There is a critical miscalculation taking place in Washington regarding Syria, the Middle East and Muslims based on this erroneous assumption: “We think alike.” The truth is, they don’t think like we think; they think like they think.
Chemical weapons against civilians an outrage? We are dealing with a people, among whom are many “devout” Muslims who will kill their own wives and daughters for spurious reasons. A Muslim man living in Texas shot and killed his two daughters for the crime (?) of having dated non-Muslim boys. Another Muslim father killed his daughter in Phoenix for being “Americanized.”
An Egyptian security official says ten male relatives killed a mother and her two daughters on suspicion of moral offenses – so-called “honor killings.” The official said Friday the men suspected the three women of having affairs and killed them to protect the family’s honor. The three bodies were found in the Nile River near the ancient city of Luxor. They were wrapped in blankets and weighted with stones. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters. “Honor killings” are common in Egypt, especially in the conservative southern region where women, if caught in extramarital relations, are often killed for bringing shame on their families (Jihadwatch).
A manual of Islamic law, certified by Al-Azhar as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy, says that “retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, not subject to retaliation is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring or offspring’s offspring” (‘Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2) .
Every Islamic dictator in modern times has killed literally thousands of his people for reasons that make no sense to the Western mind. Some Muslims lack the regard for human life that is, for the most part, commonplace in the Western mind. Saddam Hussein is reported to have had 180,000 Kurds killed in his assaults.
Now, American politicians, led by President Obama, are contemplating “a military strike” because 1,400 people died as a result of a recent chemical weapons attack – a possible massive Middle East conflict, with the almost certain potential of expanding into an international incident involving the United States, Israel, Iran and its allies?
Really? “More than 110,000 people have died in Syria’s two-and-a-half-year conflict, and more than half of those killed were civilians,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Sunday.
The Observatory, a British-based rights group which opposes Syrian President Bashar Assad’s rule, said at least 5,833 children were among the dead. “More than 110,371 people have fallen since the day the first martyr of the revolution died on 18 March 2011 in Deraa province to 31 August 2013,” the Observatory said in a statement.
Let me state clearly, the wrongful death of any human being is an occasion for sadness, and the death of children, heart wrenching; but what is happening in the entire Middle East today is too often being misinterpreted by the West. In the West, we see such struggles as attempts to secure individual freedoms and install democracies. This is most definitely not the case in the Middle East. There are no democratic Islamic states. I am willing to stand corrected, but to my knowledge, the only democratic nation in the entire region is Israel.
What is happening in Syria is not about democracy; it is a war of religious factions – Sunni vs. Shiite. Assad is a member of a minority group, the Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Hezbollah fighters, who are Shiites, have come to join Assad and this has prompted al-Qaida jihadists throughout the region to join the opposing Sunni camp. This is not about whether or not democracy will come to Syria, but to determine which group, Sunni or Shiite, will subsequently establish the next dictatorship.
You would think a president who had a Muslim father and attended a Muslim school in Indonesia, who has a senior adviser who is Iranian-American and who has at least six Muslims, including one imam, working in his administration would understand this. The Syrian conflict is not about liberty, freedom, democracy or any of the other high-sounding phrases that Americans have fought and died to protect.
The life-and-death struggle between these two groups has been raging since the death of the founder of the Islamic religion. This is simply one more Shiite/Sunni conflict to determine who will be the next ruling party in Syria, and the new regime will kill thousands more of their “enemies.”
For America, it is a no-win situation. If we help Assad and Hezbollah, al-Qaida and the Sunnis will hate us and vice versa. Don’t take my word for it, just dispassionately review every Islam-dominated country we have spent billions of dollars and thousands of American lives assisting and/or defending. Any “Hooray for America!” signs in evidence anywhere?
The only agreement between these two factions, Shiite and Sunni, is a mutual hatred of the West.