Religious Fundamentalism is the Problem

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Religious Fundamentalism is the Problem

Stuck in Haifa, Stuck in Hate, Stuck in War
 
By Joseph Allen

I just returned from a recent trip to Haifa. As circumstance happened, I entered Haifa on the first day of the first missile receiveed, and therefore shocking all of  Haifa’s inhabitants.

On the way to Haifa, I spent an hour and a half with a female taxi driver an Israeli Jew, who’s parents are very religious. In our discussion we both came to the same conclusion, that religious fanatacism is the problem. She and I, both condemned Jewish/Christian and Islamic intolerance. It was evidently clear, that religion was the problem.
 
As a Christian who loves his faith, religion as a problem, was difficult to digest. On the other hand, as a  progressive and pragmatic Jew, she had no illusions about the dilema. Intolerant Jews, Messianic Christians and Fundamentalist Muslims are on a path of distruction. All locked in a religious struggle for the holiest of Holy Lands, Jerusalem.

     

Intolerant Jews percieve Arabs as sub human. A word bandied about for centuries is  the word “goy”, a sub word of “goyium”. When many Jews are asked, the meaning of the word, they are simply say it means “Non-Jewish”. The word is actually from the ancient language of Aramaic, and it means “Sub Human”. The intolerant Jews refer to all non Jews as “goyium”. This one word, may explain their mindset and our current problem today.
 
Messianic Christians, according to my new found friend are a major problem. They generally come from the United States with the objective of full support for Israel and their fight. This is selfish and in context, un-Christian. The selfishness is borne out of, because they want to usher the Rapture and Armaggedon, and then the Jews will convert to Christianity. These so-called Christians cheer distruction and killing of Arab men and women and consequently the theft of their land, as divine.
 
Muslim fanatacism in the west, is seen as the major threat of the day. After years of subjigation, the pervbial genie is out of the bottle. Muslim fanatics gladly depart from  true Muslim teachings of tolerance and become hatefull. Many ordinary Muslims have difficulty reconciling, America’s love affair with Israel. The inhumanity towards fellow Muslims by Israel and their enabler, the US makes them intolerant and to deviate what their true religion requires. Time and tme again, they tell me, stop the aggression on our people and our fanatacism will disappear.
 
In context, as a rational, logical human being, it was very clear to me many years ago, that religion is being used as a tool of hatred. Religions were first created to worship the Creator solely. Then shallow and power hungry human beings, saw that they can derive power, by using religion as a weapon to dehumanize their enemies. Nothing has changed in all these centuries. The conversation with my new found friend simply re-enforced my beliefs, that this is humanity’s achillis heal.
 
In a conversation with a friend, who is a pragmatic Muslim we both agreed, that religion is personal, and you as an individual, have to reconcile with God “alone”. This off course is not what we see on a daily basis. We see born again Christians trying to take the power of judgement and judge who is a Christian. We see born again Muslims doing the very same thing. We see the dehumanization of human beings by so-called devout Jews.
 
As my female taxi driver said, I respect you, and it’s clear you respect me, as a human being. The problem we are facing worldewide, is extremely complex, the solution on the other hand is so extremley simplistic.


Joe Allen is from Birmingham Alabama.  He is an expert on Middle East Issues, a syndicated writer and public speaker.  © Copyright by Joe Allen 2006. Comments? E-mail: [email protected].

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