The Middle East Crisis

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The Middle East Crisis Article by Joanna Webster

Religion plays a principal role in today's politics. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are three religions with fundamental similarities. They have managed to stir major conflicts on the planet. There differences between the three religions that have been overemphasized on resulting into conflicts. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share their alleged geographic origin in the Middle East, precisely in Palestine. The Judaic Torah and the Christian Holy Bible term the land as Canaan. The Land was promised to the Jews by God. Muslims argue that if the land was promised to the descendants of Abraham, then they also are rightfully entitled. They allege to have descended from Abraham through Ishmael. Moreover, Muhammad was the messenger of Allah who they believe ascended to heaven from Jerusalem.

The Bible, Torah, and Quran have some verses that are similar, yet the extremists of these religions have managed to cause conflict between them. Taking extreme stand has always caused conflicts and left no room for compromise. It is for this reason that religious groups have always waged war to solve disputes. It is witnessed in the Middle East and parts of North Africa. For instance, in the Middle East, there has always been conflict over the declaration of the modern Israel as a Jewish state. The war might be territorial, but has religion written over it. The state lies in an area where the three religions are termed as holy, and the area is rightfully entitled to them. The city of Jerusalem is termed as a holy city by the three religions. It is one of the cities that have been fought over most in the world.

These actions, which have a base in religion, cause the human race to have a different perspective of religion. Atrocities arising from religious conflicts cannot be ignored. It is argued that the three religions condone violence and war for divine reasons, but the truth is that many innocent lives have been lost as collateral damage. This causes people to lack faith in religion. There is a need to understand that all these religions teach peace. Islam has been termed as a peaceful religion, Judaism for equality and peaceful religion, and Christianity a religion advocating love and peace. The conflicts could have solutions in religion if only the player could reason together.

Extreme positions can be seen on how religion has come into politics. It dictates how the states will run their affairs. Israel, for instance, is a Jewish state. Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq are Muslim states. Lebanon could neither be a Muslim, Jewish nor a Christian state, but governmental positions are religiously grounded rather than ideological. There is a stipulation of who can occupy a position based on religion. For instance, the president must be Christian. All these states have religious symbols on their flags as well as religious political parties that help consolidate this extreme religious and by extension political stands. It has, for instance, been observed in religious wars that soldiers play to their respective gods for divine intervention against the enemy.

There is an urgent need to look into these religious conflicts as they threaten peace that has been achieved at a very high cost. There is a need for the peace that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam profess to be focused upon rather than the differences in the doctrines. Once this has been achieved, then a compromise can be made on all sides regarding issues of contention, such as holy places. It is the moral duty of every single person to maintain peace.

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