society more susceptible to extremist religious views.

So given these economic and social conditions, it should not be a total surprise that both American and European youth as well as Muslim natives would embrace the end-times apocalyptic and vengeful visions of ISIS, the Taliban, AlQaeda, and other extremist radicals. What is the true travesty here is the simpleton solutions proposed by Donald Trump – “ban all Muslim travel to the US” or fellow GOP Presidential candidate Ted Cruz – “lets carpet bomb ISIS in Syria and Iraq”. These lowest common denominator policies by two leading GOP Presidential candidates not only indicates the Republican party does not measure up to Presidential standards but also the Party of No does not deserve its current  leadership position in both the Senate and the House.

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