Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thoughts on Osama bin Laden

Note: I wrote this a while ago and never published it…

 

I got into a discussion with someone who believes that the war in Afghanistan should go on indefinitely on my Facebook page. He unwittingly proved my point exactly by what he said, though he didn’t know it.

My point was that it is dangerous to go to war in a part of the world in which we do not culturally understand. That most Americans do not understand Islam because they do not have Muslim friends. That this war had created a lot of racial prejudice against Muslims. (You know how everyone was freaking out about whether Obama was a Muslim when it was election time? As if that mattered? So what if he were a Muslim?)

This guy responded that he had read the book: “Understanding Arabs” (a textbook written by an American woman) and therefore he was confident that he understood Muslims.

Of all people, I think Mormons should never say something like that. Because one of our biggest pet peeves is to be told what we believe by non-LDS people. There’s a lot of negative propaganda out about Mormons, and even stuff that is not negative is likely to be inaccurate if not actually written by an active member.

I commented on Youtube on Obama’s speech announcing the death of Osama bin Laden:

“I wish that he would go into more detail about why we are at war in Afghanistan, when Osama was actually in Pakistan, and if he really believes that al Queda can be completely destroyed by a land war there when it exists all over the world.”

Someone responded on Youtube: “You ***** idiot, we’re in Afghanistan to kill terrorists and Muslims in general, are you part of al Queda or something?” And that very response, I’m afraid, is not unusual.

Another Facebook conversation I saw completely justified this war because he believed that this was the war between Good and Evil before the Second Coming as prophesied in Revelations—and the Muslims, of course, were the Evil.

The guy who supports the war in Afghanistan kept referencing Captain Moroni from The Book of Mormon which, to be honest, sickened me.

It sickened me because he was using my religion to justify bloodshed of people he did not know.

That doesn’t seem all that different to me than the group of Muslims who use their religion and the Koran to justify war against the west.

I could have a religious reply, but I really don’t like quoting scriptures back and forth—it reminds me of the amusingly self righteous editorials in the Provo newspaper.

It’s one thing to suggest that maybe—maybe--religiously you are justified to go to war, but unfortunately it seems most religious people don’t suggest it. They are supremely confident that they are correct with the confidence which comes from having God support you—the scriptures say so, or so they believe. This is true of many different sects. Christianity is, it seems, no different.

That saddens me.

Maybe—I don’t know for sure, of course—maybe God doesn’t take sides of wars—maybe God would rather we found another way of working things out than killing each other.

In any event, I wish people would leave religion out of whether we should be at war. Otherwise I could become quite cynical on religion being a negative rather than a positive social force. Because when people are fighting because they believe God wants them to, that’s a very powerful motivation, whether you are Muslim or Christian or Jewish. And that seems to spur fighting on rather than realizing that maybe neither side is “right.”

Anyway, read this article for a Muslim perspective on the killing of Osama bin Laden:

The US Needs to Focus on Not Creating Any More bin Ladens

American Muslim Voice founder Samina Sundas on her reactions to the killing of Osama bin Laden

1 comment:

Jordon&Andrea said...

I agree that it seems like wars can be . . .well, needlessly bloody maybe? I read somewhere that most conflicts big and small are simply a result of misunderstood expectations. I've found it to be pretty consistently true. It seems that would be the path to travel for resolving things.
We were recently at revolutionary and civil war sites and I couldn't help but think- how does this really decide anything? You just have to kill more people? claim more land?
Have you read The Heart and the Fist?? I found it really, really, interesting. Especially in juxtaposition to Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea.
As I've read about Rwanda, and listened to the stuff going on Syria- and thought about your point in an earlier post on "not forgetting" the holocuast and "never again"- but it's still happening- I've wondered , how do you stop the killing? With more killing?
And I've recently been reading in the bible, the books of Moses. I don't think I knew that God commanded the Israelites to completely destroy the cities. I knew about the battles- but reading the context its set in has been hard. They killed the men, women and "the little ones". I'm not sure it's something I will every fully understand until I'm beyond this life. I do find comfort in that when Jesus came and taught the people that he was teaching and demonstrating love and understanding and peace.
I truly do believe that one of the greatest contributions I can make toward world peace is teaching my children the skills they need to resolve differences, to be good communicators, to respect others and their differences, and appreciate them! I'm also currently reading another interesting book called Nurture Shock and it has some interesting things on talking about race and diversity to children . . .
Dang. This is why half the time I don't comment. Because I essentially ramble and then later essentially MENTALLY compose a blog post response that is long, and never take the time to type it up :)

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