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Politics and Interfaith 3 - from the archives (2015)


Man-made peace efforts suck. Peace does not = a break in war : a bit of damage control here, a bit of housekeeping there, and a bit of getting ready for the next attack. Mankind couldn’t arrange a “peace-up” in a brewery if its life depended on it. Human beings tend to be conflict-mongers because their base nature is obsessed with competitive survival. With being the fittest by tearing down opponents. Not good, if it’s peace you’re after.

That’s why I use the “C” word, “conflict”. That’s where people’s minds are moored. That’s where it’s necessary to work from. I say to the people of the world : If you own your conflict-mongering nature; if you dare to look at the murderer within; you may come to the brink of a transformation; you may be at a threshold of peace that’s not of your own making.

Whether we’re looking at the naked aggression of a Palestinian boy hurling a Molotov cocktail or the concealed aggression of big shots in our military establishments executing plans to burn and destroy human life, it’s all the same violent impulse. Legal violence is meant to be superior to illegal violence. The latter inflicts crime and terror on civilised, innocent people. The other is a civilised defence against guilty barbarians. But what if our going to war is based more on rationalisations for violent domination than reasoned arguments for self-defence? Then you’d have to agree, there’s enough blood to bath everybody’s conscience.

The Sicilian mafia have volunteered to take out would-be terrorists before they strike New York. A great way to be appreciated as “legit”. Donald Trump said he would hit their families, if he were president. While IS terrorists are at large, he could order their wives and kids be taken out wherever they lurk. Now he wants to ban Muslims from America until he finds out what the hell is going on. Millions of Americans feel safer there’s a tough guy around who can do their dirty business for them. Do you feel safer?

Britain ups its air strikes on Syria, because Cameron doesn’t want to be the last guy into the brawl. And this, without Syrian or UN Security Council invitation. Then a crazy guy pops up in the London Tube and stabs three people with a knife, shouting “This is for Syria”. But there’s a disconnect. People vainly wish to have a sitting-duck target to attack without factoring in any retaliation. At least the mafia know vendettas can run molto tempo. Due to their base instincts, humans are too often caught up in the cycle of violence. The crusade and the jihad are both at a bloody, unevolved level.

It’s vital to understand the karmic blowback, cause-and-effect running in a circle, like a dog chasing its tail. Besides, Donald Trump needs to know what the hell is going on.

9/11 led to calls for self-defence. What better defence than pre-emptive attack, right? The US leads us to invade Iraq (I’m speaking as an Aussie). We oust the Baaths, and unjustly dislocate the country. Can’t we just pack up and go home now? Sadly, no. The damage done leads eventually to the formation of Islamic State. These guys are so pissed at this point, by the arrogance of Western imperialism - meddling in everyone’s backyard - that they call for a WORLDWIDE caliphate. This ragtag brigade can’t fight their foe conventionally, so they incite unpredictable terror among civilians as both warning and payback. They pump out propaganda against the crusader infidel, and we pump out propaganda that they’re thugs and losers. Targets and methodology differ, but there is one dazzlingly brilliant constant : all parties believe in retaliation!

To keep the vicious cycle going, you need to demonise. To soap the slippery slide of demonisation, you just need a few sophistical arguments that highlight inequality. Something that flatters us that WE would never do or could never do what THEY do. Tony Abbott, our EX-Prime Minister has adopted the pet topic of interfaith conflict on the sidelines of Australian politics.Tony reckons Muslims have got big problems, but they might be all right if they could become more like Christians. If only they could have a Reformation, an Enlightenment and a separation of Church and State like Christians had, they could then be superior to their current inferiority and perhaps deserve to be treated like equals (only joking!).

For the duration of our history as a people - we have been part of a vicious retaliatory cycle! A paramount need is for everyone to look within for the source of the world’s geoplitical problems and solutions.

In conclusion, I use the “C” word, (a) because humankind is inauthentically disengaged from its own conflictedness; and (b) because the real battleline is drawn not between Islam and the West; NOR between moderates (who use armed force) and extremists (who use armed force); but between the armed retaliators on the one hand and the non-retaliators on the other.

The philosopher Hegel had a formula that could summarise the endgame.

THESIS (retaliation mindset) .....begets......ANTITHESIS (non-retaliation mindset)

leading to a higher order.....

SYNTHESIS (conscious conflict resolution, whereby owning the impulse to retaliate offers an opportunity to discover peace, not of one's making.)

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