BASIC INFORMATION ON RELIGIOUS CONFLICT, ETC.
THE SILENCE OF THE RELIGIOUS LAMBS
Religious inactivity in response to evil
Author Yu Bin wrote a remarkable article "Clash Of The Uncivilized - Extremism Mars World Stage"
for the Pacific News Service [PNS] on 2002-MAR-6. 1
strongly recommend that you read it in full. Yu Bin
is an associate professor of political science at Wittenberg University in
Ohio, and is the author of several books. The latest is "Mao's Generals
Remember Korea," which he co-edited. 2
The PNS editor introduced the article by writing:
"Extremists from all the world's major
civilizations are stepping forth, while moderates hide in the background. The United States could help break the cycle of
violence in the world through strong moral leadership, writes PNS contributor Yu
Bin. Instead, America may be contributing to a clash of the uncivilized."
Yu Bin's article is copyright © 2002 by The Black World Today. 3 Copyright law prevents us from quoting the
entire article of 527 words. So we will prune his essay
Yu Bin wrote:
"Sept. 11 seems to have unleashed the most uncivilized part of every
major religion in the world."
"Extremists from every part of the world -- be they Islamic
fundamentalists, Hindu revivalists, Palestinian "kamikazes," Jewish hard-liners
or Christian right-wingers -- are plunging themselves into holy wars of their
own definition and making."
"The West's reaction to these clashes
has been disappointing at best. The Bush team, which effectively destroyed
the Taliban with a "with-us-or-against-us" policy, has yet to demonstrate
its willingness and ability to reconstruct a global village of tolerance and
coexistence for all."
"President Bush is determined to settle unfinished business with
Saddam Hussein, regardless of disagreement with allies, opposition from the
Islamic world and a guaranteed backlash against the United States. This, coupled
with the widely held perception of American indifference toward Palestinian
suffering, has made America morally hypocritical in the eyes of many. This is
strategically destabilizing for a highly interdependent, fragile world system."
"In Europe, this global surge of uncivilized clashes has given rise to
both anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic momentum. The fear of and hatred for "aliens"
has so far bolstered far-right parties running on anti-immigrant themes in a
growing number of European countries."
"Extremist conservative forces are running the show in much of the
world, and the silence, impotence and disappearance of moderate forces globally
has contributed to the current malaise. Already, the Arab world is being rapidly
polarized between an ultra-conservative, generally pro-Western elite and growing
anti-Western and anti-American societal forces."
"But when Palestinian teenagers turn themselves into suicide bombers,
killing innocent Israeli boys and girls as their answer to F-16s and Apache
helicopters, the rest of the world also becomes victim -- physically and
morally, sooner or later -- to this rapidly escalating cycle of violence."
"In his effort to address the deficiency of capitalism 154 years ago,
Karl Marx called upon the workers of the world to unite. The German theorist
perhaps never imagined that the world's fundamentalists, hard-liners and
extremists would now "unite," ironically by killing each other."
"It is still possible to tame this uncivilized beast before it
consumes us all. The world needs to address this increasingly dangerous
situation not just with smart bombs, but also with political wisdom, meaningful
diplomacy, patience, fairness and generosity. If the Civil Rights Movement
during the Cold War made America a more attractive place than the former Soviet
Union, an international civil rights movement led by a global power with global
interests could turn America into a genuine global leader."
"Such an effort, no matter how idealistic, will make the United States
a power to be respected, not just feared."
"The clash of civilizations"
In his essay, Yu Bin refers to Samuel P. Huntington's extraordinary book "The
clash of civilizations and the remaking of world order." Written three
years before 9/11:
"...the thesis of this provocative and potentially important
book is the increasing threat of violence arising from renewed conflicts
between countries and cultures that base their traditions on religious faith
and dogma. This argument moves past the notion of ethnicity to examine the
growing influence of a handful of major cultures--Western, Eastern Orthodox,
Latin American, Islamic, Japanese, Chinese, Hindu, and African--in current
struggles across the globe." 5
This book was once Amazon.com's 365th most popular title. As of
2006-SEP-07, it was 1,344th. Both are
impressive ratings, since Amazon stocks millions of books.
Our take on the matter:
We are probably heavily biased, but our belief is that much of the world is
polarizing into religiously based cultures. We have predominately Muslim countries, Christian
countries, Hindu countries, etc. Even within countries, there are religious
differences. For example, some observers believe that the United States is gradually dividing into three
religious sub-cultures: a combination of secularism and liberal religious belief in the
Christianity in the South and an eclectic spirituality in the West.
These divisions hold great dangers, because religions tend to be based on an
oral or written belief system that is accepted on faith by its believers.
Because of the origins of religion and the way in which
they are structured, followers of different religions hold
conflicting, irresolvable beliefs concerning deity,
humanity and the rest of the universe. These beliefs cannot readily be
harmonized. There is a possibility that hatred, animosity
and intolerance will result, which can easily escalate into
conflict and oppression, and finally to
religiously motivated violence.
The solution is religious tolerance. We have to accept that religions have
entirely different views on deity, morality, ethics, behavior, ritual, etc. We
must allow everyone to freely follow their own spiritual
path without oppression. Organized religious chould be the main players in
promoting religious tolerance. Unfortunately, many do not seem to be seem to be
part of the solution. Many are largely ignoring the problem. Some faith groups
actively teach religious intolerance, and are thus an active part of the problem.
- Yu Bin, "Clash Of The Uncivilized - Extremism Mars World Stage,"
Pacific News Service, 2002-MAY-6, at:
- Xiaobing Li, Allan Millett & Yu Bin, Eds., "Mao's Generals Remember Korea" (University of Kansas
- "The Black World Today," is a web site maintained by "a collective of journalists, writers, artists, communicators and
entrepreneurs who have banded together to use the information revolution as one means towards the overall empowerment of Black
people in the United States and around the world." See:
- Samuel P. Huntington, "The clash of civilizations and the remaking of
world order," Touchstone Books, (1998). Read
reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store.
- Excerpt from a reviewer at the
Amazon.com book store.
Copyright as indicated above
Originally written: 2002-MAY-7
Latest update: 2006-SEP-13