The west’s support of Salafist terrorist groups in Syria, Libya and beyond is well known. Few leaders the west even try to hide this fact, they simply give the terrorists somewhat anodyne English names whether it be something as specific as ‘Free Syrian Army’ or something more obtuse like ‘moderate rebels’, ‘democracy fighters’ etc.
But the third point in this proverbial Bermuda Triangle is little discussed. This is the west’s domestic social policies which fan the flames of terrorism on the home-front.
The American model of religious pluralism has been widely adopted throughout the wider west, a model which is distinct from the model used in early Islamic caliphates, modern Ba’athist republics, the Russian Federation or The Islamic Republic of Iran.
The United States Constitution introduced the idea of freedom of religion as a matter of individual liberty rather than one of a singular approved state religion or a list of state religions.
Indeed, early migration to the US, primarily from Britain and later from other parts of western and later central Europe, were often people drawn to a land of not only alleged economic opportunity but also the opportunity to view religion as a personal choice rather than a form of confessional patriotism.
In almost all these instances, those who sought the ‘American lifestyle’ were those from Christian sects that were not the official or otherwise majoritarian confession of their native land.
The other models mentioned differ in a single important way, in spite of their practical differences from each other. In the early Islamic Caliphates, in modern Ba’athist societies, in the Russian Federation and in the Islamic Republic of Iran, religious pluralism was and is based on religious groups that are not derived from recent or even relatively recent waves of migration.
Russia, Iran and Syria, to use three contemporary examples are literally religiously plural societies in respect of the historic make-up of their present borders. As such, all three took the pragmatic decision to allow for each confession to have the right to worship freely as preferable to forced conversions or in the event of that failing, civil holy war.
America by contrast quickly adopted idealism as the justification for its religious pluralism and as such, it encouraged further migrations for mainly heterodox Christian sects.
In today’s America, this same attitude has been expanded to not only include non-Christian religious people seeking the religious liberty guaranteed by the Constitution, but also and more dangerously among violently Godless people seeking to use the US Constitution as a protector of heterodox lifestyles which many in the wider world and also in the US believe to be perverse and dangerous.
But what happens when America imports various perverts, radical Salafists and every other conceivable sectarian group form every culture in the world, all at the same time?
The tragic answer is that America is creating by design, something that in other countries exists at a much more manageable level due to historical default.
In Iran, the Shi’a Muslim majority lives in peace with the Christian minority, including many Armenian Christians. In Russia, Muslims (whether Sunni or Sufi) live in peace with the Orthodox Christian majority.
In Syria, Sunnis, Shi’as, Orthodox and Catholics live happily in areas that have not experienced a wave of migratory terrorists and mercenaries who were sent to Syria to molest the placidity of a pluralistic and secular Ba’athist society.
These ancient religions who all believe in the primacy of the same God have found a way to coexist and cooperate in peace in the aforementioned places and in some places beyond.
Even in mid-20th century India, the secular Congress Party was able to forge a society that was home to Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Jews. The fact that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has taken several big steps back in respect of the treatment of the large Muslim minority is unfortunate, but it is still a matter of dealing with India’s diverse history rather than a problem of a foreign element.
How does the united states expect radical Salafists to live next to radically politicised sexual perverts who in turn must live with a combination of Christian fundamentalists, moderate Christians, moderate atheists and others?
It simply cannot work and the increased political violence in the United States is a sign that it isn’t working.
America must choose from the following options:
1. Does it want to be sectarian and authoritarian for the sake of peace and security?
2. Does it want to end sectarianism assuming it still can, for the sake of maintaining traditions of manageable liberty?
Many in America who call themselves libertarians have discovered that liberty has its limits in a sectarian society. In a society comprised of similar sects, however imported they might be, liberty can just about function without causing violence.
But when a plethora of various groups preaching entirely different lifestyles which are underpinned by an entirely different ethos all live side by side, it is not difficult to imagine why things turn rapidly violent. Suddenly the letter of the law prohibiting violence becomes confronted with the inevitable violence which is unleashed by tense living situations.
Countries like Russia, Iran and Syria tolerated the main sects of Christianity and Islam but if they encouraged the fomenting of new made-up sects (primarily radical secular ones) as the US does, if they imported those with totally different beliefs and if they adopted the anything goes attitude of classical libertarianism, they too would be doomed. Syria, Iran and Russia are religiously pluralistic because clear boundaries are set against fringe sects from proliferating mainstream society, thus allowing society to accommodate historically established mainstream sects and groups.
If America is going to be a nation of Christian fundamentalists–so be it, but it means no importation of Salafists and no tolerance for perverse domestic groups. If America is going to be a sanctuary for perverts–so be it, but it means the end of America’s long Christian traditions and of course it would also mean no more Salafists.
The best option would be for America to compromise and end the importation of Salafist and like-minded immigrants, end the political support for contrived perverse domestic groups advocating for awkward lifestyles and also not allowing existing radical Christian, Jewish or Muslim groups to take centre stag in any way shape or form.
It is only within a framework of law and order that religious pluralism can function peacefully. America has lost the plot which is why many innocent Americans are losing their minds.
Liberty has its limits and extreme authoritarian has its dangers. The question as to whether America can still find a balance is very much up in the air.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.