I just saw this in Haaretz. It is an interesting perspective of all the violence in the Middle East, and in particular, the Islamic areas.

A Special Place in Hell:
The silence when Arabs kill other Arabs

By Bradley Burston

In the newsroom, we wait for it every morning, hoping that it won’t come.

Then it does. Same time, every morning. The first notice from the wire service is as economically laconic as it is horrifying. A car bomb. A bus bomb. A truck bomb. An open market. A mosque. Dozens feared dead. Some days, scores.

The world can live with it. The world has nothing to say about it. Many Americans, even those who want an immediate end to the U.S. military presence, can live with it.

Perhaps most troubling, Muslim holy men can live with it.

“It’s hard to know what’s more disturbing: the barbaric sectarian murders by Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq, or the deafening silence with which these mass murders are received in the Muslim world,” Thomas Friedman wrote in the New York Times last week.

“Where is the Muslim Martin Luther King? Where is the ‘Million Muslim March’ under the banner: ‘No Shiites, No Sunnis: We are all children of the Prophet Muhammad.'”

Closer to home, in the space of a long weekend, 24 people were killed in fighting between Hamas and Fatah gunmen, among them a two-year-old and a six-year-old.

Spiritual leaders have done little to calm tension. In fact, it may be argued that if there is one element in the Holy Land that has kept compromise at arm’s length, it has been the uncompromising radical rigidity of influential religious figures.

Where, indeed, are the clerical voices preaching for rapprochement, for understanding, for compromise?


“For a Muslim Martin Luther King to emerge, Muslim discourse would have to shift away from the focus on power and glory and include taking responsibility as a community for our own situation.”

And, lest we for a moment conclude that we Jews are not a part of this …

On neither side do mainstream religious movements and spiritual figures campaign for peace, exhort for compromise, hand down clerical rulings that favor peace, that help to forge peace, or force peace.

For 40 years, we have had rabbis from Brooklyn issuing blanket bans absolutely prohibiting so much as an inch of compromise in the territories.

For decades, we have had radical rabbis excusing, interpreting, justifying, explicating human rights abuses against Palestinians.

The intifada marked a low point for religious Judaism, with a new mitzvah proclaimed in street signs urging total war against the Palestinians, and yeshiva students skipping class to pass out bumper stickers calling for the full might of the IDF to be unleashed in the territories.

Holy men have failed the Holy Land.

Holy men have ruined the Holy Land.

A holy man who sanctifies killing, who lobbies for war, is not fighting God’s war. He is fighting God.

That holy man’s word is not God’s word. The moment the holy man mixes religion and war, he declares war on religion.

The moment the holy man mixes religion and politics, he casts a decisive vote against religion itself. Religion cannot co-opt politics. Outward appearances notwithstanding, when religion and politics meet, religion is always the loser. Politics by its nature always corrupts religion, bending it into something else. Breaking the good in it. Milking the bad in it.

Our holy men have failed us. All of us. We need prophets, and are stuck with self-adoring politicians.

Our holy men have failed God. May God have mercy on us. May God find some way to replace them.

Unfortunately, many of the “Holy People” in this country turn what should be a religious-based plea for peace into an anti-Bush or anti-US rant. I thought this was an interesting perspective in a Jerusalem-based Jewish newspaper.

The whole article can be found here

The comments posted below the article are interesting as well.