Recent conflicts in the Muslim World

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Some of the world's current "hot spots" which have as their base a significant component of religious intolerance are listed below:

Country and Main religious groups involved 1. Afghanistan Extreme radical Fundamentalist Muslim terrorist groups & non-Muslim Osama bin Laden heads a terrorist group called Al Quada (The Source) whose headquarters were in Afghanistan. 2. Bosnia Serbian Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholic, Muslims 3. Cote d'Ivoire Muslims, Indigenous, Christians 4. Cyprus Christians & Muslims 5. East Timor Christians & Muslims 6. Indonesia, province of Ambon Christians & Muslims 7. Kashmir Hindus and Muslims 8. Kosovo Serbian Orthodox Christians, Muslims 9. Kurdistan Christians, Muslims Assaults on Christians (Protestant, Chaldean Catholic & Assyrian Orthodox). Bombing campaign underway. 10. Macedonia Macedonian Orthodox Christians & Muslims 11. Middle East Jews, Muslims, &Christians 12. Nigeria Christians, Animists, & Muslims 13. Pakistan Suni & Shi'ite Muslims 14. Philippines Christians & Muslims 15. Russia, Chechnya Russian Orthodox Christians, Muslims. The Russian army attacked the breakaway region. Muslims had allegedly blown up buildings in Moscow. Many atrocities have been alleged. 16. Serbia, province of Vojvodina Serbian Orthodox & Roman Catholics 17. Sri Lanka Buddhists & Hindus Tamils

Additional conflicts

19. Thailand: Pattani province: Buddists and Muslims 20. Bangladesh: Muslim-Hindu (Bengalis) and Buddists (Chakmas) 21. Tajikistan: intra-Islamic conflict

Added more interest topics below

* the Arab-Israeli Wars and the later Israeli-Palestinian conflict
* Iranian Revolution
* Lebanon
* Iran-Iraq War
* UN-Iraq War and the later US invasion of Iraq
* Soviet-Afghan War and the later US invasion of Afghanistan
* Bangaladesh's secession from Pakistan
* several India-Pakistan conflicts over Kashmir and the later India-Pakistan nuclear standoff
* Somalia
* Bosnia-Herzegovina
* Kosovo
* Chechen rebel movement
* Philippine rebel movement
* Saudi Arabian rebel movement
* Afghan rebel movement
* Iraqi rebel movement

Based on what is found it seems that every conflict after WW2 was started by the peaceful and just religion. Current trends suggest that things are going to worsen before any actions are taken against the rising stem of violent and dangerous behavior to non- islamic people.

An article takes account on how this mess got started.

At the start of the twentieth century, the world's greatest Muslim power, the Ottoman empire, was struggling to resist the attacks upon it by the Christian powers of Europe. This conflict still had a definite religious aspect. During the 1890s the Christian powers had threatened to intervene when Christian Armenians were massacred in the empire. For a thousand years the Muslims had generally been dominant in the Christian-Muslim conflict, but from the seventeenth century onwards, the Christian powers of Europe had become ever stronger. They achieved their final victory in the First World War. The Ottoman Empire was defeated and broken up. By the early 1920s there were only a handful of Muslim states in the world which were not part of one of the European empires.

For the next fifty years the Christian-Muslim conflict continued in a new form, with religion being less important to both sides. The Christianized West became increasingly secular. In the Muslim countries trying to escape from European colonialism, religion took second place to imported Western secular doctrines such as nationalism and socialism. The only way to defeat the West seemed to be to adopt its political values, a choice made all the easier because those values no longer had any necessary link to Christianity. Muslim countries such as Turkey, Iran and Egypt won approval in the West according to the degree that they had replaced Islamic traditions with Western modernity.

A new factor was added to this situation with the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Throughout the long centuries of the Christian-Muslim conflict, Jews had usually found a more secure existence in Muslim countries rather than Christian ones. The Muslims certainly oppressed Jews on occasion, but only in Christian countries were Jews in danger of mass expulsion or massacre. Now a Jewish state was created in the Middle East which was hostile to Muslims and espoused the secular political and social values of the West, where Christianity seemed to be in continuous decline.

The hostility between Israel and the Arab states was more a political clash than a religious one. Arab states were in the process of throwing off Western colonial oppression. Now they saw a new Western outpost being established right in their midst. Israel did not repudiate claims that it represented Western values in the Middle East. Instead it stressed that it was the only democratic state in the region—an example and a reproach to its Arab neighbors. The Arabs took a different view. They compared Israel with the Christian crusader states that had existed in Palestine and Syria between 1099 and 1291. These foreign implants had eventually been removed by the forces of Islam and Israel, the new Western implant, would eventually suffer a similar fate.

However, Arab attempts to defeat Israel militarily were all failures. After the Six Day War in 1967, many Arabs began to lose faith in their secular nationalist leaders such as Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt. Some claimed that their repeated defeats were not due to insufficient modernization, but had occurred because Arabs had deserted the eternal truths of Islam. By the 1970s Muslim fundamentalist movements were growing all over the Islamic world, and their greatest achievement was to be the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

Events in Iran were a great shock to a world grown used to the onward march of secularism. The Iranian Revolution was the first great political triumph of Islamic fundamentalism and it reasserted the primacy of religion on one side of the old Christian-Muslim conflict, now seen increasingly as a contest between the largely secular West and a revived Islam. The Shia ayatollahs leading Iran did their best to spread religious revolution throughout the Islamic world. The Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 radicalized the Shia population of that country and their party, Hizbollah, was soon receiving aid from Iran. From 1983 to 1984, Hizbollah helped drive US and European troops out of Beirut, and then it undertook a protracted struggle with the Israeli occupiers of southern Lebanon, eventually forcing their withdrawal in 2000.

The protagonists in the new war in Lebanon are thus descendants, albeit indirect ones, of the contending sides in the old Christian-Muslim conflict. On one side, claiming to represent Western values, is Israel; and on the other side is Hizbollah, the representative of a brand of militant Islam supported by Iran. This is not, however, a straightforward "clash of civilizations" because many Muslim countries, such as Turkey and the moderate Arab states, favour the Western side, although still expressing grave doubts about Israel's policies.

Thus it is possible to see the current clash in Lebanon as a continuation in a different form of the old Christian-Muslim conflict, but there are new elements in the present situation. The most important of these is Iran. That country featured remarkably little in all the past centuries of Christian-Muslim conflict. Perhaps this absence was merely a function of geography, for most of the main areas of Christian-Muslim conflict—such as Spain, the Mediterranean, or eastern Europe—were far from Iran's borders. However, even when Christian Europeans began to enter the regions near Iran in the seventeenth century, the Iranians had few clashes with them. Indeed the Christian powers of Europe were more likely to try and enlist Shia-dominated Iran's military help against the Ottoman Empire, the leading Sunni Muslim power.

Only in the nineteenth century did Iran get into serious conflict with the advancing imperial forces of Christian Europe. The Russians forced Iran out of the Caucasus and Caspian areas, while the British in India and the Persian Gulf sought to curb Iranian power. Iran might have been carved up between the Russians and the British, but in the end those powers preferred to leave that country as a weak buffer state between them. Iran's precarious independence was almost lost in 1919, but British attempts to establish a protectorate over the country were defeated and Reza Shah established the Pahlavi dynasty. He saw the only hope for Iran's survival as an independent state lay not with Islam but with Western modernity. Reza Shah's secular nationalist strategy was continued by his son Mohammad after 1945, with Iran's growing oil riches providing the finance for change.

Unfortunately the economic and social strains of modernization in Iran brought hardship to many people. The Shah and his American allies feared such discontent would benefit the communists. Instead the people turned to the traditional Shia religious leaders, the ayatollahs, for leadership and the hope of a better life. So it was the religious leaders, not the communists, who created revolution in 1979. Soon the Shah was gone and Iran went from being one of the most Westernized states in the Middle East to being the home of Islamic fundamentalist revolution.

For the last quarter century, the West and moderate Muslim governments have been in fear of the Iranian ayatollahs on many occasions. Iran has achieved an importance on the world stage that it has not enjoyed since the days of the ancient Persian empires. To some people, Iran has appeared to be the first Muslim world power since the end of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1920s. However, both fears and expectations about the Islamic Republic of Iran seem to have been exaggerated. Iran had little success in spreading its brand of religious revolution and the country has remained largely isolated on the world scene. The United States has certainly made every effort to ensure this isolation, but it also springs from Iran's inability to overcome a number of problems that have limited its revolutionary potential.

Only about ten percent of the world's Muslims are Shias and, although the bitterness of the Shia-Sunni split can be overstated, the fact that Iran is the world's principal Shia Muslim nation restricts its chances of influencing other, Sunni Muslim countries. Iran has also been hindered by the traditional racial hostility between Arabs and Iranians. Sunni Arab states had both religious and racial reasons for supporting Iraq in its eight-year war with Iran during the 1980s. The United States and other Western states also gave aid to Iraq in this war with the hope of curbing the spread of Iranian revolutionary subversion and terrorism.

By the end of the twentieth century, the revolutionary threat from Iran seemed to have been contained and Iran's hopes of becoming the leader of the Islamic world had faded. One purpose of Iran's current nuclear program is to try and re-establish the country as a major player both in the Middle East and in the wider world. Similarly, Iran may hope the new war in Lebanon, pitting its Hizbollah proxy against Israel, will raise its own profile in the Islamic world and revive the fear of the ayatollahs that was so strong among Arab states and the West during the 1980s.

Alan G. Jamieson is a researcher and writer based in Alberta, Canada, and the UK. He is the author of the newly published Faith and Sword, distributed for Reaktion Books by the University of Chicago Press.

The outcome is black and covered in blood as we plunge into the darkness and disastrous aspects of Sharia law and Muslim ideology which prevents peaceful and harmonious cultures to flourish within it's death grip of fear, oppression, and dogma of it's cult like appearance one can only suffer and hope for a quick death.

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