How Not to Change the World

For most of us, the logic of committing terrorist acts as a means to an end is unfathomable.
There is a very good reason for that.

Presumably the rationale for terrorist acts is that the perceived oppressor is overwhelmingly powerful, making direct military attacks innefective, leaving only the option of surprise attack on vulnerable civilian targets. It is an INCREDIBLY STUPID rationale, and one wonders how anyone's reasoning can be so flawed.

It is even more of a wonder when one realizes that the Middle East was at one time the site of highly developed civilizations, and that at one time they were more advanced than Europeans in mathematics and related sciences. How is it, then, that a significant number of Muslims of Middle Eastern descent fail to learn and use basic logical thinking?

I believe that Muslim religious fundamentalism may have so warped the early education, both formal and informal, of the children, that the ability to think logically is severely crippled, natural curiosity is discouraged, and fear and hatred of other cultures and religions is indelibly instilled at an early age.

Those who would incite violence like to use the term HOLY WAR. There is no such thing! No war is holy. War is born of hatred, greed, intolerance, and stupidity. Would any god worth the title advocate people killing other people for any reason? Is there a Muslim scripture that says murder and suicide are virtues? I doubt it. That idea comes from the power-mad sociopathic would-be despots who only want to use you for their own ends.

The Christian religion caused its own Dark Age in a similar way. Indeed, we are not yet entirely free of its ill effects. Western civilization has hardly been immune to religious-induced inhumanity and mass stupidity. But it is now obvious to most that all nations, all religions, and all cultures must learn tolerance of all others and the value of peaceful coexistence.

The economic and political influence of Western nations often causes side-effects on the rest of the world, some of them negative and usually unintentional. It is not surprising that some Muslims resent our influence and desire to change some of the effects. Many of them, however, have failed to see that there are peaceful and effective ways to achieve such changes.

The key is the democratic republic form of government common to the U.S. and Europe. The ultimate control of the policies and behaviour of Western nations lies in the will of the population. While changes can seldom be made quickly, they can be made by convincing a large number of ordainary voters that such changes are needed.
The people of the U.S. stopped the Vietnam war. It took years to accomplish, but it was done peacefully by thousands of dedicated people building a growing consensus of millions, organizing protests and demonstrations, educating voters and political leaders alike by any nonviolent means.
Most people are naturally sympathetic to their counterparts elsewhere. We instinctively understand that ordainary people everywhere are primarily interested in providing food, clothing, and shelter for themselves and their families in a safe, peaceful environment.

Nothing could be more counterproductive than committing acts of senseless violence against the people themselves. To destroy any potential good will and replace it with fear and hate can do nothing but insure failure. Yet Palestinian extremists and other Muslim terrorists seem to be trying to show the world that they are psychopathic killers with no redeeming qualities.
Those who seek to bring positive change must first stop the destroyers among them. Only then will people begin to listen to sincerely expressed needs and desires for change.
And in the long run, if there is to be a future of peace and understanding, we all need to examine closely how our children are taught. If they are not taught how to think, nor encouraged to think for themselves, then changes must be made. The children of today are the potential leaders, diplomats, philosophers, and scientists of tomorrow, but they must be provided with the educational tools to fully develop. No culture can advance or achieve peace and prosperity without maximizing the intellectual ability of its people