The war between Christianity and Islam has been going on for hundreds of years with no sign of abating. The recent history begins with the destruction of the Ottoman Empire who sided with Germany during World War 1. When they lost the war in 1918, the Empire was dissolved and in 1924, the newly created Turkey abolished the office of the Caliphate, which had dated back about 1,300 years.
The countries in the old Caliphate were divided by the winners of WW1 along artificial borders and puppet governments were installed, consequently most of the countries in the Middle East have no real tie to the people.
For example, before the war, the region we now call Iraq included three provinces, Mosul, Baghdad and Basra – all very diverse religiously. With the end of Ottoman Empire, the British brought the three together, hoping to dominate an area that was already a large oil producer.
The British ruled the country through their Arab ally Faisal, who was declared a King in 1921. He and succeeding regimes were never able to unite those religiously diverse people that European countries had merged into one ill-fated country. Events of recent days show that the Iraq problem still has no clear solution.
Today we are helping to install corrupt regimes like that of Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, and divisive people like al-Maliki in Iraq. This is part of what is said to be “The struggle to produce inclusive and legitimate governments”.
The Western world had also given support to Israel, western military bases dot the Muslim world, billions of dollars has been given to shore up dictators, and efforts to push what they see as a false version of Islam (the so-called “moderate Islam”).
In spite of all this, the threat continues to grow and the reason is that they fundamentally believe differently than we do. The Islamic people are not at all like us in beliefs, we think the severing of heads is savagery, but the use of drones is O.K. They want a Caliphate that re-establishes Islamic law, shari’a law.
We here in America are heavily engaged in this war with Islam. This is exemplified by the two long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our drones regularly operating in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. However, in a way we are observers as the fighting very seldom comes to our land.
Our political leaders are rightfully fearful at the power of Islam and especially those who believe in fundamentalism, founded on the strict interpretation of Islamic law. What many of our politicians fail to realize is that what the Islamists see as oppression causes a reaction that we may not be able to contain. We are dealing with human beings with collective passions, aspirations, emotions, dignities, values and histories. They believe that it is their duty to spread Islam throughout the world and kill infidels (non-believers) and they have great numbers throughout the world.
Make no mistake; this “long war” with Islam is heating up. Western powers reawaked it after WW1 by drawing lines on a map and calling them countries. Now the desire for a Caliphate is seemly out of control. The possibility of one being established is written on the wall. When Christians are told, “convert to Islam or be put to the sword,” we should have a clue that it’s not just the Jews their after. We must totally engage by realizing we are in a real war, a war of cultures.
Mike Young is a retired water and power executive who resides in Mesquite. Graduated from the University of LaVerne he has taught communications skills and technical subjects throughout the Western Hemisphere. In addition to writing and editing technical manuals, he has a book titled “Speaking for Effect”. He has received some of the highest awards and recognition from both professional and public organizations.