It was really interesting to watch the debate between Heidi Harris and Amy Goodman the other day on MSNBC’s hardball, re the subject (is Islam an evil/destructive doctrine?)
Heidi’s approach was the average stereotypical superficial and insulting to all Muslims and I quote her here saying:
“Killing in Islam has started soon after the death of Muhammad””I don’t deny that there are few good Muslims, but the majority of evildoers on earth comes from among Muslims”
“I agree with president bush that Islam is a fascist religion, and I am glad that he eventually said it”
But I was pleased and proud with the firm and moderate reply of Amy:
“To smear a whole nation or religion like this is racist and disgusting”
“Even though Timothy Mc Veigh was Christian, Heidi wouldn’t label him as a fascist Christian, he would be normally called a ‘criminal’”
I found these excerpts from the US media as an apt introduction to start this post with, which is not meant to defend the evildoers among Muslims (and I acknowledge here that there are such bad apples amongst them), however, it would be useful to understand the context from which such violent people emerge.
I am not going to be confined to the ‘Creativity Constraints’ aspect of this dialogue, because the subject has so many implications at the back of the minds of the people involved in it, and whether we like it or not, the correlation between Islam and Terror would always float to the surface.
Terror by its abstract meaning is violence, violence itself is a method which is devised by some parties to settle disputes, and as long as these disputes are unsettled, violence will still be an inevitable option.
The US administration realized after 9/11 that the “deterrence theory” is not working anymore, Bush tried to change his policies toward spreading democracy in the middle east, and toward changing the deplorable situation that many of the people in the ME are experiencing, the situation that is driving many of them to radicalize.
There has become a need to search for the root causes of the problems, the simple approach of controlling countries by subordinating its rulers is no longer a viable option.
What do people in this part of the world want?
What are their aspirations?
The answer is simple, their needs don’t differ from those of other human beings: decent living, freedom, human rights, and democracy.
These are all achievable objectives, and they are also the basic requisites to enrich the soil that nurtures creativity and human development.
It’s not impossible for the US to have good and healthy relationship with the Arab states, provided that all the unsettled disputes are settled.
The core source of problems in the Middle East is the Arab-Israeli dispute, and unless and until this issue is figured out, there will still be depressions and ‘constraints’.
The previous US administrations have done a good job of sponsoring peace talks between Arab states and Israel; this effort needs to be revived immediately.
- It is very knowledgeable and thoughtful gesture of you to mention how the humanity owes the Islamic civilization so many achievements, whether they are in algebra, math, philosophy, biology, or geography, and I must thank you for being fair and impartial with regards to history.
- Democratic elections in the Middle East don’t only take place in Iraq, Israel, and Turkey. They do take place in Palestine and Lebanon as well.
- The wealthiest person in India is an IT entrepreneur, and he’s a Muslim.
- The majority of populations in the developed state of Malaysia are Muslims.
Looking forward to hear from you soon, and it’s always a pleasure to have this calm and civilized discussion.