Religious diversity and instability

Love one another…

          The Middle East and North Africa are known for their hot summers and vast deserts. Life is difficult in this region and survival can be a struggle. The Middle East is known today as a war zone by most in America. Most people are aware of the fighting and the war and associate the Middle East with religious extremists and violence. However, the Middle East and North Africa are both home to some of the oldest civilizations on the planet and some of the most profound archeological mysteries on earth. There is great desolation and suffering in this region and there is great beauty as well.

            Life for the average person in this area of the world can be difficult. Jobs can be difficult to find sometimes and resources are limited. Globalization has changed this area of the world profoundly over the last few decades. Technology has linked this area to other cultures and the thoughts and ideas of these cultures have not been accepted by many who wish to preserve their idea of how society should function.

            The Middle East is home to the three major monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All three share the common theme of worshipping “God” and living in a manner that is pleasing to God. In America, we generally refer to the Creator of the universe and all existence as “God.” We use the word God because that is the most common English word that refers to the Creator of life. However, the Hebrew testament refers to the Creator and Sustainer of all life as “Ha Shem”( השם) or “Yah.” It is common for people to refer to the Divine as the “the One and Only.” Muslims usually refer to God as “Allah”( الله), as do some Christian Arabs, while most from the Jewish community refer to God as “Yahweh”(יהוה).

            While linguistics differ, all three religions all believe in the One and Only Divine. All three religions worship the same God. All three religions believe in heaven and hell, angels and devils, virtue over vice, love over hate, righteousness over iniquity, and similar core values. All three religions acknowledge the creation of Adam and Eve. All three religions acknowledge the adversary that is against all human beings ( Satan הַשָּׂטָןIblisإبليس‎). All three religions acknowledge the lives of Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Issac, Jacob and his twelve sons, Moses, Aaron, Elijah, John the Baptist, Jesus, and Muhammad. All three religions believe in regular prayer and charity. All three religions have scriptures that are considered sacred. The scriptures outline how one is suppose to conduct life accordingly. All the scriptures contain commandments from the Divine.

            Even though all three religions have so much in common, they are in many cases, bitterly divided. Tensions and bad thoughts and intentions continue to fuel the fire of conflict between neighbors. Many Jews argue that Jesus was not the Messiah, a good guy, but nothing more than that. Many people consider some practitioners of Christianity to be polytheists because they pray to Jesus and believe he is Divine. Many people do not accept Muhammad as a legitimate prophet and conflict ensues as a result. They argue over water, resources, and land. They argue over religious philosophies and ideologies. All such arguments keep anger alive and cultivate hatred and tension. Fighting is the norm in this area. People die everyday in horrible ways.

            While it seems as if religion has divided the people and only made matters worse, it is really the people claiming to follow them have created the instability. The core teaching that the prophets brought was for people to acknowledge the Divine as the One and Only Commander of all, and to live in a manner that is respectful the earth and the people. This simplistic teaching however, obviously wasn’t absorbed by too many people. Hate, wrath, anger, envy, greed, lust, and all other selfish delusions of the mind and soul continue to plague the people and the war continues to destroy.

            The modern world does not hold fast to ancient thought and wisdom. People live in a manner that does not always contribute to the greater good. Many people live lives of excess and waste valuable resources and consume without thought about what they are consuming. Many people do not consider the consequences of their actions. While being in a state of selfish delusion, many people only care about themselves and how much they can exploit the world for their own gain.

            Traditionalists and fundamentalists reject most of the ideology associated with modern culture. They wish to hold on to traditional values and beliefs and they wish to maintain a state in which such beliefs can be practiced without outside influence. However, as time goes on, such thoughts and ideologies become a part of the lives of the people, especially the youth. Most trends, “new” styles, entertainment, and ideas, come fromAmerica. “Western” culture is impacting the Middle East more and more rapidly. The youth who grow up watching television and surfing the internet are growing and developing in a manner that reflects global entertainment and associated trends. The old way of life is dissipating for many and this creates conflict.

            Solutions are needed. Most importantly, the people of this region need to learn how to get along and stop all the fighting. If people would simply learn to coexist and share, peace could be established. Instead, this religion believes that they’re the only one that is right and that religion believes it is the only one that is right. Like children who argue and fight, the people of this region argue and fight. Some argue and fight on legitimate grounds, but most argue and fight when instead they should be seeking to find ways to create harmony and peace with their neighbor. All the people of the earth need to learn to get along and live together. Let everyone be free to practice their beliefs regardless of whether or not everyone agrees on the same spiritual philosophies or religious ideologies. As long as people are not harming others, then there is no reason why the conflict needs to continue…

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2 Comments

  1. naboulove said,

    June 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    this is awesome


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