As stated earlier, I would like to repeat that I am not any good in international affairs, foreign policy and diplomacy etc nor am I or my country perfect but I want to write about a topic that is very sensitive. I am not writing this article after any research. This article contains my views about what I have been reading/watching in media regarding religious fundamentalism, terrorism and the war on it.
I have been closely following the U.S. war on terrorism and how it has remained an under achiever till now. I try to think very neutrally about the war but I still see this Christianity versus Islam concept in it.
After reading some excerpts from world history I learnt that this is not new. Confrontation of Christianity and Islam had plunged the Europe into a dark age. Crusades have been the bloodiest of battles ever fought for religion and lasted across centuries.
Then after many centuries, there was the abolition of Caliphate of Islam (in turkey after WW1) by the Allied forces. This had also led to a popular uprising in India in the form of Khilafat Movement (started by the brothers Shaukat Ali and Mohammed Ali, this movement marks an era of unprecedented cooperation between Muslims and Hindus in India)
Then there was the partition of India in which the same Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims massacred each other to pieces and raped each other to shame. Millions died in the name of religion.
Then we had the “USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan episode” which saw U.S. side with the Mujaheddin and forced Russia to turn back. I have learnt, that after this war U.S. should have gone back home as well but I guess they didn’t. The Muslim world (or Arabs) understood that on the pretext of helping them fight USSR, the American have gained a back door entry/solution to what the Russian as well as the Americans wanted:
A military presence in the Gulf Region
Irked by this, the soldiers who fought the Red Army used what U.S. has taught them, against the teacher: planning and executing highly sophisticated and coordinated strikes with reconnaissance and surveillance.
And today I stand here a couple of years into the war observing a series of events i.e. cartoons by a Danish artist that shook the world, statements by pope, Bush expecting a religious revolution in America and strong/retaliatory Muslim reactions to each of these event. Alright that’s my piece of mind regarding what I have been observing/reading. Now here is what I would suggest (again based on what I am reading/watching):
America and Allies
1. Pull out of Iraq and Middle East
2. Go home and strengthen your economy. The world cannot afford to have you guys fall apart.
3. Revamp your education. Do not depend completely on immigrants for your supply of engineers and let the wheel of innovation continue turning smoothly. You have been driving it well and you need to continue with the same or better still, enhanced vigor.
4. Set and example for the world. Switch to green and renewable sources of energy. You will automatically stab terrorism in the heart if you do this. (based on Thomas Friedman’s column in NY times)
1. Kings must give way to the people and establish republican democracies.
2. Oil has been a boon for you and it has raised your standards of living overnight but it has also been a bane. Know why?
– With the incredible revenue surpluses coming from oil sales, your kings banned taxation. This made life too easy for you and you stopped working hard. Issues that follow are particularly important for you:
Why did you have to call Americans to extinguish oil well fires during the Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and the 1991 Gulf war?
Why didn’t you have the technology?
Why are you dependent on others?
Why is the number of technological innovations and patent filings from Arab world abysmally low?
Where are the likes of Algebar-Wal-Mukabalai (father of Algerba)?
3. Build more engineering colleges and schools and encourage your children to learn more. You must have your own supply of engineers, scientists, doctors, techies etc
4. Promote you women and never discourage them. Now don’t misunderstand this. I am only asking you to reduce male domination and eliminate atrocities against women. Get them to study engineering/medicine and encourage entrepreneurship amongst them. Women can be really smart if you let them be.
5. Stop mixing religion with studies (does not mean stop religious studies). Keep religious studies different from school studies. Don’t mix them up and confuse your child.
6. Preach toleration (for those who don’t) and preach what you are.
That’s my piece of mind on whatever is happening around us.