The ISIS Question Is The Muslim Question Is The Question

MANILA: Today is Easter Sunday. But it isn't Happy Easter to everyone! The richest countries of the world are terrified with the virtual and actual violence brought to their lands by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

2015 December 09 – "Paris attacks: What happened on the night" – ANN (author not named, BBC Newsbbc.com). "On the night of Friday, 13 November, gunmen and suicide bombers hit a concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars, almost simultaneously – and left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded."

2016 January 25 – "Dozens dead in Cameroon suicide bomb attack" – ANN, The Guardian, theguardian.com). "Four suicide bombers have killed at least 35 people in a village in Cameroon's Far North Region, the most deadly in a string of recent attacks in an area beset by violence connected to Boko Haram."

2016 February 27 – "Suicide bombings in Afghanistan kill at least 26" – Mujib Mashal & Jawad Sukhanyar (The New York Times, nytimes.com). 2 separate bombings in Kabul and Kunar, with nearly 50 injured.

2016 March 19 – "Istanbul suicide bombing shakes city center" – Tom Stevenson (DW, dw.com). 5 dead, 36 injured. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey.

2016 March 22 – "Slaughter of the Innocent" in Brussels, says Hamid Dabashi of Columbia University (Aljazeera, aljazeera.com). So we have 31 people in Brussels killed, their deaths claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq & Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS.

2016 March 25 – "In pre-Easter brotherly rite, Pope washes Muslim refugees' feet, decries gestures of war" – ANN (The Japan Times, japantimes.co.jp). "Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of Muslim, Orthodox, Hindu and Catholic refugees Thursday, declaring them children of the same God, in a gesture of welcome and brotherhood at a time when anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment has spiked following the Brussels attacks."

2016 March 25 – "Paris Attacks’ Ringleader Salah Abdeslam Speaks Out, Another Attack Thwarted in France" – Elsa Keslassy (Variety, variety.com). "Meanwhile, in France, the Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told local media on Thursday evening that authorities have captured a high-ranked terrorist near Paris, in Argenteuil, who was preparing an attack which was at an advanced stage and was supposed to hit in France."

2016 March 26 – "Triple suicide bombing in Yemeni City of Aden kills 22" – Ahmed Al-Haj (Jakarta Post, thejakartapost.com). This was in a Saudi-led coalition military camp in southern Yemen.

2016 March 27 – "Islamic State claims suicide bombing on football stadium in Iraq that killed 29" – ANN (news.com.au, news.com.au). 41 dead, more than 100 wounded – ANN (cbcnews, cbc.ca). Mostly children.

That is all suicide bombing. People killing themselves along with others. Is that insane or what?

Somebody has been trying to study "The 'Strategic Logic' of Suicide Bombing" (Uri Friedman, 23 March 2016, theatlantic.com). He is Robert Pape, a terrorism expert at the University of Chicago. He says that the military campaign against ISIS has turned it into a "cornered animal" and "the animal was lashing out."

On Tuesday (22 March), ISIS justified its suicide attacks as retaliation against "the Crusader states" for "their aggression against the Islamic State," adding that it had targeted "Crusader Belgium" in particular because it would "not stop targeting Islam and its people." The statement had all the trappings of a religious message, but its essential argument echoed Pape’s secular thesis: Brussels was being targeted for the participation of Belgium, and European countries more broadly, in the anti-ISIS coalition.

On Facebook, a post links to The Other 98% that has a list of "8 cities hit by violent extremism this month" – Shaboadar in Pakistan: 10 dead, 30 injured; Grand-Bassam in Ivory Coast: 18 dead, 33 injured; Ankara in Turkey: 37 dead, 125 injured; Peshawar in Pakistan: 15 dead, 30 injured; Maiduguri in Nigeria: 24 dead, 18 injured; Istanbul in Turkey: 5 dead, 36 injured; Bamako in Mali: 1 dead; Brussels in Belgium: 32 dead, 200 injured (web.facebook.com/TheOther98).

So, when will the killing stop?

I disagree with Robert Pape who thinks he has discovered the logic behind suicide bombing: territory. There is simply the absence of logic. That is why it's called suicide bombing – you're on your own. When did suicide have logic to it?

In the simplest of terms, ISIS is exporting war. Just like the US, Germany, UK, France and Russia have been exporting war. Tit for tat.

When will it end? How did Mahatma Gandhi say it again? "An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind."

Is the ISIS nourished by Islam? It is nourished by hatred. (The original image above features the Qoran, the holy book of Muslims, from the collection of images by Shutterstock, shutterstock.com. I just superimposed the big question mark there.)

Is the war on terror nourished by Christianity? It is nourished by anger.

Did you notice that I inserted a news item on 25 March 2016 about Pope Francis washing and kissing the feet of Muslim, Orthodox, Hindu and Catholic refugees? That was on Holy Thursday at a shelter in Castelnuovo di Porto outside Rome. "We have different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and we want to live in peace," Pope Francis told his audience. "All of us, together: Muslims, Hindi, Catholics, Copts, Evangelicals. But brothers, children of the same God. We want to live in peace, integrated."

Love your enemy! But we live in murderous times.

Now, what is The Question again? The ISIS Question is not The Muslim Question is not The Question. The Question is not more war but more love:

Make love, not war!

That is what Pope Francis is trying to say. Brotherly love. We are all "people of God."

My own philosophy comes from the whole of Romans 12; I have already published my modern version of it online ("Anyway Love," 14 February 2016, A Magazine Called Loveblogspot.com):

Someone, Love Anyway

Someone does not present oneself as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, love anyway.
Someone conforms to the world and is not transformed by the renewing of one's mind, love anyway.
Someone cannot discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect, love anyway.
Someone thinks too highly of oneself more than one ought to, love anyway.
Someone does not think with sober judgment according to the measure of faith God has assigned to one, love anyway.
Someone does not recognize that we are one body with many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another, love anyway.
Someone who does not accept that we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, love anyway.
Someone has a gift of prophecy in proportion to one's faith but does not share, love anyway.
Someone is good in ministering but does not minister, love anyway.
Someone is good as a teacher but does not teach, love anyway.
Someone is good as an exhorter but does not exhort, love anyway.
Someone is good for giving but does not give, love anyway.
Someone is good as a leader but does not lead, love anyway.
Someone is compassionate but does not cheer, love anyway.
Someone does not have genuine love, love anyway.
Someone does not hate what is evil, love anyway.
Someone does not hold fast to what is good, love anyway.
Someone does not reciprocate love, love anyway.
Someone does not show honor to others, love anyway.
Someone does not show zeal, does not show an ardent spirit in serving the Lord, love anyway.
Someone does not rejoice in hope, love anyway.
Someone is not patient in suffering, love anyway.
Someone does not persevere in prayer, love anyway.
Someone does not contribute to the needs of the saints, love anyway.
Someone does not extend hospitality to strangers, love anyway.
Someone does not bless and instead curse those who persecute one, love anyway.
Someone does not rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep, love anyway.
Someone does not live in harmony with the others, love anyway.
Someone is haughty and does not associate with the lowly, love anyway.
Someone claims to be wiser than one is, love anyway.
Someone repays somebody else evil for evil, love anyway.
Someone does not take thought of what is noble in the sight of all, love anyway.
Someone does not live peaceably with all, love anyway.
Someone avenges oneself and does not leave room for the wrath of God, love anyway.
Someone does not feed one's enemies when they are hungry, love anyway.
Someone does not give one's enemies something to drink when they are thirsty, love anyway.
Someone overcomes evil with evil and does not overcome evil with good, love anyway. @



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