Is the war in Afghanistan and Iraq (in essance, even the whole 'war against terrorism' a religious w
Debate Rounds (3)
Just to clarify, I am stating that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are, indeed religious conflicts between the Islamic peoples and the 'Christian infidels' of the West.
As such, my resolution will also state that the entire affair is born back to the Crusades, in which the disputes over Jerusalem and the Holy Land cost many lives and stirred many sentiments.
In fact, this was made quite clear when Husseim stated that he wished to eradicate all Western Christians.
The East is Ancient. they date back to the beginnings of civilation, with the Fertile Crescant. In contrast, the West is very young. We tend to forgive and forgive, in time, but the Islamic revolutionaries have long memories and aren't so inclined to forgive.
Thus, retaliatory attacks may be due from as long ago as an incident in the '60's or 1970s.
Thus, this is my opening statement. Good luck to the contender. stay classy. I'll let you 'take the ball', to borrow the cliche'. :D
My opponents contention is that
"the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are, indeed religious conflicts between the Islamic peoples and the 'Christian infidels' of the West."
My rebuttal is that for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to be defined as religious conflicts, or indeed for any conflict to be defined as religious in nature then it must be possible to show that either the origin the conduct or the objectives of the war are primarily religiously based. The onus is on my opponent to show that this is the case here and it my job to show that it is not.
The war in Afghanistan was a direct result of the terrorist attacks launched against America on September 11th, 2001. Common opinion is that Osama bin Laden and/or his Al-Quaeda network were responsible for the attack. The USA deemed that these conspirators including Osama bin Laden were resident in Afghanistan.
I will accept that Osama Bin Laden's stated and apparent reasons for the 9-11 attack were to an extent religiously motivated. However Osama Bin Laden is not representative of Islam, by going to war with him the ‘west' is going to war with certain Muslims, we are not going to war with all Islam. Indeed not only is it apparent that Osama bin Laden does not command the Islamic world, the ideology of ‘Qutbism' that he follows is relevant to only a minority of Muslims, he regards the Taliban regime as the only true Islamic state and defines Shia Muslims as one of the four principal enemies of Islam.
America's cause for war was the 9-11 attacks, it's understandable need to seek justice and/or revenge, to protect itself from further attacks, to defend it's international status, or even to advance her Imperialistic aims. None of these are religious aims.
So therefore it is clear that though a sub-sect of Islam regards itself as being in war against Christianity and also other sects of Islam, however the Christian west does not share this viewpoint. Only from the subjective opinion of a minority of the Islamic world would this viewpoint hold.
With regards the war in Iraq, it is clear that the current war is a consequence of ‘unfinished business' from what is commonly termed the first gulf war.
This conflict was solely based on secular politics, specifically Iraq's attempt to annex Kuwait to appease historic nationalism and to strengthen it's modern economy. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria also intervened against Iraq in spite of their common religion and because of ‘oil politics'.
It is the terms of the peace imposed upon Saddam, and his alleged failure to cooperate with weapons inspections that led to the resumption of hostilities. Not a point of theological dispute. Some have also claimed George W Bush's desire to somehow gain some measure of glory by resolving his father's unfinished business, and also America's ‘post 9-11 psychology' in which it has accepted the need for aggression. These are however all secular, political, non-religious motivations.
In addition Saddam Hussein was a secular leader, and he actually had Christians within his government, including General Sada.
In addition both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have incorporated Islamic forces and assistance on behalf of the western Coalition. In Afghanistan we see the Northern Alliance, Albania, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Jordan amongst others. These factions/countries are all Islamic, or at least possess an Islamic majority. They would not ally themselves with the ‘Christian West' in a religious war against Islam.
In Iraq we again see local Islamic forces fighting for the Coalition/the new western back regime, as well as troops from Turkey.
These contributions would be impossible if my opponents contention was to be true.
Lastly, we can tell from the conduct of the war that the USA and her coalition partners do not regard the conflict as a religious war otherwise we would surely see efforts to destroy Islam and replace it with Christianity in the relevant countries. The USA still fields soldiers who are also Muslims, neither the USA nor the UK have interned their Muslim populations (which they would have done if were truly at war with Islam). America still retains excellent relations with Saudi Arabia… which would be one of the primary targets in a war that my opponent describes.
In conclusion I negate the resolution.
Since it is my case to prove that it is a religious conflict, I will do so before rebuttals.
Firstly, it is clear to us all that the most ancient of enemies were the Jews and the Moslems. Correct? Tensions were always high and battles fought. Then, the Jews are able to claim a sector of the Holy Land in their own Jewish State, due to Western Intervention. What exactly a Jewish state is, nobody can agree upon, but all can agree upon the fact that the modern country of Israel (established by the British in the '40's as a politically 'Jewish' state) is and has been at the height of tension for decades. It has fought with Egypt (a 'Moslem State' that hates it) and various other Moslem countries.
So this is the oldest religious feud of them all. Then, many of the people of Israel changed their ideals and practices with the New Covenant of Christ (no longer was sacrifice necessary, Gentiles could become Christians etc.) arose Christianity (with the birth of Jesus). So a new enemy was formed to with which the Moslems would bicker. even though the hatred of the Jews was mutual and very old, the hatred against Christians became more intense as hsitory proceeded.
"Surah 8 - 60. "Against them [nonbelievers] make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly."
Propaganda has made the war convoluted but then again ever so clear. Now, many of the Islamic faith believe that people of the US are members of 'The Great Satan'. We, in turn, label them, 'terrorists'. It is true that their actions are unconventional and involve innocent people, but this does not deter from the fact that the war is completely Religious.
Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt before assassination, declared that the West (US and Canada specifically) could never understand the Mideast for two reasons. The first being that we are 'too young', and the second being the difference of religion.
By being 'too young', he means that the Moslems are thousands of years old, right from the time of the Fertile Crescant. In contrast, the New World (aptly named) is only a few hundred years old. US in specific was only founded in the late 1700s, though the Colonies existed before that.
Thus, the Moslems have long memories and tend to hold grudges. A retaliatory action might be the result of an even that happened years ago. In the New World, we tend to forgive and forget (pretty soon thereafter). They do not. For example, the founding of Israel is basically just yesterday, to them. An injury to the family that happened 2,000 years ago is still fresh. Ask a Lebanese guerilla why he fights and he's liable to reply, "Because his great great great grandfather harmed my great great great grandfather in 1862." or some similar event.
What with the West's continuous meddling in the Middle East and Africa, they have a lot to remember. The Arabs and Berbers started a conquest of the West, starting with the Christian Byzyantium Empire, they eventually took much of Southern Europe (as is evident in the religious sectors of the Balkans etc.) and made it as far as Spain. In retaliation, the Christians initiated the Crusades. War became a regularity between the countries of Europe and the Moslems. The Ottomans perpetually threatened expansion and eventually re-conquered the Balkans and dozens of small countries before Europe United and the Habsburgs, Polish, Holy League and Italy drove them back and then out.
But the Christians didn't stop with just driving them out. I think we can recall that the Inquisition tortured and killed many Moslems, giving them more to remember. Bad blood was certain.
US became involved in what had been previously a Moslem vs Christian Europe affair with the Tripoli Wars.
Then came the colonial powers. England, France and Italy conquered Northern Africa for themselves. I think we can recall that the French Foreign Legion did not treat the Moslem Africans well in the recent Algerian Wars.
There is a brief history of the leading conflicts. And that is excluding most of the Moslem/Christian affairs of the 1900s. There were many. It didn't help that US politicians planted a variety of puppet dictators and then aided the Kremlin, whom had lots of enemies of Islam.
It is indeed true that Bin Laden's attacks were religiously motivated, but are you forgetting events that occurred even before that? A serious part of the Religious wars. what about Pan Am Flight 103? What about the bombing at the World Trade center? What about this long list:
"An Egyptian airline pilot runs a planeload of 217 passengers into the water after uttering a Qur'anic prayer."
"Nation of Islam members shoot seven members of a family to death in cold blood, including four children. A defendant in the case is later murdered in prison on orders from Elijah Muhammad." 7/18/1973 etc.
There's plenty. These aren't random attacks. They're retaliation for US 'the Great Satan' meddlings in the Middle East.
To exemplify one, how do you think the outnumbered Saudi Clan (despotic) stays ruler over a nation of Arabians? They're US puppets. US withdraws support and the Saudi regime falls.
No. The war against Iraq and Afghanistan wasn't only retaliation. It was because the Shah and Husseim became ambitious puppet dictators. what about the Hostage Crisi, direct fault of the Shah of Iran? US then encouraged Husseim to assault Iran and supplied it with arms - as well as the Iraqis (as did the Kremlin)! But Iraq failed! It didn't do the job. So what now? The Kremlin starts to fail and loses a war in Afghanistan.
So the States have to support the Kremlin in order to prevent the USSR from collapsing and all of the pent up Moslem countries from overthrowing the despotic rule and voicing their own opinions - and religious radicalism.
The Religious war hit a fever pitch with 9/11. It was the time that justified invasion of Iraq and the eradication of the oppressive Taliban in Afghanistan.
To conclude, the war against terrorism isn't new, and it most definitely is a Religious conflict.
It is true that national forces are aiding the Western efforts, but how long will this last? As we have seen with Karzai, some only do it for the power grab. Once the US leaves, the Islamic warlords will act, once again. and then their religious vengeance will be furious.
The Taliban's already is furious. It destroys roads and efforts built by the 'infidels'. Its religious radicalism is so great that it even threatens women and children to prevent them from attending schools run by 'The Great Satan'. I seem to recall that two Taliban motorcyclists threw acid on five schoolgirls who disobeyed. And you tell me that this isn't a religious conflict at heart?
Turkey is another matter. where does its loyalties lie? they lie where its advantageous. However, the West is getting worried by its erratic actions.
I'm running out of space, so I'll end it here.
As conclusion, I will negate my opponent's claims that the causes of the wars are entirely secular. Especially the 'war against terrorism', which 1. isn't new and 2. is extremely religious in purpose
"Firstly, it is clear to us all that the most ancient of enemies were the Jews and the Moslems. Correct? Tensions were always high and battles fought. Then, the Jews are able to claim a sector of the Holy Land in their own Jewish State, due to Western Intervention. What exactly a Jewish state is, nobody can agree upon, but all can agree upon the fact that the modern country of Israel (established by the British in the '40's as a politically 'Jewish' state) is and has been at the height of tension for decades. It has fought with Egypt (a 'Moslem State' that hates it) and various other Moslem countries.
So this is the oldest religious feud of them all. Then, many of the people of Israel changed their ideals and practices with the New Covenant of Christ (no longer was sacrifice necessary, Gentiles could become Christians etc.) arose Christianity (with the birth of Jesus). So a new enemy was formed to with which the Moslems would bicker."
My opponent is arguing that the current wars are born out of/a continuation of the crusades and similar religious conflicts over the 'holy land' and as a result are also similarly religious wars.
My rebuttal is that as history is an ongoing, organic process of cause and effect. Obviously a chain of causation can be drawn between the crusades and the wars under discussion, in much the same way that given enough knowledge a link of causation can be drawn between the crusades and the colour of a London double Decker bus.
I could argue that the same events could be modelled not on the concept of Islam vs. Christianity but the equally valid concept of Greece vs. eastern races.
Allow me to explain, prior to the rise of Islam, the 'holy land' was under the sway of the Eastern Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, which could be considered to be very much a Greek Empire. The rest of Europe owed it's cultural legacy, first to Rome and second to Greece. Rome for it's part considered itself a branch from Greece. European civilisation and her subsequent 'spin off' states therefore owe their origins to Greece and can be thought of as a continuation of the Greek civilisation.
The eastern races can be considered those who are 'native' to the middle east such as the Arabs, as well as the Asiatic migrations/invasions of Parthians, Persians, Turks, Mongols who have all waged war on this extended concept of Hellenistic civilisation.
The origin of the conflict can therefore be traced back to the attempts of the Persian Empire to conquer the Greek city states. Which was a secular conflict.
The model is tenuous, but each (major) step in the casual link can be shown, it fits with historical fact and is therefore as demonstrably valid as my opponents claim that the modern wars arise out of the crusades.
It is however as invalid to claim that Bush was following the agenda of Alexander the Great than it is to claim that Saddam regarded himself as Saladin. The origin does not define the end product. Thus my opponents resolution is negated.
I will accept that my opponent has shown that some Muslims do regard themselves as involved in a religious war against Christianity, however many Muslims, indeed arguably more Muslims are on what is ostensibly/apparently the 'Christian' side of the conflict. Only the lunatic fringe of 'Christendom' would regard itself as involved in such a religious war.
Even George Bush, with his many links to the Christian right amongst whom many would espouse such a view has stated that "Islam is a religion of peace". He, the instigator of this war as much or indeed perhaps more so than Osama bin laden does not regard this as a religious war, but a war concerning security and liberty.
Thus in conclusion my opponent has failed to demonstrate how the Christian west, which consists of a majority of atheists can be thought of as fighting a religious war, and has made a case that only a minority of Muslims regard this as a religious war. It is therefore clear that this can not be defined as solely or even primarily a religious war.
I also believe I have shown that connecting these conflicts in terms of 'value' to the crusades of old is invalid.
I shall endeavour to follow the exhortation of my opponent and 'stay classy'.
As for the secular reasons for the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is true that the safety and liberty of the people needed to be considered, tyrannical puppet dictators needed to be overthrown and Kuwait protected, but by retaliating to religious action, Bush made it a religious war for the Christian West. You have agreed that the Muslim factions are holding a 'Holy War', and, as such, by retaliating, the United States, NATO and 'Christian' faction, comprised of Infidels, has penetrated into a labyrinth of religious sentiments and angers that have sparked an all out Religious War.
Next I will address your statement in Post 1, where you state that the majority of Islamic peoples do not fight against the Christian West. This is true, but then perhaps that is because many of the people whom aren't soldiering are women or children, aged, helpless, injured, businessmen or have families to feed and other responsibilities.
The Qua'ran (The Islamic religious core. I do believe that obeying the Qua'ran is one of the five pillars to get to heaven, is it not?) clearly states in several places that the Infidels must be eradicated and that those who die 'honourably' in Jihad will go directly to Heaven. This is why there have been terrorist suicide bombings and events, taking out dozens of innocents along with them. It is this that makes the war religious. It is this exhortation that drives the warriors and radicals into waging war and spreading fear against the Western 'Christians'. They don't need to eradicate us, they just need to make us fearful and submissive.
And it is the Qua'ran that ensures that the Islam peoples will never accept the West and will never truly ally themselves to the West unless they are able to gain power. For example, the current regime in Afghanistan is led by President Karzai and his brother, whom are both suspected of being involved in the opium trade and other unscrupulous deeds in order to gain power and wealth. The soldiers of the Afghanistan National Army each are there only because they are paid and capable of feeding their families. Yet, even though they have the numbers, does it not strike you as peculiar that they aren't able to stand against the Taliban (their former rulers and brothers) without Western support? I would venture to say that they don't truly want to, unless they can benefit in some way (for example, if Karzai turns out to be a better leader than the Taliban regime).
Turkey and many of its allies stand to gain if the West is with them, but now Turkey has expressed (minor) Anti-West sentiments and the (Muslim) Arab League still exists in strength. This society is the only International brotherhood that has and will be formed within the Muslim nations (other than the UN, which most have joined and stand to gain from).
I think that we have seen that the sentiments of many Islamic people, even here in the West, is not pro-West. The Moslems still don't allow their women to wear Western clothes (unless they more relaxed in Islamic tradition, and, such aren't inclined to wage war upon the West, anyway), they insist on wearing turbans (even in the police force, at least in Canada), the Sikh peoples won't give up their Kirpans, even the children in school. These are subtle ways at which the Islamic people are attempting to whittle away the Christian society and convert it into their own. I believe that in society of today, such Christian references as, 'Christmas', have been turned to 'X-mas' or 'Happy Holidays' in order to be politically correct. Also, those whom are don't wish to offend those of other cultures; however, I don't see the Islam peoples trying not to offend those of the West, en masse (it is true that those whom have been born here may take the effort).
And this is excluding the violence, shootings and bombings that have been experienced in Canada, US and Britain. The Fort Hood shootings linger in our memories. Also, for a few more examples, an Islamic guerrilla training camp stumbled upon by authorities in Canada, just north of Toronto. These guerrillas were training with heavy weaponry and even had a tank or two on the premises. I can go on to list several other events, such as the Father and mother whom killed their three daughters and ex wife in Canada because of the belief that the three girls were becoming to 'Western' in thought.
And, lastly, what about the chap whom threw his shoe at Bush? A reporter, no less.
Thus, I have negated my opponent's resolution about the Anti-West sentiments of the people.
And so I will move on to negate my opponent's secular historical theory, as that is all it is.
The Byzantine Empire was a Christian Roman sector that controlled the Mediterranean. It was established as a second state (With Constantinople as its capital) due to a weakening of the entire empire. At the time of the rise of Islam, Byzantine was, yes, built on Hellenic foundations, but was also an entirely Christian State. Constantinople was fortified in order to halt the Huns, the Arabs, the Persians and then, later on, the Islamic Arabs. It became the Christian 'headquarters' during the Crusades (except for the sole time that the Crusaders mysteriously sacked it). Yes, its societal foundation was Hellenistic (and, by that time, mostly of Latinistic. By the time of the split of the Roman Empire, Rome has mush of its own culture, ideals and philosophies and architecture), but the reason for war was the inevitable Christian Empire vs Islamic Empire.
Thus, I have negated my opponent's claims that the war was secular and Hellenistic in nature, as Byzantine was a Christian state at the time of the Arab wars.
Now, I'll address my opponent's argument regarding the West.
Our goal does not have to be a complete extermination of the opposing race. That would be genocide, of which we, as moral society, oppose. Instead, we also have accomplished in this religious war. I do believe that the Islamic countries of Iraq and Afghanistan have fallen into the West's hands. Western (US) influence is all that keeps certain tyrannical regimes as rulers. The Islamic peoples are largely not free to operate without Western supervision and 'guidance'. We do not have to conquer and exterminate them to win, we merely have to exercise control over them and show them that the power of the West is substantial, an action that has already been achieved.
As I stated in my opening, by retaliating to a religious instigation, Bush, whether or not he acknowledged it, had drawn his country deeper into the Religious series of wars that we have already experienced and seen - beginning for the US at Tripoli. After this, the US has been repeatedly engaged in fighting against Islam, and has since meddled in Islamic affairs perpetually
The Taliban was an oppressive Muslim ruling group, the Al Qaida is a radical Islamic Group there are dozens of other Insurgent forces with Islamic bases. These groups keep the religious wars alive.
You're welcome, and thanks to you, also. : )
"It is true that I am supporting that the religious war of today is interrelated with the religious wars of past. This is evident in the fact that the Muslim/Christian factions conflict is not new, and has, in fact, not ceased for over a thousand years. This is the 'war against terrorism' that Propaganda has labelled it. But is it really a war against terrorism, or an unconventional religious conflict fought between attempted dominants?"
I feel that this point has already been addressed. If it was as my opponent suggests a religious conflict then the western Christian forces, would now be actively engaged in converting the populations of Iraq and Afghanistan. We would not see Islamic soldiers amongst the Coalition. We would not see attempts to re-create local Islamic forces, we would not see the USA and Saudi Arabia still locked together as close friends.
"You have agreed that the Muslim factions are holding a 'Holy War', and, as such, by retaliating, the United States, NATO and 'Christian' faction, comprised of Infidels, has penetrated into a labyrinth of religious sentiments and angers that have sparked an all out Religious War."
However my opponents resolution suggests that this war is regarded as a religious conflict by both sides. All he has done is shown that it is regarded as a religious war by a minority of one of the demagraphics involved.
"Next I will address your statement in Post 1, where you state that the majority of Islamic peoples do not fight against the Christian West. This is true, but then perhaps that is because many of the people whom aren't soldiering are women or children, aged, helpless, injured, businessmen or have families to feed and other responsibilities."
To clarify I meant amongst Islamic combatants. It would appear that the combined manpower of such Islamic groups as Al-Q, the Taliban, Hamas etc, is ultimately outnumbered by the Turkish Army, the 'New Iraqi Army, the Northern Alliance, the Pakistani Army and other pro-Western Islamic groups.
"The Qua'ran (The Islamic religious core. I do believe that obeying the Qua'ran is one of the five pillars to get to heaven, is it not?) clearly states in several places that the Infidels must be eradicated and that those who die 'honourably' in Jihad will go directly to Heaven. This is why there have been terrorist suicide bombings and events, taking out dozens of innocents along with them. It is this that makes the war religious."
Such statements are highly debatable and subjective, the koran also lays down rules for the tolerance of religious minorities and the observance of peace treaties with neighbouring pagans. Either way it is moot, as I recognise the existence of Muslims who for right or wrong are religious motivated to take up arms against others. This is simply a reiteration of what has already been established.
My opponent has still failed to show how this view is dominant in, or representative of Islam. He has also failed to show how the Christian west regards itself as being in a religious war. He must do so to prove his resolution.
"Yet, even though they have the numbers, does it not strike you as peculiar that they aren't able to stand against the Taliban (their former rulers and brothers) without Western support? I would venture to say that they don't truly want to, unless they can benefit in some way (for example, if Karzai turns out to be a better leader than the Taliban regime)."
The Northern Alliance were already in conflict with the Taliban, the fact that they are still so with with western support is evidence against my opponents resolution.
"I think that we have seen that the sentiments of many Islamic people, even here in the West, is not pro-West."
My opponents statement is vague, without support. Is many the majority? Even if it is then does this support my opponents contention? Only to the extent that my opponent can show evidence of some Islamic antagonism against the west which as has already been shown is not sufficient to support his resolution.
"the Sikh peoples won't give up their Kirpans, even the children in school. "
Totally different religion actually!
"I believe that in society of today, such Christian references as, 'Christmas', have been turned to 'X-mas' or 'Happy Holidays' in order to be politically correct. Also, those whom are don't wish to offend those of other cultures; however, I don't see the Islam peoples trying not to offend those of the West, en masse (it is true that those whom have been born here may take the effort)."
The abbreviation of Christmas to Xmas has been ongoing since my childhood (before the relatively recent rash of political corrrectness to which my opponent refers) and appears to be motivated by laziness and the decline of Christianity amongst an increasingly atheistic population.
Most allegations of the poltically correct censorship of Christmas come from dubious sources and are inaccurate or only half true, when they have occured they are almost always traced back to a well meaning if confused white/native non-Muslim attempting to pre-empt offence when none was forthcoming. Either way I do not feel that this supports my opponents resolution.
"The Byzantine Empire was a Christian Roman sector that controlled the Mediterranean. It was established as a second state (With Constantinople as its capital) due to a weakening of the entire empire. At the time of the rise of Islam, Byzantine was, yes, built on Hellenic foundations, but was also an entirely Christian State."
"Thus, I have negated my opponent's claims that the war was secular and Hellenistic in nature, as Byzantine was a Christian state at the time of the Arab wars."
However, the ancient Greek city states were not, Alexanders Empire was not, the Roman Empire for a large chunk of its history was not. The Christianity of the latter Byzantine state does not deny the model. Were the eastern Roman Empire to have remained pagan, it would still likely find itself at war with Islam. Were Islam never to have been born and Mohammed to unify the Arabs under Christianity then it would still likely have warred with a Christian or Pagan Byzantium. My opponent would model the conflict(s) on religion, however he need to show why modelling this on racial or cultural identity is not equally valid.
Had the resolution been, "Al-Qaeda is religiously motivated" or similar he I feel would have won the debate, as it is the wording of the resolution requires that he must show some sort of consensus amongst not only the Islamic world but also the Christian one that a religious war exists, or to show by the behaviour of BOTH groups that such is the case. He has I feel for reasons I have already stated failed to show this.
I thank him for the debate and respectfully urge a vote for CON.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by daniel_t 7 years ago
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