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February 28, 2006

Collective insanity?

Events in Iraq since the deliberate bombing of the Shia shrine last week expose just how fragile the peace and hope of a swift settlement in that country are. But it also speaks volumes for situation and tensions within the rest of the Islamic world as well. The act of desecration is, in itself, a ghastly act, but the sentiment which underlies it is even more depraved. Surely only a truly twisted and sick mindset could conceive of a plan of action aimed specifically at setting one part of the community against another?

Sadly, this sort of mindset is not confined to the Islamic world, indeed, I would have to say that I am encouraged by the speed with which leaders of Islam around the world - though notably not in Saudi Arabia or Iran (that we have heard anyway!) - have condemned this attack. Perhaps the most telling comment has come from an "ordinary" Muslim, the steroetypical "man on the street" who said that as far as he could see, the bombers had failed to even begin to understand the teaching of the Prophet and were unworthy of Islam. As I have said before, this is not about the religion, it is not about the presence of the US or any other troops, it is about who rules in future - a bunch of lunatic fanatics and bigotted "clergy" as they have in Iran, or a duly elected government that represents everyone in the country and not just the narrow religious view of the few.

Unless the insanity can be contained, unless the bombers can be caught and brought to trial, there is a very great danger that the country will descend into a civil conflict whicvh will affect the West as much as the Middle East. There is a suggestion that many of those killed in the so-called "reprisals" may have been targetted because they have been, or were, providing succour to the terroist "insurgents". If that is so, then it is an indication that, as I suspect, many ordinary citizens know who the terrorists are, who shelters them and who pays them. This attrocity may have the effect of exposing this and perhaps signal a swing against the tolerance of it and of those who are involved.

Every true believer, Muslim, Christian, Jew, now needs to pray as never before that sanity can be restored, that the doers of evil be brought to justice and that no further innocent blood is shed for the ambitions of a few truly evil men and women.

Posted by The Gray Monk at February 28, 2006 09:08 PM

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