about war

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someone said:“Islam has been, and still is, at war with the civilized world for 15 centuries, spreading its religion with the fire and sword. It is for this reason that people despise Islam, and its continuing war against the rest of the world.”

my thought:I think it would be a worthwhile enterprise for us to start being a little less sloppy in the way we use the word “war.”

Traditionally (and conservatives love tradition, right?) the term “war” refers to a declared state of conflict between sovereign nations. Thus, there is no “war on drugs”, no “war on Christmas”, and no “war on Terror”. There never has been, and there never will be, because the actual idea of a “war” against an idea, an event, or a material substance is completely nonsensical.

And the same goes for “war” on a religion. Islam is a set of beliefs and is tied to a set of cultural traditions. It is not a country. It is not a geographic region. It is not even a clearly-defined cultural group, since the beliefs and behaviors of followers of Islam vary just as widely as the beliefs and behaviors of Jews and Christians. There are followers of Islam in America and Germany just as there are in Pakistan and Kuwait.

So Islam is not “at war” with anything. There are militant radical followers of Islam, just as there are militant radical followers of all religions. One could tediously argue for says about whether Islam has “more” than other religions, or whether the core beliefs are “more” violent than other religions. But the fact remains that this is not “war”… it’s a small group of radicals who have CLAIMED to represent a very large religion.



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