Features

Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the Middle East's 30 year war

Why the great Sunni-Shia conflict is getting ever closer to the surface

25 January 2014

25 January 2014

Syria has fallen apart. Major cities in Iraq have fallen to al-Qa’eda. Egypt may have stabilised slightly after a counter-coup. But Lebanon is starting once again to fragment. Beneath all these facts — beneath all the explosions, exhortations and blood — certain themes are emerging.

Some years ago, before the Arab ‘Spring’ ever sprung, I remember asking one top security official about the region. What, I wondered, was their single biggest fear? The answer was striking and precise: ‘That the region will clarify.’ That is a fear which now appears to be coming true.

The Middle East is not simply falling apart. It is taking a different shape, along very clear lines — far older ones than those the western powers rudely imposed on the region nearly a century ago. Across the whole continent those borders are in the process of cracking and breaking. But while that happens the region’s two most ambitious centres of power — the house of Saud and the Ayatollahs in Iran — find themselves fighting each other not just for influence but even, perhaps, for survival.

A member of jihadist group Al-Nusra in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo Photo: AFP/Getty

A member of jihadist group Al-Nusra in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo Photo: AFP/Getty

The way in which what is going on in the Middle East has become a religious war has long been obvious. Just take this radio exchange, caught at the ground level earlier this month, between two foreign fighters in Syria, the first from al-Qa’eda’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS], the second from the Free Syrian army [FSA]. ‘You apostate infidels,’ says the first. ‘We’ve declared you to be “apostates”, you heretics. You don’t know Allah or His Prophet, you creature. What kind of Islam do you follow?’ To which the FSA fighter responds, ‘Why did you come here? Go fight Israel, brother.’ Only to be told, ‘Fighting apostates like you people takes precedence over fighting the Jews and the Christians. All imams concur on that.’

The religious propulsion of many of the fighters who have flooded into Syria in the three years of its civil war — 400 or more from Britain alone — is beyond doubt. From the outset this has been a confrontation inflamed by religious sectarianism. In the first stages of the Syrian conflict the Shia militia of Hezbollah were sent by their masters in Iran to fight on the side of Iran’s ally Bashar al-Assad. But those of a different political and religious orientation made their own moves against this. Across Britain and Europe, not to mention the wider Middle East, many thousands of young men listened to the call of religious leaders like the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz al-Asheik and Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who last year declared that Hezbollah is in fact not the ‘army of God’, as its name almost suggests, but rather the ‘army of Satan.’ Sheikh Qaradawi declared that ‘every Muslim trained to fight and capable of doing that [must] make himself available’ for jihad in Syria.

SYRIA-CONFLICT

It is perhaps inevitable that with the amount of regional influence at stake, and the quantity of natural resources, there would be numerous powers involved in trying to dictate the Syrian endgame. But as the country’s civil war has ground on and the region as a whole has started to fall into a maelstrom, there is not a party or country that has not been shocked by one particular new reality. That is the fact that what has hitherto been the most important global player has decided to take a back seat. When two major Iraqi cities fell to al-Qa’eda forces last week, the American Secretary of State, John Kerry, expressed concern but stressed that for the Iraqi government this was now ‘their fight’.

One of the cities was Fallujah, the site of the bloodiest battle of the Iraq war, where 10,000 British and American troops fought to depose the Islamists. It is now back under jihadi control, with the black flag of al-Qa’eda proudly flying — and the West does not want to know. Although there are Syrian cities also now under al-Qa’eda control, the US and its allies remain unmoved over acting in that country either.

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To an extent, what is happening in the Middle East is what happens when America and the West suddenly lose interest. But for the US, the reasons for that new lack of interest are obvious. With America soon predicted to attain energy independence, why should the country continue to involve itself deeply in a region which has cost it so much in blood, treasure and international reputation? Why should the US 5th Fleet continue to attempt to maintain regional security in a continent whose regional resources are increasingly rewarding nobody so much as the Communist Party of China?

Armed Iraqi men stand guard near the home of Sunni Muslim MP Ahmed al-Alwani Photo: AFP/Getty

Armed Iraqi men stand guard near the home of Sunni Muslim MP Ahmed al-Alwani Photo: AFP/Getty

For the UK and other lesser western powers, declining involvement in the region is neither a moral nor an interest-based decision. It is simply a decision based on the fact — as the last decade has proved — that we no longer have either the cash or the commitment to effect any decent outcome in the region.

If this remains a reality which is too rarely admitted here at home, it was long ago scented in the winds of the region. And as the new reality dawned, it was inevitable that the various factions in Syria’s civil war would reach out to anybody in the region who shared their broadest goals. Vice versa, the regional powers ended up looking for anybody who could plausibly assist them with the means and methods to reach their own ends. And so it is that a Middle Eastern proxy-war which had already reached as far as Washington DC has found its way right back to the very doorsteps of the countries that were propelling it. And how a war of religion also become a war of good old-fashioned statecraft.

From the outset of the Syrian uprising, it was inevitable that Iran would weigh in on the side of its client in Damascus. Indeed, so desperate were the mullahs in Tehran to do everything they could to protect their own interests that they even put up with protests at home from people starved of basic supplies complaining about their own government pouring millions into Syria’s civil war.

But the next step was just as predictable. Saudi Arabia, which fears Iranian influence spreading any further than it has already throughout the region, began to back the opposition. Starting cautiously, in recent months that caution has retreated and Saudi is now supporting groups as close to al-Qa’eda-linked forces as to make little difference. Desperate measures, certainly. But for the Saudi leadership these are desperate times. Though it is a battle that has been brewing for decades.

Iraqi security guards on patrol Photo: Getty

Iraqi security guards on patrol Photo: Getty

There has always been the ongoing tension of Bahrain, which is under Saudi domination but which Iran seeks for itself. But then there is the quieter battle for influence in the Gulf states, which, while interventionist at times, quiver before the clashing of these bigger beasts. It was only as Syria fell apart and the regional powers were pulled inexorably into a more open battle, that the cold war between Iran and Saudi found its hot battleground.

There are those who think that the region as a whole may be starting to go through something similar to what Europe went through in the early 17th century during the Thirty Years’ War, when Protestant and Catholic states battled it out. This is a conflict which is not only bigger than al-Qa’eda and similar groups, but far bigger than any of us. It is one which will re-align not only the Middle East, but the religion of Islam.

Deir Ezzor, Syria, January 2014 Photo: AFP/Getty

Deir Ezzor, Syria, January 2014 Photo: AFP/Getty

There is a significant likelihood — as intra-Muslim sectarian tension has had fallout even in Britain and Europe — that this could be the case. Or perhaps the region is going to descend into a complex miasma of slaughter as surely as Europe did a century ago. Either way there will be a need for a Treaty of Westphalia-style solution — a redrawing of boundaries in a region where boundaries have been bursting for decades.

But for the time being, a distinct and timeless stand-off between two regional powers, with religious excuses and religiously affiliated proxies will in all probability remain the main driver of this conflict. Certainly the sides remain fundamentally irreconcilable. As one of Saudi Arabia’s most important figures, Prince Turki al-Faisal, said on a recent visit to London, ‘Saudi Arabia is the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the birthplace of Islam. As such, it is the eminent leader of the wider Muslim world. Iran portrays itself as the leader of not just the minority Shiite world, but of all Muslim revolutionaries interested in standing up to the West.’

 

Anbar city of Fallujah, Iraq Photo: AFP/Getty

Anbar city of Fallujah, Iraq Photo: AFP/Getty

Prince Turki decried Iran’s ‘meddling’ and its ‘destabilising efforts in the countries with Shia majorities — Iraq and Bahrain — as well as in those countries with significant minority Shia communities such as Kuwait, Lebanon and Yemen.’ As he said, ‘Saudi Arabia will oppose any and all of Iran’s actions in other countries, because it is Saudi Arabia’s position that Iran has no right to meddle in other nations’ internal affairs, especially those of Arab states.’

Saudi officials more recently called for the Iranian leadership to be summoned to the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes. Then, just the month before last, as the P5+1 countries eased sanctions on Iran after arriving at an interim deal in Geneva, Saudi saw its greatest fear — a nuclear Iran — grow more likely. And in the immediate aftermath of the Geneva deal, Saudi sources darkly warned of the country now taking Iranian matters ‘into their own hands’. There are rumours that the Saudis would buy nuclear bombs ‘off the shelf’ from their friends in Pakistan if Iran ever reaches anything like the nuclear threshold. In that  case, this Westphalian solution could be prefaced with a mushroom cloud.

US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud Photo: Getty

US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud    Photo: Getty

An unlikely scenario, perhaps. But this stand-off between Iran and Saudi has been full of unlikely scenarios. It is only two years ago that the Iranians attempted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington. The plan was thwarted only because the two suspects — an Iranian-American and an officer from Iran’s Quds Force — unwittingly connected with an informant from US Drug Enforcement Administration. Of course Iranian officials denied the assassination plot, but America’s attorney general, Eric Holder, announced at a press conference in Washington that the plot had been ‘directed and approved by elements of the Iranian government and, specifically, senior members of the Quds force which is an integral part of the Iranian government.’

The war between Saudi and Iran has already reached America’s shores. It has been devastatingly fought out across Syria’s wasted land. In fact the only place where it has yet to strike meaningfully is on the soil of the main protagonists. If what has been happening so far looks bloody, it is the work of an Armageddon-ist to consider what will happen when those gloves come off. In a region replete with bitter rivalries and irreconcilable ambitions, that will be perhaps the ultimate clarification.

Douglas Murray discusses this with Lt Col Thomas Tugendhat, who fought in Fallujah, in ‘View from 22’: spectator.co.uk/podcast


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Show comments
  • The Elderking

    Well, a blood letting may serve to demonstrate to ordinary muslims that their “religion” just isn’t worth it. Europe tired of all this tribalism – for that is what it is – and grew up.

    I fear that Muslims will have to go through the same pain in order to drill that reality into some thick skulls.

    • Bonkim

      Spot on – people have to make their own mistakes and if they don’t learn, they perish.

      Stop sending any aid – stop feeing sorry for the refugees they create, they have to learn what pain is – not allow outsiders to sweep up their destruction.

      Let Syria or Iraq or Pakistan go to the dogs – who cares?

      • Tom Tom

        Pakistan High Commissioner is at home in so many key constituencies in the UK……..

        • Bonkim

          Now that is a racist comment – where are you from – check your ancestry first.

      • Oscar

        You’ll care when ALQ is in charge of the world’s oil supply and is given the freedom required to develop nuclear weapons.

        • Bonkim

          Nuclear weapons – if one is desperate and have funds, can get them. Regrettably no one is clean in the politics game. Everyone applies the strength/leverage they have and in any given situation you either fight or accommodate f you cant. No easy street and no one can have everything they want or ask for.

    • anotherjoeblogs

      some kind of aversion therapy – islam and its ‘ fruits ‘ are juxtaposed = let’s not repeat.

    • Kennybhoy

      “Europe tired of all this tribalism – for that is what it is – and grew up.”

      You think so?

    • Mike

      Well said and something I’ve been saying for a long time. Christians had their blood letting period and its now the turn of Muslims. They failed to learn from our example and now they have to learn the hard way by enacting genocide for themselves.

      • rightrightright

        Moslems have been engaged in an international bloodbath for 1400 years. There was something of a hiatus after the Armenian genocide, but they have now merely reverted to type.

      • pearlsandoysters

        Wrong! It’s pretty comforting to think this way, alas Christians & Muslims chose very divergent paths many centuries ago, thus all the talk about “one size fits all societies” seriously oversimplifies the matters and prevents a mature reflection on the subject.

        • Mike

          Very divergent paths indeed ?

          Both religions had their own prophet, both religions defined their culture, and apart from the 5 century difference of their beginnings, both religions split into two primary sects that ended up killing each other by the tens of thousands.

          Sounds a very similar path to me and most other people but perhaps you can explain what you mean as you make a claim but fail to back it with any facts.

          The only major difference is in timing where Christianity is 5 centuries ahead of the curve in putting their divisions behind them for the simple reason that the governments in Europe had enough of religious interference in their affairs and they removed most of their powers and democracy was introduced. The west has tried to retain the core good values of their religions although not always successfully whilst banishing the extreme, absurd and twisted logic that prevailed when Christianianity ruled the roost.

          Neither you nor I will be around to see whether their future follows the Christianity model of evolution or they continue their blood letting until the end of time but their history of culture, colonisation, collapse, and now genocide has remarkable parallels to Christian history.

          I rest my case.

          • pearlsandoysters

            Speaking about divergent paths I meant approch to interpreting the holy books, that’s. The issue is extremely complex and spans theology, philosophy of law, philosophy as such, cosmogony, reception of the Antique philosophy and approach to secular learning. There are in-depth books on the subject produced by fine academic minds. The narrative your offer is pretty standard offspring of Enlightenment mode of thinking and the parallels are misgided, once a cricial question is the one about legitimation of power in different religions. You may rest your case, yet run the risk of superficial understanding of the very serious issues.

          • Mike

            Holy books are so loosely based on fact that they’re essentially fiction. They were written by latter day philisophers about a non existent all powerful God and then perverted by the ruling classes to scare, intimidate and control the uneducated masses.

            Prior to Christianity being put in its place by secular states, it too was similar to Islamic teachings today. The only divergency between the two is that Christianity is 500 years further forward in its evolution compared to Islam. If Islam gets over its current bloody phase we will probably see them following the Christian model of evolution maintaing that similarity in culture for a given point in time of its evolution.

            Its like parallel universes where evolution is identical in both universes but one universe is 500 years behind the other.

    • pearlsandoysters

      Not possible. Europe has gone all the way towards nation states via demise of religion as such, which is not possible once there is a totally different set of circumstances. Western way is not “one size fits all”.

  • zanzamander

    When two major Iraqi cities fell to al-Qa’eda forces last week, the American Secretary of State, John Kerry, expressed concern but stressed that for the Iraqi government this was now ‘their fight’.

    I never thought I’d say this but Kerry is 100% right. This is indeed “their” fight. All we have to do, given our stupid immigration policy, is prevent this centuries old internecine war from spilling in our streets.

    All the blood, guts and dollars we spent in Iran (and are still doing in AfPak) has been in vain. Not a single death of our solder has done any good. We must never let ourselves be dragged into their wars ever again.

    The only way these two factions can live in relative peace is when they are at war with the non-Muslim world, Jews in the main. Hence the continued attack on Israel, Satan Amrika and the decadent west by both their houses. They know full well that if they fight each other, they’ll end up destroying Islam itself and hence use us, the non-Muslim world, as their scapegoat and self-preservation.

    Remember this, the moment we take sides in Syria (or indeed in any Muslim country), bombs and beheading will follow in our streets. Best keep out.

    The entire Muslim world is now cleansed of non-Muslim, any remnants of last Christians are being eliminated as we speak. They have no one else to fight, so now the cleansing of Jews has started in Europe (mainly in the Nordic countries), then it will be Christians and then they will turn on each other.

    Nothing stays forever. The earth has seen extinctions of many species over the epochs. Perhaps Islam will the catalyst for human race to go the way of the Dodo and the dinosaurs.

    • sarah_13

      And if you are right, and “their fight ” happens in the UK, there are enough Shia and Sunni here… Will the US be right to say “none of our business” then?

      • David Kay

        Cameron will say it has nothing to do with islam as islam is a religion of peace and tell mamma will want us all jailed for pointing out that islam is a murderous moon god worshipping cult that is actually killing us

        • mahatmacoatmabag

          quite right, Allah was previously known as the pagan moon god of mecca

          • Tom Tom

            Al-Lah with his daughters AL-Lat and Al-Uzzah and Manat

          • pearlsandoysters

            Is there any book of academic nature on the subject?

          • Muslim Comments

            People like lovelace oppose academic studies

          • meqmac

            Plenty. Go to a library and ask.

          • pearlsandoysters

            There’s a way too many books on any subject under the sun in libraries nowadays, many are a total waste of time, thus the question.

          • Ezme Green

            YES!!! YES!!! There is too much information!!! Too much knowledge….Them universities – they are full of rubbish!!!! A complete waste of time!!! smash them newfangled machines up!!!!!

          • pearlsandoysters

            I detect a sarcasm in your post, which i unwarranted.

          • caz

            well if you went to a university you would know its not Them universities.

          • meqmac

            I’m a bit fed up with this ‘Allah was a moon god’ nonsense. The gods and goddesses were part of the pagan religion, which Muhammad opposed. He derived his ‘one God’ idea from local Jews, not from the pagans. He called his one God Allah (otherwise al-ilah) because that is fusha Arabic for ‘the God’. There is elaboration on all that, of course, but if you read the Qur’an in Arabic, you’ll see how it works. Now all the stories about Muhammad and the origins of Islam may well be false, but that’s a different story. It is not at all improbable that a young Arab who came into close contact with Jews (and, possibly, Christians) should have

            incorporated monotheism into the religious system he was formulating. Islam is many things, many of them horrendous, but it is not and never was a ‘murderous moon god worshipping cult’. Criticize Islam by all means, but use your brain to do so.

          • James Lovelace

            “it is not and never was a ‘murderous moon god worshipping cult’.”

            Of course it’s a moon god cult. The islamic symbol is the crescent moon. The islamic “Red Cross” (which only gives aid to muslims), is called “the Red Crescent”.

            And of course it is a murderous cult. If it wasn’t Nick Clegg wouldn’t have had to lie for islam following the murder of Lee Rigby by two devout and knowledgeable muslims.

            http://4freedoms.com/group/infiltration/forum/topics/obama-and-clegg-both-lied-to-claim-islam-is-a-religion-of-peace

            They left behind a note containing all the koranic verses which compelled them to be dutiful murderous muslims.

            Even now, imams in Britain are reading out sermons in defence of muslims in Bangladesh on death row, convicted of genocide. Can you imagine priests doing that?

            Practically the last words to come from the lips of Mohammed were “kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Can you find anywhere where Jesus or Buddha says that?

          • Gerard Spekboom

            Let me be as clear as I can be: Islam may be a monoistic religion, but that does not mean they worship the same God as in Christianity. On the contrary, from a Christian perspective, Islam is a direct assault on all its basic doctrines. This does mean that Mohammed must be qualified as a 100% false prophet. This considering and looking at the basic doctrines and pratices of Islam any knowledgeable follower of the Judaistic/Christian faith must be aware that Islam as a faith and ideology can only have one source of inspiration and that source is not divine but diabolic. Allah is the pretended divine being presented as the ulimate form of deception by the kingdom of darkness.

          • itbeso

            Read the Koran, it is crystal clear this is the same god as that of Moses and Noah – Yahweh, god of war. Couldn’t be more apt.

          • Gerard Spekboom

            Obvious I have not been clear enough.

            I stated:

            Mohammed is a 100% false prophet.

            Why:

            – As a religion it is a frontal assault on every basic Christian tenet. Hence the qualification as a false prophet. (Galatians 1:8)

            – The Christian message of salvation through Christ as Lord and Saviour is totally corrupted.

            – The message of the quran does not contain a definite message which reveals how men can receive the grace of God in Christ to overcome sin which is the problem of fallen humanity. It is sin that separates from God. The problem continuous the curse remains, men is still lost in sin without a saviour which is Christ.

            – The divinity of Christ is being denied, which basically is blasphemy.

            – Thus, Mohammed was being misled by evil spirit(s) ‘Gabriel’

            – The content of the Quran has no divine authority.

            – The ‘moral’ ‘values’ of Islam are from a Christian and even human perspective are unacceptable and it even justifies evil specific in the area of sexual morallity and aggression.

            – The former argument is proven through the life and practices of Mohammed in the areas of aggression and murdering (Jihad), sex (Aisha, etc.), lying (Taqiyya), deception (Hudna) and constituted discrimination of women and non-believers. (Hijab/Jizzia)

            – Mohammed wants you to believe that the ‘god’ ‘Allah’ of the quran is the same as the God of Christianity who has a different name altogether ‘Yahweh’, this is in order to give the prophet and his message some credibility.

            The Quran is the ultimate effort from the enemy of God to obstruct salvation through Christ which is only revealed in the Bible. For me there is no further need to acquire more knowledge of the Quran, which does not contain anything that could improve my life nor the truth about deliverance from sin.

            John 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

            1John 3:8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

            John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

            1John 5:10 Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

            1John 2:22 Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son.

            John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

            Galatians 1:8 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

            2Corinthians 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.Obvious I have not been clear enough.

            I stated:

            Mohammed is a 100% false prophet.

            Why:

            – As a religion it is a frontal assault on every basic Christian tenet. Hence the qualification as a false prophet. (Galatians 1:8)

            – The Christian message of salvation through Christ as Lord and Saviour is totally corrupted.

            – The message of the quran does not contain a definite message which reveals how men can receive the grace of God in Christ to overcome sin which is the problem of fallen humanity. It is sin that separates from God. The problem continuous the curse remains, men is still lost in sin without a saviour which is Christ.

            – The divinity of Christ is being denied, which basically is blasphemy.

            – Thus, Mohammed was being misled by evil spirit(s) ‘Gabriel’

            – The content of the Quran has no divine authority.

            – The ‘moral’ ‘values’ of Islam are from a Christian and even human perspective are unacceptable and it even justifies evil specific in the area of sexual morallity and aggression.

            – The former argument is proven through the life and practices of Mohammed in the areas of aggression and murdering (Jihad), sex (Aisha, etc.), lying (Taqiyya), deception (Hudna) and constituted discrimination of women and non-believers. (Hijab/Jizzia)

            – Mohammed wants you to believe that the ‘god’ ‘Allah’ of the quran is the same as the God of Christianity who has a different name altogether ‘Yahweh’, this is in order to give the prophet and his message some credibility.

            The Quran is the ultimate effort from the enemy of God to obstruct salvation through Christ which is only revealed in the Bible. For me there is no further need to acquire more knowledge of the Quran, which does not contain anything that could improve my life nor the truth about deliverance from sin.

            John 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

            1John 3:8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

            John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

            1John 5:10 Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

            1John 2:22 Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son.

            John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

            Galatians 1:8 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

            2Corinthians 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

          • Ezme Green

            Gerard you do know that god doesnt exist dont you??? If you still believe in god than you cant join the other grown ups in conversation.A follower of one ridiculous religion cant criticise another ridiculous religion.

          • Ezme Green

            Does it really matter???…It is all a load of old shit….THAT is all that matters. Grown ups who believe in myths and invisible deities should not be treated seriously but tolerated as anyone who is of limited intelligence is tolerated…Maybe we could open homes for thent them do menial tasks for a wage….Whatever, they definitely shouldnt be taken seriously.

          • meqmac

            Actually, Ezme, it does matter a lot. I agree with your views on religion, though I would never express mine in such a crude fashion. I have a very unfavourable view of Islam, a religion with which I have been closely linked as an academic all my adult life. There are valid criticisms of Islam, but making invalid ones only plays into the hands of Muslims, who can refute them easily. That makes the critics seem ignorant and foolish, and that sets the cause of enlightenment back by decades or more. We don’t want to see that, do we?

        • James Lovelace

          “The religious propulsion of many of the fighters who have flooded into Syria in the three years of its civil war 400 or more from Britain alone ”

          So, in just 3 years at least 400 muslims from Britain have gone to Syria to train as terrorists. That’s more than the 332 muslims convicted of terrorism in Britain in the last 13 years. It’s clear that the amount of terrorism in Europe is going to increase exponentially.

          And muslims in Britain are not just getting their terrorist training in Syria, but also in Pakistan and Somalia. The killer of Lee Rigby failed to get to Somalia to join the terrorists there. And even that failure did not stop him from following his islamic duty to conduct jihad.

          No wonder the government wheels out the Deputy Prime Minister to lie to the people of Britain about islam’s commanding muslims to kill.

          http://4freedoms.com/group/infiltration/forum/topics/obama-and-clegg-both-lied-to-claim-islam-is-a-religion-of-peace

      • Tom Tom

        That will not happen here……don’t worry Sarah

        • Kennybhoy

          Who do you shill for?

        • Ezme Green

          Can you be so sure???

      • Mike

        Providing they keep their fight amongst themselves (even in the UK) I couldn’t give a s*** what they do.

    • Tom Tom

      Pity the US destroyed the Iraqi Air Force

    • Peter Fogarty

      Zanzamanda is spot on. The West’s involvement in overseas conflicts is always a tricky call with many arguing that colonial drawn borders and economic exploitation by the developed world in the past is the root cause of many conflicts today. However, enough time has now passed for local governance to provide forums for civilised debate in place of conflict (as in the EU now for the last 60 years). So to the point-let them get on with it. We should not become involved. Fighters always make up in the end but need a war as a route to peace.

    • meqmac

      @ James Lovelace. I am an Islamic historian, you are obviously nothing of the sort. Having a crescent moon as a symbol does not make Islam a moon-god worshipping cult, any more than the cross makes Christianity a cross-god worshipping cult or the Star of David makes Judaism a star-god worshipping cult. And if you knew anything about modern sociology of religion, you wouldn’t call a religion of 1.6 billion adherents a ‘cult’. Of course, Islam has always been built around the use of violence, to an extent not known directly in other religions. But Christianity has been at least as murderous, from the Crusades to the Inquisition to all manner of heresy trials and persecutions. I don’t seek to defend Islam, I just want to keep this debate as one based on intelligent and knowledgeable of the texts. You show no signs of either great intelligence nor much knowledge. Ignorance is no substitute for deep understand, and your ignorance comes across as mere bigotry.

      • Tanks-a-lot

        allah is the pagan moon god of arabia. allah is mohammad’s excuse to be the thieving murderous pedophile rapist genocidal maniac he is.

        Henri Pirenne was correct, muslims caused actual dark ages.

        The Crusades are a natural response to islamic imperialistic evil.

        The Spanish Inquisition is a natural response to 700+ years of pushing muslims out of Iberia by making sure muslims and jews don’t allow another invasion.

        islam isn’t just a cult. islam is a totalitarian political ideology.

        • Ezme Green

          Yup!

  • Peter Stroud

    A group of Eastern European Muslims are threatening to terrorise the Olympic winter sports event in Russia: the reason they gave was the loss of Muslim blood, world wide. It seems to me that the vast majority of Muslim deaths are due to sectarian conflicts: Muslim killing Muslim.

    • Framer

      Has the BBC ever pointed out that Syria is an intra-Muslim war or that our lads over there are fighting, eh, Muslims?
      No the Beeb cannot say that for it implies imperfection in Islam and Muslims. Any more than they can remind us that we intervened in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention Libya, Kuwait, Serbia and Bosnia at the behest of or to protect Muslims. We may have had our own interests as well, as you do, but we could have stood back and maybe should.
      BTW I thought Iraq was not a Shia majority country.

      • Peter Stroud

        Excellent points made.

      • Tom Tom

        Iraq is a MAJORITY Shia country. It was simply that the British put Sunnis in charge when forming the country; just as France balanced the ticket in Lebanon with a rigged constitution to keep Christians in charge until the Muslim birthrate unbalanced it.

      • MaidInLondon

        This morning the BBC mentioned the threat to the winter Olympics in Russia came from ‘Dagestan extremists’ – they were loathe to say ‘Muslim extremist’ as they had already used this description in the preceding item concerning the US attempt to take out a Somalian jihadist adherent of ‘the religion of peace’ Talk about Nanny State, with Auntie ‘doctoring’ the news for delicate sensibilities.

    • sarah_13

      Quite. It’s always a different excuse, we can never win, and when in doubt it’s the “zionists”, and before that the “jew”, and when they don’t have that excuse its all the other infidels, and when there are no infidels its my neighbour who isn’t observant enough and is an apostate…

    • Tom Tom

      They are agents of Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi Ambassador to the USA and now head of Saudi Intelligence. It was he who threatened Putin over Syria with terrorism in Sochi through the Al-Qaeda units run by Saudi in Chechnya. Interestingly enough Russia and China are doing joint-naval exercises in the Med…..lovely photo of the Officers of Peter The Great on board the Chinese flagship. Saudi might be heading for oblivion

    • Mike

      You got that right as its an inconvenient truth that far more Muslims have been killed through their own sectarian wars than through western intervention.

    • bla2013

      Fuck religions. All of them, ALL, are corrupted from their original message. It is hard to be tolerant, when you act neutral, avoiding conflicts and suddenly a bunch of brainwashed imbeciles “in the name of Allah” or whatever God come, try to convert you or kill you. Unacceptable. Fuck religion, the eternal cause of Worldwide wars.

      • caz

        well if you’re atheist, don’t go to a chat about religious wars.

  • Fasdunkle

    Two oppressive theocracies full of hatred fighting it out for domination – may they both be bled white

    • TuffTookas

      100% correct. Keep it simple. Contain these morons in their 14th Century sandpit. Nuke them if they decide to invade the 21st Century any further than we’ve foolishly let them so far. And stay well out. All women and children refugees to Jordan please. Not selling the sodding Big Issue outside Waitrose in North London. Please. Sounds harsh. But logical. We’ve probably left it a bit late to frack our way out of oil dependence on the morons but maybe it’s still worth a try.

      • Treebrain

        TuffTookas.

        “Nuke them if they decide to invade the 21st Century any further than we’ve foolishly let them so far.”

        The Geneva accord already signed with Iran makes clear that diplomacy, not war has won out.

        There is no question of any military action against wither country and most certainly not a nuclear won.

        President Obama has always tried to avoid escalating issues, that is why he won the Nobel Prize!

        Now his rapprochement with Iran will pay off, sanctions will continue to be lifted and inspections made that validate the Iranian statement that they only ever wanted nuclear capability for peaceful purposes.

        • Tuff

          You stick to hilariously naïve. I’ll stick to clumsily facetious.

          • Treebrain

            Tuff, I as naive as the countries who signed the Geneva accord with Iran.

            I will remain as naive when Iran becomes a nuclear power, sanctions are lifted and Iran is welcomed back into the international community.

            The non-naive states of Israel and Saudi Arabia will howl with impotent rage when that happens, having been publicly excluded, ignored and outflanked by the secret US negotiations with Iran.

            So much for their much vaunted security and intelligence services!

        • Ezme Green

          Diplomacy wins with those who are educated and who believe in democracy.

          • thomasaikenhead

            Not at all Ezme, diplomacy wins when people realise that they have more to gain by negotiating than trying to kill!

  • John Davies

    Brilliant piece. It’s taken way too long to admit it though, and Western governments are still playing silly games. Feeding credibility into their rubbish in return for oil hasn’t helped really though, has it?

  • Phil Greaves

    This article is pure Orientalism. But that is not surprising considering the Henry Jackson Society is a Zionist “think tank” based in the US that promotes US Imperialism & the Zionist occupation of Palestine. The “Sunni-Shi’a” war is nothing but elitist (& racist) mythology expounded by shills of Zionism like the author above to place the blame on the victims of Zionist & Imperial aggression.

    The Zionists & Imperialists have for decades attempted to sow sectarian strife in the Arab & Muslim world to divide states & peoples opposed to Anglo-American domination. Chaos, division & reaction in lands the Imperialists wish malleable for exploitation is far preferable to unified opposition – and has been the overarching policy of all Empire – the current Empire of the United States is no exception.

    It is called Divide & Rule, and this heavily misinformed author is following the script he is fed at the Henry Jackson Society to implant in western minds that Muslims are simply philistine savages intent on sectarian supremacy.

    It would be laughable if it weren’t so pernicious & dangerous.

    The myth of a “Sunni-Shi’a” war is a social engineering tool used by the elite class to foment & divide peoples & states. All War & antagonism is a result of the productive social relations, ie: Capitalist exploitation. Religion & the supposed schisms that are exploited within it are manufactured by the elite class (Wahhabi monarchs & their Western/Zionist allies in this case) to divide & destroy competing states.

    I urge the author to look up the term “Divide & Rule”, I also urge his readers to inform themselves of the real history of the Middle East & its centuries of coexistence of all sect & ethnicities. Because the author above is not only misinformed, he is intentionally trying to misinform his readers to meet the demands of his Imperialist & Zionist bosses at Henry Jackson.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/07/2013719220768151.html

    • Fasdunkle

      House!!!

    • pedestrianblogger

      What colour is the sky on your planet?

    • Framer

      Every politician and state (and human) since day one has practised divide and rule. It is racist to ascribe it to Jewish and Christians.

      • Phil Greaves

        Thats funny, if you read my post i dont mention a single Christian or Jew. You duplicitously try to conflate Jews & Christians with *Imperialists and *Zionists.

        Back to hasbara school.

        • mahatmacoatmabag

          ” One of the chief tasks of any dialogue with the Gentile world is to prove that the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is not a distinction at all.”
          Quote by the late Abba Eban, well respected Foreign Minister of Israel

    • lewlewlew

      The Henry jackson Society is based in London.

      • Phil Greaves

        Correct, it derives its name from the anti-communist warhawk US Senator that inspired such paragons of Neoconservatism & perpetual war as Richard Perle & Wolfowitz. My apologies. Same shit, different postcode.

    • sarah_13

      Yeah, you’re right, it’s always someone else’s fault.

      • Phil Greaves

        Nope, all social antagonism (including war) is the fault of Capitalist exploiters – not just someone else. And lets not forget, Imperialism is merely the highest form of Capitalism. Ie: in the modern global era, Imperial nations are responsible for the vast majority of social antagonism and war across the globe – either directly, or covertly through proxies, this is simple history.

        The current antagonisms in the Middle East are no exception.

        • sarah_13

          Yeah of course. All that Sunni/Shia slaughter all the capitalists’ fault……

          • Phil Greaves

            Your vapid answers are pitiful. Bye now.

          • Icebow

            Your pitiable answer is vapid. Hello.

        • Icebow

          Hilarious! You may well be to politics what William McGonagall was to poetry.
          I refuse to own dictionaries that are not British Empire friendly.

        • Tom M

          Rubbish. A casual look at the history of that area tells you that they have been squabbling with each other long before the word imperialist was ever coined. Indeed long before even the Isalm was a religion.
          If prodded I would probably go as far as to say the imperialist period was probably the least belligerent in the region’s history.

          • Owi Wowi

            The Quran is full of stories about squabbling villages and towns with Allah intervening occasionally.

          • Oscar

            It’s amazing also how many people forget about the Caliphate.

          • Fasdunkle

            and how one of the reasons for the success of the early crusades was shia/sunni rivalry – in fact on occasion either side would fight alongside crusaders if the other faction was the target

        • Oscar

          Why then were the goons of al-Zarqawi rampaging around Iraq before their leader’s death, setting off IED’s which are completely indiscriminate, ( ‘kill anyone with in range; Muslim and non Muslim) shooting down senior clerics outside their Mosques, blowing up Red Cross Offices in Baghdad and intimidating Iraqis who wanted to vote in elections??

          • mahatmacoatmabag

            Obviously they are committing mass murder because Islam is the Religion of Peace !

        • Oscar

          Why don’t you just say you think there’s a Jewish world conspiracy being operated out of the US and get it over with.

          • mahatmacoatmabag

            not just out of the US, I am running a Jewish Conspiracy out of my lounge here in Tel Aviv, I conspire with Google Chrome to make fun of Anti-Semites on the Web !

    • C_monsta

      Isn’t it a bit patronising and elitist to say that they are being duped by the old ‘divide & rule’ routine?

      • Fasdunkle

        Rather amazingly there are a lot of idiots around who think arabs etc are completely incapable of making their own decisions and making their own mistakes. These idiots instead blame everything on imperialists, neo-colonialists, zionists etc. The only value their articles and posts have is as a game – BS bingo – check out all the keywords in Phil’s post – HOUSE!!!!!

        • C_monsta

          Indeed. It really is racism – I can’t think of another way of explaining this attitude.

          • Fasdunkle

            Unfortunately there’s a lot of it about – usually in hard left leaning circles

    • Icebow

      I paste the truth contained in your comment:

      Muslims are simply philistine savages intent on sectarian supremacy.

    • Tom M

      Seems to me that strife in the region has been endemic since Gilgamesh and continued apace ever since.
      From memory Gilgamesh predates Zionists and Imperialists by a considerable margin.

    • mahatmacoatmabag

      As the Spectators resident Zionist troublemaker & ex-IDF soldier, I enjoyed reading your humorous explanation on the meaning of life & why its such an advantage to have plonkers like your self supporting the other side.

    • Baron

      Phil, curl up in the corner, keep on evolving, a couple of millennia may do it.

      Only a half wit could interpret the Syrian conflict as engineered by the zionists, or anyone else for that matter.

    • Michael Sager

      I just love parodies! Great! Good job!

    • expatray

      eloquent for an ignoramus…

    • anotherjoeblogs

      Well done ! you ticked every cliche in the box. five stars *****. Pass with honours. There’s a job at huff-po waiting.

    • Kennybhoy

      Newcombe? If this is you then you are a bad, bad man! :-)

    • Tanks-a-lot

      Trying to deny the Takfiri nature of the Shia vs Sunni hate for each other.

      fail

  • C_monsta

    It is racist to draw a caricature of Middle Eastern men.

    • Baron

      Have a go, C monsta, and see what happens.

  • mahatmacoatmabag

    Regarding the daily Muslim on Muslim mutual mass slaughter in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan , Lebanon & Afghanistan , sooner them killing each other than killing Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists & even Atheists in the name of Allah

    • Tom Tom

      You don’t think Christians exist in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, Egypt ? You are clearly a total moron

      • mahatmacoatmabag

        Tom Tom, I am well aware of the ongoing persecution of Christians in Arab & Moslem countries, once they ran out of Jews to massacre it was inevitable that they would turn on the Christians.
        You are correct in two things:-
        1) I should have mentioned it
        2) I am a total moron, otherwise I would not be posting on the Spectator but on that Mecca ( pun intended ) that draws the superior intellects of this world , the Daily Mirror. Quite frankly I am only drawn to the Spectator because they have better looking page 3 girls than the Mirror or the Sun for that matter, so what is your excuse for posting on here?

        • dmitri the impostor

          Mr Tom Tom’s excuse for posting here is to show us straw-sucking yokels how clever he is. In fact, his excuse is to convince us that he sees it all, as it happens, on 36 screens, from inside a hollowed-out volcano. Also labours under the misapprehension that PPE is a credential.

          • Kennybhoy

            lol :-)

  • Ricky Strong

    The sooner we start a mature debate about the religion of Islam the sooner it may actually go through its own enlightenment.

    And in the meantime we need to bomb the living daylight out of the middle east with all the type of books you would find in the world’s greatest libraries. I firmly believe education is the key.

    As Billy Connolly said: never trust a man with one book, how did you think they would turn out?

    • mahatmacoatmabag

      never trust 1) a Muslim 2) Billy Connolly

      • Kennybhoy

        Or a Revisionist Zionist? :-)

    • Tom Tom

      Why don’t you go out there and teaching reading in English ? More books are translated into Greek each year than Arabic

    • Daniel Maris

      We should certainly have a more aggressive campaign of information and education. We ought to be distributing free tablets with pre-set literature and films all designed to undermine the fantasticism the average Muslim gets taught at school.

  • Baron

    Douglas, an exceptionally good slicing of the big boil the ME region is suffering from. It may indeed be terminal for both sides, if Iran and the Saudis equip themselves with the nuclear whip, and they will because the survival of either is at stake, and both are fanatical enough to use it. But what about Israel, the world at large if they do?

    The American Republic may yet regret giving up on the region because of her forthcoming self-sufficiency in fossil fuels. The nuclear threat trumps it.

  • Fasdunkle

    By the way, here’s a wonderful example of hypocrisy

    http://www.oic-oci.org/oicv2/topic/?t_id=8811&t_ref=3534&lan=en

  • Oscar

    ‘Why did you come here? Go fight Israel, brother.’ Only to be told, ‘Fighting apostates like you people takes precedence over fighting the Jews and the Christians. All imams concur on that.’

    And people say the West is Islam’s biggest problem?

    • mahatmacoatmabag

      Islam & Marxist infiltration ( the EU & the US Democrat party )

      • Oscar

        Yeah, I mean it’s just incredible that people like Galloway go on about how great the ‘resistance’ is in Iraq and how it’s objective is to expel the ‘invaders’ when the ‘resisters’ are more interested in slaughtering their fellow Muslims and anyone else fighting for a better, democratic Iraq.

        • Fasdunkle

          Who cares what Galloway has to say?

          • Oscar

            A lot of people I’m afraid. The people of Bradford West for example think he’s just super.

          • Fasdunkle

            Probably not now, is he even ever there?
            Plus the Respect councillors he had in Bradford Council have all quit the party

          • Oscar

            He’s still there and he has 170,051 Twitter followers. Whatever happens within Respect he will always find backers by playing the race card and heightening fears about ‘Islamaphobia.’ What’s more even the people who have apparently deserted him professionally still back his version of anti-imperialism; the disgusting Salma Yaqoob for example.

          • Tom Tom

            Yes because the alternative was people like Councillor Paul Flowers in the corrupt Labour Party run by Ian Greenwood and his cronies

          • Oscar

            I’m not familiar with Ian Greenwood, but I doubt very much that he is, or has ever been in league with,say, Hezbollah? Hezbollah, who’s favourite pastime is throwing Jews off buildings, want the destruction of the West, and you don’t think it’s a problem that one of their cheerleaders is a British MP?

            I also take leave to doubt that Mr Greenwood would ever, in public anyway, describe disabled people as “window licker’s,” or indeed take it upon himself to decide when rape is rape.

          • Daniel Maris

            Galloway?

          • Kennybhoy
  • Oscar

    Best way to deal with apologists for Islamism; stop calling them left wing (they’re not worthy of the name) and start calling them out for the racists they are.

  • mahatmacoatmabag

    Good Night Oscar, Fasdunkle, Baron & all readers of good will & good humour

  • pp22pp

    This wouldn’t be our problem if they weren’t here in huge and growing numbers.

    • Bonkim

      Not stopping government taking decisive decisions – not bombing Assad out of existence two years back was a mistake – so don’t find excuses.

      • pp22pp

        We have no business interfering in Syria. If we must be there, we should be helping our coreligionists against the Muslims. That means helping Assad.

        • mahatmacoatmabag

          Assad is an Alawite, a Shiite offshoot, allied with Iran & its terrorist proxy Hezbolah.
          The only country that the West should support on moral , economic, military, cultural, legal, scientific, humanitarian & above all democratic grounds is Israel

          • Bonkim

            Absolutely – Hezbollah has been terrorizing the Levant since the PLA became respectable. However not sure if Israel’s hands are clean either.

        • Bonkim

          Misguided – Christians exist and are persecuted in many other countries and unlikely that they can all be helped.

          In many locations Christian militias are also active in a violent way – now that is totally against the Bible.

          Your comments and many others that want to support and side with Assad who is a war criminal killing his own people come from Satan – not the God of the Bible. Many Christians supported Hitler and Mussolini – you are part of that fascist lot – low life.

          the Bible does not ask its followers to take up arms against that oppose and persecute them.

          The world is getting overpopulated, and conflicts are raging across the globe, will intensify, and people of all religions will participate – that is those that claim to belong to a religion but don’t care much about its teachings – the includes nominal Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and others – religion coupled with politics and nationalism is the creation of the devil – not God of any religion.

          • Raw England

            The VAST majority of natives of this country don’t give a shit about Syria, or its people. I assure you.

            The only reason foreign politics has infected our nation is due to the huge amount of Muslims here.

            And, if anyone, we support Assad against the Islamist scum.

          • Bonkim

            Speaking for your mouth and back-side – I don’t care much about Syria either but can’t see why anyone should support Assad either who is hand in gloce with Iran and Hezbollah another Islamic terror organisation.

            i am also not sure if you can speak for the vast majority of people in Britain that have no clue where Syria is in the middle east or the complexities of the conflict there except perhaps the millions of displaced persons and tens of thousands killed mainly by Assad’s military machine, and and his Iranian/Hezbollah murder squads.

            Contrary to your opinion, most in Britain don’t want anyone out there anywhere to suffer and although often misguided and misinformed want to do something to help.

            You should much like the fascists in Europe – unsure whether you are English/British at all. May be an Ukrainian plant in the pay of Assad.

          • Raw England

            Oooh, attitude. It’s weird: sometimes I see you making Lefty-bollocks comments, but every now and again, you show some morsel of charm.

          • Bonkim

            Everyone has a right to their view you included.

            Right/left means little to me – case by case analysis rather than gut feel – in any case best to have a strategy for change rather than give out gut-feel.

          • pp22pp

            Christianity could soon disappear from the Middle East. As far as I am concerned, preserving it is the only worthwhile contribution we could make. Maybe a Christian Arab state. Other than that I do not know enough to comment. I am on their side because they and I both belong to Christian cultures.
            The “bomb-them” crowd like always claim to know the answers and leave a trail of carnage in their wake. It’s clear to me you know even less than I do. Al Qaida is written with the Arabic letter qaf. By writing it with a kh, you have demonstrated that you do not even know the alphabet. At least I can read a newspaper. Moron!

            You’re clearly not an L1 speaker of English. Where are you from? Why are you so keen to get us involved in this fight?

          • Bonkim

            I shall spell Al Khaida as it is spoken regardless of how the Arabs pronounce/spell it.

            As said, doubt if many in Britain/England will listen to your call for a Crusade to establish a Christian State in the Holy Land. The Turks, and Israelis will probably be the first to stop you on your tracks.

            A Christian Arab State, same as a Jewish state in the region will have to be maintained at a huge cost if it is not to be overrun by the surrounding Islamic population. Given that Arab Christians are not a lot different culturally from their Islamic neighbours doubt they will have the spunk that the Israelis have in surviving surrounded by hostile neighbours even if supported by the long arm of the US.

            Neither the US nor Britain, even less the EU will spend scarce resources to keep a minority state alive, leave alone give birth to one – the birth of Israel was a one-off – never to be repeated and the West is less powerful and less determined today than it was post WW2. Today’s generation in Britain and the US have got soft and comfort loving; Christianity or foreign adventures not in their blood.

            Not sure if you live in Britain – not many will listen to your call to arms and march to Syria or other parts of the world to defend Christianity or any other religion – and Mid-East and other locations – Christianity is Papist or Orthodox – quite out of line with British culture.

            English is a flexible language and has many variations – Keep guessing.

          • pp22pp

            You’ve misread me.I want nothing to do with the Middle East at all. I despise them and their religion in equal measure. I was saying that, hypothetically, if we were to be involved, we should at least help other Christians. I don’t care where you live. You’re clearly not British. I am a blood and soil nationalist. Passports are a piece of paper.

            My Arabic is limited. I know that the pronunciation of qaf varied by dialect. Where is it pronounced kh?

          • Bonkim

            Understand your mindset – and arguing about who is British and who is not – is outside your grasp – British history, and culture means little to you.

            Blood and soil nationalists used to be cannon-fodder in colonial wars – if you are comfortable that you are somehow defending Britishness let me not take you out of your blind hole. Not sure if you are a Christian – Jesus’ teachings and nationalism don’t mix either.

            I still don’t see someone claiming to be British riding on the back of a war-criminal – Al Khaida and their namesakes across the Islamic lands have been hit for over ten years and keep rising up – simply because – more we hit them more they recruit their compatriots to join in – Don’t forget Queen Budica or Robert the Bruce.

            Regards saving Christians – Tally up the numbers in the Middle-East and all other countries in Africa, and Asia where they have lost their power arising from the break up of European Empires that supported the Missionaries and you will understand yours is a lost cause.

            Get real. if you feel strongly, join up with the Christian militias in Syria or the Central African Republic.

          • pp22pp

            I keep saying I want nothing to do with the Middle East. How many times so I have to repeat it? I have no intention of joining a militia in Syria. One British life lost in the Middle East is one too many. Take yourself and your desire to bomb Assad back to the land of your ancestors.

            What I said was: “if we were to fight, let it at least be for those with whom we have some cultural link.” It’s a conditional clause. That indicates that I am speaking hypothetically. The meaning is: I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH SYRIA. BUT IF YOU MUST DRAG US INTO ANOTHER POINTLESS WAR, LET US AT LEAST NOT FIGHT FOR ISLAM.

          • Bonkim

            Keep repeating – what makes you think Britain is fighting for Islam? Governments look at national interests – not religion/s of those involved except in planning strategy.

            The US, Britain, and France all have looked at the Mid-East situation post terrorist attacks and factored i the drivers for Islamic terrorism. What baffles me is the considerable activity in taking out the terrorists in the lands where they originate and huge intelligence operations across the globe that has helped in reducing incidents.

            So Britain/US/France wanting to get rid of Assad the root cause of Syria’s problems – Al Khaida types joining up and consequence pressure on Christians there – thwarted by popular sentiments and legislatures in all three countries.

            Nothing to do with Muslims resident in Britain or France who have little influence on foreign policy. In the US for example most people care even less than they do about world affairs.

            Whilst I appreciate you have every right to your views on Islam or Britishness, etc, government does not operate via street committees and popular sentiments on Spectator and other blogs.

            Regards getting dragged into wars, that is a defeatist approach – if you just sit inside watching telly when your neighbour’s house is set on fire – you are participating in that crime. If you are able to, you should intervene to help your neighbour.

            Those that can and want to take risks and jump in taking calculated risk. Think about it another way – Britain’s armed forces are one of the best in the world not-withstanding numbers – they are the best as action around the world keeps them in practice.

          • pp22pp

            Syria seems to matter to you a lot. What is your ancestral connection to the region? If you want to fight and get your limbs blown off feel free. Syria is not our neighbour and we are not the global policeman.

          • Bonkim

            Pass – I have an interest in world social and economic history and people/religions – look at all equally and without bias to the best of my ability.

            If you take sides you cannot look at events and societies dispassionately. Perhaps should let you carry on your own narrow view.

            Don’t comment and you will not be commented on.

            World affairs have a habit of going round in today’s interconnected economic and political systems. Britain is 75% + dependent for resources on the outside world and try it as you may – Britain is trapped into dependency on the rest of the world. The Dutch even more so.

            With less than 1% world population, Britain is also vulnerable to being affected world events and politics – so far it has managed to keep ahead by getting involved in world affairs – not by backing away.

            Europe is on its way down with major players – China, Russia, even India controlling large parts of world resources – minding ones business is not in Britain’s interests.

          • Kennybhoy

            10/10

          • Kennybhoy

            ” What is your ancestral connection to the region?”

            Many thanks for living down to my expectation.

          • pp22pp

            Your opinion of me is something I value less than not at all.

          • Penny

            I’m not sure we can mind our own business in light of having signed up to the UN’s R2P – Responsibility to Protect, a policy brought about by the genocide in Rwanda. It is not a perfect policy and it does put military intervention as a last resort (with the UNSC as the deciding body), but I’m not sure we can enter into these initiatives – grounded in international law – while also saying “none of our business”.

          • pp22pp

            Screw international law. I don’t see China or Japan falling over themselves to intervene. Let’s unsubscribe and go back to being a sovereign nation.

          • Kennybhoy

            10/10

          • Kennybhoy

            The up vote is for the first two and a half paras. :-)

          • pp22pp

            I don’t want to be involved in the Middle East at all. And I don’t want them here. I wrote a stinging reply, but the moderator has decided to spare your feelings. You’re the one who says we should have bombed Assad. I just dislike him less than I dislike everyone else there.

  • Perseus Slade

    Religion is a vile thing.
    So stupid too.

    • Bonkim

      Yes, but mankind is trapped in it.

      • Perseus Slade

        Unfortunately.
        But it is time to move on.

        The trouble is that religion has “bagged” morality
        but morality is just as much a natural thing as selfishness.

    • mahatmacoatmabag

      Atheism is also vile & stupid & just as deadly

      • Perseus Slade

        Atheism correspond to reality.
        Religion does not.
        It`s a simple at that.
        Think about it.

        • Tanks-a-lot

          you must be a Lysenkoist

          atheism only corresponds to your individual reality. Why do you think your personal reality is the only universal reality?

          Are you that conceited ?

          • Perseus Slade

            The premise that some things are true is the basis of all science, underlying the only real progress that humanity has made over the centuries.

            Obviously, we can only experience the world through our senses and can never actually know reality.

            But I suppose that you contend that reality does not exist?

          • Tanks-a-lot

            Modern science would not exist without the Christian worldview that God made Nature with Laws instead of controlling everything at every moment out of some sort of necessity.

            I am just a humble man that thinks conceited atheists need to be told what for.

          • Perseus Slade

            Seems you are having trouble with reality, Mr Heep.

          • Tanks-a-lot

            oh look, another religious atheist with nothing substantial to say.

          • Perseus Slade

            “religious atheist” hmm, a contradiction in terms.
            You sound confused. And appear to be making psychological projections.

            Would you accept that the world you perceive has some objective reality and that some things are true and some are false? Or are you a solipsist?

            Bit by bit, we have discovered more and more about reality and found that our pieces of knowledge fit together like those of a jigsaw puzzle. The religious stuff belongs to an earlier age of ignorance and does not fit in, as the honest Darwin discovered to his dismay. Like it or not, you have got to face it.

  • Tom Tom

    Saudi Arabia is a joke country built around a tribe that Britain let seize the Hashemite claim to authority in the region and reducing them to kingships of Jordan and Iraq. The House of Saud has no legitimacy but is now a regime able to bribe US politicians to keep it in place. Iran is a serious country with a history spanning more than 80 years……it has a population of 60 million and a history of imperial scale.

    As for Sunni/Shia – it is Syria and Iraq that became the historical power centres – Saladin was a Kurd from Tikrit – a fact not lost on Saddam al-Takriti. Saudi Arabia is a regime in trouble and the Americans have no alternative government – in Iran they (and MI6) displaced Mossadeq and imposed the Pahlavi dynasty once more……but they screwed up in Egypt and Libya and have a complete abortion in Syria……..and with Saudi funding Erdogan’s crashing credit boom in Turkey the Shia/Sunni battles may be coming to a Turkish region near you

    • Bonkim

      Yes – that is how history evolves all across the globe – forces establishing supremacy and getting replaced by others. Today’s situation is simply an in-between and transitory stage until the next power balance gets established.

    • mahatmacoatmabag

      Great Britain & France clearly violated the mandate given them under the terms of the San Remo treaty after WW1 & created the four illegal Arab states of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon & Jordan instead of creating the Jewish State in the former Turkish Occupied Territory of the Levant.
      The San Remo treaty confirmed & incorporated the Balfour Declaration’s validity yet failed to carry out their joint commitment to do so & this is the core of the Middle East dispute, the establishment of illegal Arab entities on the Land of Israel, which was established in Law many thousands of years ago in the Bible & is the basis along with Roman & Greek laws for the Judaeo-Christian democratic societies of the West. ( read Genesis 15:18 )

    • Kennybhoy

      David Lindsay in disguise? FSB shill? Conspiracist loon? Or wot dmitri the impostor wrote above? Or maybe some combination thereof…?

  • Raw England

    The vast majority of native Brits really, really don’t give a single shit about Syria, or its people. In fact, the vast majority don’t give a shit about the Middle East full stop.

    Its only because of the many, many unwanted Muslims in our country that Syria is getting so much attention from politicians and the media. The vast majority of actual British people literally, literally do not care one f**k.

    Muslims as always redirecting our national resources to their foreign homelands

    • Bonkim

      Repeat from someone else’s post – Muslims domestic or foreign are not directing the British Government.

      I fact David Cameron and Obama missed a trick not taking Assad out at the beginning of this carnage. Assad attracts terrorists as a cadaver attracts flies and maggots.

      David Cameron has the right idea if the refugees are to be helped, then it is a question of helping them closer to their homeland, not in Britain or elsewhere thousands of miles away.

      I see quite a few misguided and mis-informed promoting the cause of the persecuted mid-east Christians and vociferously proclaiming what a great hero Assad is of the Christians – nothing of the sort – he is a war-criminal deserving to be bombed out from his bunker and taken for trial as a war-criminal.

      • Tanks-a-lot

        A ‘war-criminal’, according to Sunni Takfiris based on their Shariah based international law.

        get a clue.

        • Bonkim

          Based on common sense.

          • Tanks-a-lot

            You ignore the Sunni Takfiris. Your sense is based on wearing blinders to that which will fill the vacuum.

            Assad was and is correct to kill every last takfiri sunni muslim in Syria.

          • Bonkim

            You are a F’in idiot or a terrorist in the pay of war-criminal Assad – we don’t want you here.

          • Tanks-a-lot

            LOL
            Takfiri Sunnis are human garbage that should be killed off.

            “his people”. LOL

            Of course, my solution is to nuke mecca and medina to prove that allah is the greatest fraud perpetrated ever.

    • Kennybhoy

      Oh ffs sign in under your own pseud ya loon!

  • Guest

    We all hope that Shia’s and Sunni’s will continue their bitter, violent war against each other, post-haste.

  • Coleridge1

    The West and Blair & Bush have been condemned as ‘war criminals’ for removing the Arab fascist killer Saddam Hussein from Iraq where he butchered half a million of his own citizens and used WMD’s on the Kurds and Marsh Arabs.
    Now the west is being condemned for not interfering in Syria to stop Moslems slaughtering each and we are being lectured that there’s a moral obligation on us in the infidel west to allow in thousands more Moslem refugees from their Moslem oppressors.
    Of course if we point out that it is islam that is the cause of this genocide we are then accused of ‘islamophobia.’ if we allow in more Moslem settlers, many support the blowing up of our tubes and buses because they disapprove of our foreign policy and can’t understand why we don’t kill Gays and Jews.
    Time to banish islam and it’s ideology from these shores. Time to kick out Arab/Moslem dictatorships from the UN. Time to respond with military force against the Arab/Moslem persecution and killing of Christians.

  • jacknyc

    dear mr murray, you are an idiot, this was is 1300 years old over succession to Muhammad, blood kin or by cote of council elders and will last until the sun cools or goes nova

    the local instance Syria, is even more fun for Islam-haters b/c it blurs this very clear line, by regionalism, nationalism, extremism, tribalism, and just plain old fashioned thuggery

    when TE Lawrence organized the saudi or bedu agains the Turks, he had to overcome insularity and vendetta and plunder and ego, nothing has changed

    the best Western response is to build a high fence and arm both ir all 67 or 670 sides within

    it is impossoble to now which side advances secular western democracy, and we know though that our very own POTUS does not, nor does he seem to recognize the question, or the correct answer , which is none of the above

    THUS the legacy for Mr Obama, the Manchurian Muslim from Marx-ico is full scale intra Islamic war, which is unlikely his intention

    in his/ our attempt to surrender to the global caliphate we need to know which side mr aA

  • Tarig Musa

    I’ve not even bothered reading the article, what’s the point when the first thing you see on opening the page is rehashed Nazi propaganda simply used against Muslims. That image is eerily similar to the ones used by Nazis to portray Jews as money hungry hook-nosed thieves. And many of you people below actually support this guys ideas? Your sick, if this was 1946 Douglas Murray would be heading to the gallows now, just like Julius Streicher was!

    • Bonkim

      A little introspection would help – and Muslims at large don’t see the flaws in their religion or challenge their bigoted Imams and antisocial and criminal elements, and backward social customs.

      Most in the West have cast their dar-ages mindsets, stereotypes are created by outward behaviour. Every society has its right to expect incomers to adapt and change – not to withdraw into closed ghettos – would Islamic societies allow visitors to ignore prevailing codes of behaviour?

      • Tarig Musa

        what a load of tosh! you don’t have to look far to see Muslims standing up against bad, just google it! I’ve had this very conversation on Muslims integrating in to new societies before, I really can’t be bothered having the same discussion again! Go through my past comments, find the article on EU observer, and see if you can respond to any of my points in that discussion since no one could then!

        • Bonkim

          Why should anyone research your past posts? EU Observer? The sum total of Muslims standing against bad does not appear to add up to a can of beans – it is always the negatives that show. Self-inflicted cultural apartheid is the main hindrance to Muslims integrating.

          • Tarig Musa

            Then don’t but I can’t be bothered to have the same discussion again! Anyone who actually wants to know, feel free to go take a look instead of listening to bigots!

            Also, I seriously recommend just a short Google search before responding like you have there! Just because the great Doulglas Murray, or the daily mail, or fox news don’t show you a true representation of Muslims, doesn’t mean it’s hard to find. Let me give you a clue, mass media is simply a propaganda tool used to dumb down people like you and instigate a system of divide and conquer. You’re an enemy to your rulers because if you truly knew the power you have, you wouldn’t allow them to rape your economy, make you foot the bill, send your children to fight in pointless wars that you can pretend to be abhorred about (as long as they stay in places that are brown), and give themselves huge bonuses at the end of the year, whilst plastering it all over the front pages just to show you that they really don’t give a toss about you!

          • Bonkim

            You recognize the tree by the fruit it produces. My views are based on observations and experience not what others write/say or google posts.

            And no one wants to discuss religion with those that are stuck in deep-seated beliefs – ‘my God is better than yours’ ping pong. One can say that you are simply trying to defend your beliefs – we all have choices and the blog site is for you to post your views without having to engage in a discussion with each other or trying to convince others of your views. I recognize others have their views and it is not for me to convince them mine is right.

          • Tarig Musa

            Well, I can definitely agree with that, although I very much doubt your opinion on Muslims is formed of ‘experience’, rather that hearsay. If it was based on genuine experience, you would have a very different viewpoint.

          • Bonkim

            No point arguing – the proof is in all lands populated by Muslims and where Muslims in numbers have taken up residence. Which world do you live in?

            Show me one country ruled by Sharia or Muslim dominated government where peace and harmony prevails, and which tolerates other cultures, and other religions.

          • Tarig Musa

            Well, considering I live in a Muslim majority country, feel far safer than I ever did living in England (I don’t have to watch over my back here for fear of getting my head kicked in for being black), that is home to over 180 nationalities and is governed by Sharia law (a legal system that you clearly have no knowledge of, tell me what is it?), and is in peace and harmony, your logic falls flat on it’s face!

            To answer your question, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, UAE, Morocco, Oman, Jordan, amongst many others are all Muslim majority and very safe and peaceful! As I’ve shown above, all you are doing is taking police blotter examples, and using it to tarnish 1.5 billion people! There is more gun crime in America than is required to classify a nation as being in a state of civil war, does that mean all Christians are inherently evil? How about countries like Rwanda and Congo, massacres committed by Christians, does that make all Christians evil? wasn’t it Christians that used the A-bomb? isn’t it a Christian nation that has invaded and occupied over 50 foreign countries, causing the end of life for many millions of people over the last 50 years? Wasn’t it a Christian nation that ethnically cleansed the Island of Diego Garcia to make way for a military base? And don’t even get me started on the evils of the Zionist regime and their doings! Or Atheists for that matter, Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, Mussolini, not a great track record for a belief structure that is less than 100 years old in terms of being a ruling political structure!

            But like I said earlier, I won’t tarnish everyone of a certain race, religion or creed because of the actions of a minority. I’ll leave the bigotry to you!

          • Bonkim

            Good for you wherever you are –

            Ref FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE for details.

            http://www.freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/FIW%202013%20Charts%20and%20Graphs%20for%20Web_0.pdf

            See below: Freedom Index – 1 to 6, 6 worst: PR political rights, CL civil liberties. Saudi Arabia – the epitome of Islam – worst of the lot.

            United Kingdom* Free PR 1 CL 1
            United States* Free PR 1 CL 1

            Turkey Partly Free PR 3 CL 4 ▼
            Indonesia PartlyFree PR 2 CL 3
            United Arab Emirates Not Free PR 6 CL 6 guest labour heavily exploited, anti-Shia, near slavery in parts

            Morocco Morocco Partly Free PR 5 CL 4
            Malaysis Partly Free PR 4 CL 4 minorities treated 2nd class
            Oman Not Free PR6 CL5 persecution of Shia and minorities; arrests of human rights and political
            reform advocates and increased restrictions on free expression in online forums.

            Jordan Not Free PR 6 CL 5, repression of widespread protests against a new electoral law and the lack of meaningful political reform.

            Over 60% of countries in Middle East and North Africa – Islamic Heartland are not free, rest partly free, only 6% of countries and 2% of population will pass the freedom test.

            Wester Europr – 96% of countries and 85% population live in free countries by the same definition.

            Of course if you don’t mind your hands chopped off or hanged for blasphemy or being Gay or happy burning Mosques and Temples as they are infidels, beat you wives, or destroying historic monuments because they blaspheme Allah – it is O.K or kill off that don’t fit in – all by law of the land, you better stay in your Sharia heaven. on’t blame others not sharing your mindset of aspirations.

            Regards racist thugs beating up black men and women or anti-Muslim acts – you would have noticed – the law steps in pronto and more often than not the criminals are hauled up before a court.

            Regards US and their gun laws – that is part of individual freedoms and in a free society there are criminals that break laws and are hauled in front of the law.

          • Tarig Musa

            well done moving the goalposts, you asked for countries in peace and harmony, nothing about political rights and freedom! however, I’ll humor you on this occasion, once your points are demolished I recommend you don’t try moving the goalposts again!

            first of all political rights! I find it extremely funny that you actually believe you have any choice in who governs anywhere in the world. You have no choice, you have the illusion of choice. There are 50 flavours at baskin & robins, 101 restaurants in your local city, 600 channels on TV, but only 4-5 telecoms providers, 2-3 utilities suppliers, and 2-3 political parties to choose from, all of whom act the exact same way when in power. Do you really think your vote makes a difference? There have been two prime examples in the UK and US over the last few years that it doesn’t matter who is in power, public opinion counts for nothing and all the parties ultimately act the same, but give you the illusion of choice, easier to control you that way! the first is Obama, came to power on a variety of campaign promises that included, ending the war in Iraq (he started a 3rd instead), closing Gitmo (it’s still open), and a variety of healthcare reforms (there are still 30 million people in the states that can’t afford to go to hospital). So what he has in reality done is exactly what Bush was doing, he has continued and even expanded in many cases, the very same policies that a supposedly different political party enacted! The fact that almost all of the presidents have been some form of blood relatives since US independence isn’t lost on me, (even bush and obama are distant relatives). The second example is lib-dems in the UK. came to a controlling minority stake in government on the back of a campaign promise to ensure student fees are not increased. they came in to government and what happened? So no, contrary to what reports written by paid shills of these same governments that have you fooled in to thinking you actually have a say in how your country is run, you don’t! I would much rather live in a country where the rulers are open and honest about the fact than one where I am lied to every step of the way!

            ‘ Saudi Arabia – the epitome of Islam – worst of the lot.’

            Saudi Arabia was founded by the British 80 years ago, Islam is over 1400 years old, so only about 1320 years out on that claim! And since you are so against Saudi Arabia, why aren’t you questioning the military and political support given to the family of Saud by western rulers? if that support was gone the rulers wouldn’t last a year as they are widely despised across the region!

            ‘United Arab Emirates Not Free PR 6 CL 6 guest labour heavily exploited, anti-Shia, near slavery in parts’

            no different anywhere else in the world, have you seen how Mexicans are treated in the US?

            ‘Of course if you don’t mind your hands chopped off or hanged for blasphemy or being Gay’

            there are 4 countries in the world that enact such laws, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Central African Republic and sierra leone, two of them are Christian countries. There are 83 countries world wide where it is illegal to be gay, about 50% of them are Christian.

            ‘beat you wives’

            bit of a generalisation, how about you ask my wife what she thinks of Islam, or my mother, or my sister, or the 10,000’s of western women who convert to the religion every year after actually studying the teachings of the religion instead of forming an opinion on something they know nothing about! but either way, you act like men don’t beat women the world over! 1 in 6 women in America have been raped, over 85% say they have been sexually assaulted. This is a global phenomenon and it is extremely racist of you to claim it is only an issue amongst Muslims!

            ‘Regards racist thugs beating up black men and women or anti-Muslim acts – you would have noticed – the law steps in pronto and more often than not the criminals are hauled up before a court.’

            false, my friend was beaten up in front of a cinema whilst being racially abused, the culprits were caught on camera and released with a warning without going to court. same thing happened to my brother! How can we expect police action on such matters when there is a black British solidier, who i am sure none of you have ever heard of, called Christopher Alder. He was beaten to death and lay dead on the floor of a police station whilst the cops made monkey sounds over his body, you can find the video on youtube, and no one has ever been held accountable. And you’ve never heard of him, why?

            ‘Christians but mixed up with sectarian hatred, bigotry, national and militaristic ideals.’

            so one rule for Christians and another for Muslims? This is exactly why you are a bigot, your asumption that Islam lives in a vacuum, that culture and secretarianism don’t play any part in what has happened historically and is happening today, humans aren’t to blame it’s all the fault of this one book that you have never read! But you don’t want to talk about the impact that the Moors had on the renaissance, that might show another side of the religion that is damaging to your bigotry!

            ‘Muslim culture/religion still stuck in the middle-ages whereas the west has largelt weaned off from its Christian bigotry following the industrial revolution.’

            sure, that’s why the largest wars in the history of man were waged over the last century by western nations. Why blacks have only just become recognised as humans over the last few decades. Why south america is only just breaking out from the imperial black hole enforced on them through the overthrow of democratically elected governments and their replacement with dictators like Pinochet, carried out by the USA! give me a break!

          • Fasdunkle

            “the 10,000’s of western women who convert to the religion every year after actually studying the teachings of the religion”

            Most convert for marriage – in the UK about 50% currently later revert back

          • Bonkim

            Tarig Musa – Utter Gibberish – you have mixed a lot of junk and wasted your time.

            For someone who likes living the life of a slave to his religion and superiors – I suppose Islam is O.K that is your choice and I believe in freedom.

            Hope you are happy where you are. Don’t come here – we don’t like people with medieval mindsets here. We will resist backward cultures and religions. Get busy saving your brethren being slaughtered, starving, and made homeless in Syria, Pakistan, Somaliland, Sudan, etc, etc,. I bet you have your hands full – don’t depend on Western infidels.

          • Fasdunkle

            many churches in your country?

          • Tarig Musa

            one around the corner from where I live, numerous for all types of denominations! Along with temples, and Hindu/Sikh places of worship! you have no right to pass judgement on a part of the world you have never visited!

          • Fasdunkle

            Have you said where you live?

          • James Lovelace

            “you have no right to pass judgement on a part of the world you have never visited!”

            And we have not one scrap of evidence that anything you say is other than a lie.

          • Fasdunkle

            atheism isn’t a political structure, beyond “there is no god” atheism has nothing to say on any other subject

          • Tarig Musa

            so what was one of the main tenants of communism?

          • Fasdunkle

            socialism

          • Coleridge1

            Not very good examples Tariq!
            Turkey is a Moslem state that murdered one and half million Armenian Christians for the crime of not being Moslem. Turkey occupies the north of Cyprus after they ethnically cleansed its Greek-Orthodox population. Turkey has massacred 40,000 innocent Kurdish men women and children and imposes an apartheid system on its captive Kurdish population.
            Indonesia murdered 150,000 Catholics in East Timor for the crime of not being Moslem. Indonesia persecutes and murders and imposes a racist apartheid regime on its captive Christian population.
            Malaysia elected a PM who publicly praised Hitler and founded a national holiday – an anti-Jew Day celebrated by most Malaysian Moslems. Mein Kampf is on permanent display at Kuala Lumpa Airport. Malaysia savagely persecutes it’s Christian population.
            The apartheid states of UAE and Oman refuse to extend citizenship to Jews.
            Morocco imposes an apartheid system against Jews and Christians.
            Need I go on?

          • Tarig Musa

            you can find bad in any country if you go back in time, he asked for countries that are peaceful now, which all of them are! Indonesia democratically elected a non-Muslim female to the post of president, could you even imagine a female Muslim becoming the president of America? UAE and Oman are countries that are amongst the lowest crime rates in the world, and no one, not just Jews, can get citizenship there! Morocco is home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world!

            If you want to go back in time, it’s only been 60 years since blacks were actually considered humans in America! there is only one Apartheid state in the world at the moment, Israel! was the actions of the British during the opium wars in China not an act of genocide? stop moving the goalposts, your argument might have a little more basis!

          • Fasdunkle

            There are plenty of apartheid states, Israel isn’t one of them.

          • Bonkim

            Bad? These are war crimes you idiot.

          • James Lovelace

            “you can find bad in any country if you go back in time,”

            Most of the evil in the world stems from the creation of islam. Historians are starting to re-evaluate the blindspot in western thought.

            All these things are the responsibility of islam: Nazism, Communism, the Atlantic slave trade, the Inquisition, Heresy trials, European imperialism.

            If islam had not shown how successful were slave-taking, mass-murder, intolerance, dicatatorship — the world would have been a better place.

            The attack on islam has barely begun. In 10 years time there will be no non-muslim in the west who defends islam.

          • James Lovelace

            “mass media is simply a propaganda tool used to dumb down people like you and instigate a system of divide and conquer.”

            Which is why people should read the koran and the Life of Mohammed. And then they see that the savage violence and slave-taking of muslims can be found from the time this evil ideology was formed, right up to the present day.

            No other major religion was founded by a mass-murderer. Islam needs to be banned.

    • Kennybhoy

      Oh this is shameless!

      Remind me. Where did Amin al-Hussein spend World War II?

      SS Handschar?

      Which countries did those Nazis who escaped in 1945 flee to first?

      • Tarig Musa

        ahh, projection at it’s finest!

        starting from the bottom, Nazi escapees used ratlines through Spain and Italy to escape at the end of the war, some went to the Middle East, others South Africa, the majority went to South America, namely Argentina. However in all those cases, Nazi’s that were discovered were arrested and sent to trial for their crimes. There is only one nation on the planet, and it’s clients, that actively encouraged members of the Nazi infrastructure to relocate to their country, were given immunity, and even citizenship, the good old US of A! People like Hubertus Strughold, who was brought to the States by the government as part of operation paperclip, was known to have conducted experiments on humans that almost always led to death or disfigurement. Most of Americas prowess in the armament industry is thanks, directly, to the work of admitted Nazi’s, people guilty of serious crimes against humanity, and you have the nerve to blame Muslims for this?

        SS Handschar was a collection of mainly farmers coerced in to fighting for a losing army for a grand total of 5 months. When they discovered what they were fighting for they quickly disbanded. but since we’re on the subject of Muslims fighting in WW2, why not mention the Muslim league of India, which had millions of members who fought for the allies during the war, even though the Indian government expressly refused to participate until they were granted independence! This force was actually the largest volunteer force fighting in the war from anywhere in the world! Maybe that doesn’t meet your bigoted requirements!

        Regarding Amin Al-Hussein, first of all note that unlike Catholicism, there is no organised religious structure in Islam, there is no pope so to speak, hence any Imam is speaking on his own understanding of the Quran, not with any over-arching authority. Secondly, Amin was not an elected official, he was placed in to his position by the then occupying forces of the British. Thirdly, his only logic, based on his own words, was the enemy of my enemy is my friend, he figured by siding with Nazi’s he would be able to stop the zionist invasion of Palestine. Was he right? Hell no! Did he speak for all Muslims? As i’ve shown above, even more of a hell no, in fact he didn’t even have a following in Palestine, the only place in the Muslim world he was actually known! Further to this, why not also question the extensive and documented Zionist/Nazi collaboration prior and during WW2 with the same express logic, the enemy of my enemy is my friend (the zionist enemy at the time was the British). I recommend 51 documents by Lenin Brenner, although I doubt reading is your forte.

        • James Lovelace

          “why not mention the Muslim league of India, which had millions of members who fought for the allies during the war, even though the Indian government expressly refused to participate until they were granted independence”

          Muslims currying favour so that when independence came, they would carve the islamic state of Pakistan out of the territory of India which muslims put to the sword when they invaded India (the greatest genocide in history).

          By the 1920s, muslims in India were already lying about islam, publishing 3 books calling it “the religion of peace”. They were also lying about the age of Aisha (pretending she was 18, not 9 when Mohammed had sex with her).

          Islam explicitly sanctions muslims to lie in the furtherance of islam.

    • Fasdunkle

      lol, an escapee from the hate site loonwatch

      • Tarig Musa

        Please explain what makes Loonwatch a hate site. Good luck with the quote mining!

        • Fasdunkle

          It seeks to deny any muslim agency in anything. Then you can look at the BTL comments from spittle flecked hate commentators such as DrM and his enablers.

          Personally I think muslims are more than capable of making their own mistakes and that the west or zionism isn’t a major factor in those mistakes as many of the loonwatchers seem to think. Loonwatch is guilty of the racism of low expectations

    • Coleridge1

      As far as I can see DM hasn’t called for genocide, hasn’t killed anybody and hasn’t incited hatred against Moslems, he’s just exposed the racist, fascist nature of Jew-hating, Christian-killing Islamism.
      Tariq ought to google Hezbollah where he will see thousands of his co-religionists giving a Hitler-salute. he ought to listen to the broadcasts of the Palestinian leader and mufti of Jerusalem in broadcasts from nazi Berlin that Islam and nazism share the same ideology and objectives. he ought to look at the Hamas Charter which is pure islamoNazi Jew-hatred.

      • Tarig Musa

        Julius Streicher never called for genocide, or to kill anyone either! What he did, exactly as Douglas is doing, is attempt to dehumanize Jews so when they were killed the killers would view them not as human beings but as animals to be taken out to slaughter. Streicher in fact used the very defense you’ve given Douglas there during the Nuremberg trials, he was rightfully found guilty and sentenced to death!
        Coleridge aught to google the EDL, where he will see thousands of white christian people giving the Hitler-salute. He aught to listen to the broadcasts of Hitler himself given from Vatican city, with complicit support from the Catholic church. He ought to look at the Likud charter which is pure Nazism, refusing to acknowledge the very existence of Palestinians! see what I did there, i highlighted how bigoted your statements are by simply showing different factual events and using it to tarnish entire religions, exactly as you have done with Muslims! Unlike you, i don’t think all Christians and Jews are evil, I’m wise enough to know that people are inherently good and inherently evil, and the good and evil show up regardless of a persons race, religion or creed. Whereas people like you, and Douglas, want to spread the lie that a few police blotter examples of Muslims doing bad things is evident of all 1.5 billion Muslims! Get a life!

        • Fasdunkle

          Murray has highlighted the fight for supremacy between iran and the gulf states. Do you deny that is happening? Do you deny the sectarian nature of the fight in Syria?

        • ItinerantView

          “Coleridge ought to google the EDL, where he will see thousands of white christian people giving the Hitler-salute.”

          Really ?, provide some evidence of that claim,I bet you can’t because it’s a lie.

          Meanwhile look at some Muslims,making Nazi-style salutes and glorifying martyrdom at Islamic Jihad rallies in Al-Quds University ;
          http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/4051.htm

          http://schnellmann.org/heinrich-himmler.html

          • Tarig Musa

            really not hard!

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIys_vTYyiI

            http://edlnews.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1117&catid=16&Itemid=405

            your sources on the other hand, one is memri, an organisation run by a member of Israeli intelligence, tells you all you need to know about their true intentions, and the other is nothing more than a hate site, if he was talking about jews (which he would have been if this was 70 years ago), you would rightly view him as a racist bigot, but I guess it’s alright spreading all sorts of bull shit about Muslims in your eyes isn’t it!!

            Edit:
            and your memri link is only available to paid subscribers. This is a site that has been caught in a lie so many times it can’t be counted, and you actually give them money? Here’s just one example!

            http://normanfinkelstein.com/2006/how-memri-doctored-finkelsteins-interview-to-portray-him-as-a-holocaust-denier/

          • ItinerantView

            “alright spreading all sorts of bull”
            I was wrong about certain idiots saluting,fair enough,although the leadership disassociated itself and threw them out,reportedly.
            Go and read the Hamas charter,(the other links and photos still stand btw) while you’re at it,
            read some of those nasty Islamophobes,like Sheikh ‘Atiyyah Saqr of al-Azhar university listing twenty evil qualities the Qur’an attributes to Jews to get a flavour of where such hatred stems from;
            As for the cro-magnon idiots saluting draped in Union Jacks,they would get on well with various Islamo-fascists groups who idealise Nazism and both are truly vile scum.
            http://quotingislam.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/top-islamic-authority-tells-main.html

          • ItinerantView

            Let’s not forget why the EDL formed in the first place,as a reaction to anti-Western Islamic supremacists in the UK, who want Sharia imposed and are part of a far bigger problem than the EDL could ever be.

        • James Lovelace

          That would be the EDL who went on Newsnight in 2009, a bunch of black men and white men, who denounced Nazism and burned the Nazi flag. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/8303786.stm

          If all the EDL are held responsible for neo-nazis or communist infiltrators who do a nazi salute, then we can hold all muslims responsible for the murders carried out on 7/7.

          Is this really the logic you want our society to enact?

    • James Lovelace

      For your Julius Streicher, I give you one Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Before WW2 the Muslim Brotherhood explicitly modelled itself on the Nazi Party, and the Mufti was their spiritual guide. He went to live at Hitler’s expense in Berlin.

      All over the world in muslim countries, Mein Kampf is still a best seller. Nazism was a secularised version of Islam.

  • Ben Gershon

    would we be here .if the USA had not used religion to fight the Russians in Afghanistan

    ben

    • Bonkim

      No!

    • James Lovelace

      I see. America used a time machine to go back to the 7th century and turn Mohammed into an islamist terrorist.

      America used a time machine to go back to the 8th century, and make muslims carry out massacre after massacre after massacre of christians and jews in muslim-occupied Spain

      America used a time machine to go back to the early 20th century and make the Turkish muslims wipe out the Armenian christians.

      There was history before 1979, you know.

  • Snecma

    Trust Douglas Murray not to include the third theocracy rogue state in the Middle East and probably the main cause of most of the problems in the area, Israel. With a bit of luck the three states will annihilate each other and the world would be a much better place.

    • Fasdunkle

      Israel isn’t a theocracy, far from it in fact and it certainly isn’t the cause of most of the problems in the area unless you are one of those people who thinks muslims aren’t capable of making their own mistakes

    • James Lovelace

      It’s amazing how mental you jew-haters are. Israel is a democracy, and their Parliament contains elected representatives who are muslims.

      Care to show us the jewish representatives in the Iranian or Saudi Parliaments?

      • Fasdunkle

        Jews get one seat (and one seat only) allocated in the Iranian parliament – although the parliament has very little power

  • deltamike67

    The United States has never interpreted the situation in the Middle East correctly. It has always ignored “the religious thing” and lapsed into nation building as per the end of World War II when we reconstituted the Axis powers after their defeat. It has been a prescription for floundering, defeat, and a catastrophic waste of blood and treasure.

  • Bob Stauskas

    Although it can be humiliating, civilization’s preservation and advance, along with our own personal preservation and advance, depend upon learning from our inevitable accidents.

  • Dutchnick

    Rather than kick around a rather pointless debate about which sect of Islam does what it could be a good idea for thinking, realistic Muslims ( are there any?) to objectively look at the misery their faith represents throughout the world, all striving for the perfect Sharia compliant state, yet of the 57 islamic states there is not one, Unless you regards Pakistan as a model! Failure in education, corruption free business, government, human rights etc.. Any Martian arriving reveiwing the facts would quickly that see some parts of the planet are in the thrawl of a failed miserable faith and not being party to the usual PC drivel that precludes rational debate would probably say so and therefore face the prospect of a visit from Mr Plod.

  • popo

    Hey uncle Murray,
    Why you always talk crap?

  • SETH OPARE

    Maybe the opportunist China shd go try bring peace to the region. Pretending that they have no care in the world.

  • Mike

    No surprise here and we should have learned from history. Christianities catholic & protestant factions fought a genocidal war centuries ago and now its the turn of Islamic factions with the Sunni and Shia (and others) waging a genocidal war.

    Religion has been the scourge of mankind for centuries when its perverted by militants and we shouldn’t be surprised at whats happening now in the middle east. Europe had to sort its religious issues out centuries ago without other religions getting involved and Islam today should be left to solve its problems.

    It is NOT our business to take sides, or get involved as we’ll be damned if we do and blamed for whatever outcome occurs. Let Islam take the blame for whatever happens in their doorstep as its their problem alone and not ours !

  • jnk9

    The comparison with 17th-century Europe is apt. If only the protagonists in the present conflict would learn from our mistakes, instead of repeating them very painfully for themselves.

    • Bonkim

      Wasting time talking to illiterates.

  • Liberalism Is Nonsense

    Considering civilization’s complexity, we should not be surprised that the malcontents among us cast morals aside, succumb to their savage instincts, and rebel against the civilization they blame for their own unhappiness.

  • Bose Heaven

    Besides Islam being the core cause of our world epidemic condition it is also extremely important that the totalitarian ambitions of Islam are the theme of the Israeli-‘Palestinian’ conflict. Pat Condell does expose this as brilliant as usual:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHC8KC5cLs8

  • Bose Heaven

    Besides Islam being the core cause of our world epidemic condition it is also extremely important that the totalitarian ambitions of Islam are the theme of the Israeli-‘Palestinian’ conflict. Pat Condell does expose this as brilliant as usual:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHC8KC5cLs8

  • Michael Nunez – A53

    Of course, the pressures we all face could not be magically eliminated with a collectivist system in which authority’s orders replace liberty’s responsibility and choices.

  • Planner 922

    But how can the Saudi people prevail when Russia insists on meddling by providing weapons to Iran?

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  • Rhiannon True-badour Hill

    Could the pedants below also address the question of how many saints you can fit on the head of a pin while the Middle East is preparing to destroy the World in a nuclear conflagration, please?

  • Gilbert White

    The Daily Telegraph bleating about children and fluffy kittens being bombed by the Russians. The Russians even have the temerity to bomb social workers the swines.

  • MathMan

    The Syrian conflict is a proxy war between Iran (Shia) and Saudi Arabia (Sunni). Same as Ireland: catholic v protestant, but with more bombs.

  • Mojtába Ez

    The analysis comes here is pretty weak but well written.
    First of
    all, there is no evidence proving that Iran has cooperated in US
    invasion to Afghanistan. Or supporting Yemenis against Saudi by giving
    them weaponry or money.

    Second, about Iraq, US army pretended to
    be fighting ISIS while Iranian army sent a number of its military elites
    to Iraq to consult them and share their experiences with Iraqi army to
    fight ISIS. These things are two quite different things.

    A very
    important point we have to consider is that the goals of Iranian
    revolution are exactly against the goals of Zionism. So there is no way
    to find common goals between Iran and the US. In fact, Iranian regime
    and people have been under hard situations for a long time just because
    of not coping with the US policies such as:
    1. Medical, Business, banking, industry sanctions
    2.
    Spreading lots of propaganda (over 140 TV channels in Persian language
    are working against Iranian regime and Iraian culture every day).
    3. Performing terrorist operation in Iran (Assassinating top military, politicians, scientists,… in Iran)
    4. Military threatening (military option is always on table of white house for Iran)
    5. Establishing over 40 military bases around Iran.
    6. Keeping the military facilities and equipped war ships in Persian Gulf
    7. Provoking opposition groups against Iran (both in political and military sides)

    So,
    if Iran suppose to be the US puppet, there must not be such oppression
    against them. There are many allies of US around the world, there no
    such thing against them.

    If we see the big picture of the world,
    we can figure out who is playing where. One of the short term goals of
    Iran is to liberate Palestine and get rid of Israel as they are
    murderers and carried out the illegal occupation. In this game, US is
    the biggest ally of Israel does not want that, so there is a big clash
    here. This is the major reason that US does anything to put more
    pressure on Iran. We can see US has a big influence on Saudi, Kuwait,
    Emirates, Pakistan, Qatar,… and so, US provoke them to be against Iran
    even though the majority of their people are not.

    On the other
    side, since US is provoking Saudi to have more power in the Middle east
    region, they have started the project of Al-Qaeda which was initially
    used to control the power of Russia in Afghanistan, but later on they
    expanded it around the middle east under new names like ISIS, Jundullah,
    Al-Nusrah, and so on.

  • Ak78259

    Today, the
    Islamic Republic of Iran poses the most serious and urgent set of security
    challenges to the United States and its allies in the greater Middle East.
    Since the Khomeini revolution in 1979, Iran has sought to export its radical
    ideology through the use of terrorism, subversion, and support to ideological
    fellow-travelers throughout the Muslim world.

    Iranian
    fundamentalism regime, fully support terrorism gropes all over the middle EST,
    Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Yamen, Jordan and more.

    Iranian
    terrorism regime, since last 30 years, secretly working to obtain nuclear bomb,
    also interfering on Meddle East in order to change the regime and place a
    poppet on that nation.

    Iranian
    regime has planned to reach three major goals in order to become the Islamic
    supper power.

    A) To obtain
    Nuclear power

    B) To
    control the oils exporting from OPAC

    C) To wipe
    of the main US allies, which is Israel, from the map?

    Iran came to
    negotiate with 5+1, because west sanction was hearting Tehran badly. Now, Iran
    asking immediate realis of sanction, right after deal. That’s all Iran wants.
    Iran will secretly continue its nuclear activity.

    Tehran never
    let UN inspectors to inspect Iranian secret nuclear sites which Tehran has
    built a military bases around those sites: like Parchin and Lavisan 3 in north
    of Tehran.

    Iran Nuclear
    activities will secretly continue as regime was doing last 30 years tile on 2002
    Iranian Opposition, Mujahidin of Iran, for first time, exposed Tehran secret
    nuclear sites to the world.

    Iran now
    funds not only the brutal Shia militias in neighboring Iraq, but Hezbollah in
    Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine, Bashir al-Assad in Syria and the Shiite Houthi
    militia who seized Sanaa, the Yemeni capital.

    Tehran by
    supporting Yemen rebels wants to surands Saudi Arabas, also to have good access
    to Red Sea and Arabian Sea, also to control of activities on Suez Canal and
    Strait of Hormuz in Persian Gulf.

    The current
    war raging across Iraq was as avoidable as it was predictable. Nouri
    al-Maliki’s second term as Prime Minister, insisted upon by Iran and supported
    by the US, was a tragedy for the Iraqi people, for the region and for the
    world. As a puppet of the Iranian mullahs, he encouraged the Iranian-led Shiite
    militias and used them to enforce his merciless “iron fist” sectarian
    policy of indiscriminate bombing, shelling, arbitrary arrests, torture and mass
    execution of innocent Sunni civilians. Maliki utilized the claim of fighting a
    war against terror to secure his grip on power and the West fell for it, even
    although his war on terror was, in fact, a war against his predominantly Sunni
    political opponents.

    The sudden
    emergence of the Islamic State (ISIS) became a convenient focal point enabling
    Maliki to accelerate his sectarian campaign against his political foes. Indeed
    the reason ISIS made such rapid and spectacular gains across large areas of
    Iraq and Syria was because they faced little or no resistance from the Sunni
    tribes, who often preferred the Islamic State to the brutal Iranian-led
    militias that had been terrorizing them for years.

    Imagine, the
    day, Iranian regime will controlling the world oils and also has nuclear power,
    and wiped off state of Israel from the map.

    The deal
    with Iran will be the worst deal not only in US history, but also the best
    option for Iranian terrorism regime.

    US and West:

    1- Must not trust Iran and should not allow
    Tehran to have any nuclear activity.

    2- US and West must continue sanctioning
    Iran tile Mullah allow UN inspectors to all the secret nuclear sites.

    3- US should support Iranian organized
    resistance, MEK, whom are able to change the

    Regime in Tehran.

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