“Human beings may use different religions to speak to God, as they use different languages to speak to one another. God understands them all.”
That’s from the essay. “I’m Right, You’re Wrong, Go To Hell” Religions and the Meeting of Civilizations By; Bernard Lewis
A couple of days ago I used the phrase “Looking to our separate Gods to answer our deepest fears will keep us from finding a way where all people can live and grow together.” In his essay in the Atlantic Monthly he lays out how much the three great religions have in common and how we have grown apart. Bernard Lewis has great insights into the region and specializes in the relationship between the east and the west from time of the Ottoman empire till now. The essay is a bit long but worth the time.
The Muslims have good cause to suspect that we (the west) do not have good intentions in coming to Iraq or to any other Muslim country. We do not have a history of doing good deeds when we show up. And now we have come as an armed invader. Whether we had good cause or not the people of Iraq will continue to look at our presence with suspicion at least and dread at worst. That’s why we are hearing “Down with Saddam, Down with USA”. We have to remember the adults in Iraq remember quite well that Regan and Papa Bush supported and armed Saddam giving him the strength to fight Iran and suppress the people of Iraq. Also they remember too well being urged to rise up against Saddam by Papa Bush only to be led to slaughter.
In an article in Egypt Today, "The Sum of All Fears" which is a fairly amusing article about one families way of coping with the rising prices in Egypt this phrase is tossed off as an aside. “A brutal occupation of an Arab neighbor is on its way, and we have no say. Freedom and justice are under fire, and no one can stop it. Is there any hope for tomorrow?" The middle class of Egypt take it for granted the Iraq is now under a “brutal” occupation. How are we to reconcile this? I can see only one way. Make the peace work and get the peace in Isael going now even if that means a “regime change” for both the Palestinians and Israel. Neither Arafat or Sharon are prepared to move towards peace.