Thursday, 9 October 2014

The world watches while Kurds die

It’s barely twenty years since the world witnessed a major genocide in Burundi when up to a million Tutsi’s were massacred in one of the worst massacres in history. The world, unable or unwilling to act failed to intervene. The result? Mass graves of innocent men, women and children killed just because of their ethnic background.

As I write the media is reporting that a third of Kobane in Northern Syria has now fallen to the ISIS criminals. These evil men have made it clear to all that those that fall under their control must convert to their violent brand of Islam, be enslaved or more likely die.

As the Kurds fight for their lives, one of the most efficient military machines in the Middle East is massed on the border refusing to intervene. Turkey watches more closely than most as the fighting reaches it’s own doorstep.

The large Kurdish minority in Turkey itself has protested at the lack of action and only the occasional air strikes of the US air force bring temporary relief. Turkish police has killed at least nine, if not more of the protesters, yet fail to act against the threat heading their way.

Turkey, a country torn between Islamism and Secularism has of course been at war with the Kurds themselves for decades, and a very brutal conflict it has been. Going back further in time Turkey has itself been the scene of the most appalling of crimes. The first genocide of modern times against the Armenian Christians, a crime it tries to pretend never took place despite one and a half million deaths.

It remains a crime in Turkey to even raise the issue of the genocide. Even historians can face lengthy prison sentences for referring to the Armenian genocide. Such is the history of many countries in the Middle East where intolerance, fanaticism and dictatorship of long and deep roots.

This history cannot be allowed to interfere with the very real massacres taking place in Syria and Iraq. Every night our TV screens are filled with pictures and stories of the murderous fanatics of ISIS. No one is spared. Not Christians, not Kurds nor even other Muslims. It is all very much convert or die.

And of death there has been plenty.

The world must act against these barbarians now sweeping across the crescent. Other groups like the Taliban in Pakistan and Boko Haram in Nigeria are already looking to the so-called “Islamic State” for leadership as the cults influence grows.

Even on our doorsteps the threat is becoming very real. Not just failed plots here in the UK as arrests are made to prevent terrorist atrocities in London, but also ISIS sympathisers have been attacking Kurds in places like Hamburg in Germany. A country where armed guards have now been placed outside Synagogues because of Islamist backed anti-Semitism.

The West and the Muslim world itself must act. 

The war needs to be fought not just in military terms as it inevitably must be, but on an ideological front as well. The growth of extremist Islam is a reoccurring phenomenon across history and is far from unique to the twenty-first century. It has been there since the beginning.

If we are truly to beat this threat than we must act against those who seek to brainwash the disaffected youth of today with worse than medieval theology. The time has come not for Jihad, but Itjihad, a reformation in Islam that is long overdue.

Christianity survived such reform, but the intolerance inherent of much of the preaching and teaching of self centred clerics including those from Saudi Arabia whose hateful messages are all over the Internet must be combated.

It’s about time Muslims acted to make Islam the “religion of peace” they try to claim it is, because at the moment many see quite the opposite.

The key is tolerance.

Worship who you please, but accept that there are those who do not believe and some who may wish to leave. When Islam ends death penalties for apostasy and blasphemy the battle will be half won.

Secularism is the future and a vital weapon in the long term.

But for now saving the Kurds is our first task.

The world must intervene now.

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