Monday, March 05, 2007

Sectarian Violence

I've been following the Iraq Diary of Saad Eskander. On Feb. 8th, two of his librarians, one Sunni and one Shi'ite, were kidnapped. The Sunni was released but the other was executed. Sectarian violence is beyond all understanding though I am trying to teach myself and gain insight into the terrible Schism. I am hoping the current issue of Time Magazine will offer some insight.

I ask myself where this interest has come from and it's not an easy question to answer. I suppose the beginning would have its roots in 9-11. But even before 9-11, I was very aware of Afghanistan and the Taliban when the Great Buddha's were
destroyed, reduced to rubble. A vital part of the history of that part of the world was mindlessly destroyed. I've never really gotten over that event but there IS reason for hope.

The war in Afghanistan and our misguided venture into Iraq cannot be ignored and somewhere along the line I wanted to learn more about the spiritual me, the part of me that makes me real. Discovering Frida's and others Afghan blogs opened that world to me in a very different way. Almost hand in hand, while I explored a deeper knowledge of my Faith, I started reading stories center in Afghanistan, Serbia, and Iraq. Somehow it seemed that having some knowledge of these worlds through the voices of the people themselves, might hold the key to understanding not only them but also understanding an important and neglected part of myself.

Eskander ended his entry for February 8th with these words: "I have come to realise that nowadays in Baghdad, the perfect human being would be one who can switch off all his senses. To be blind and deaf is not a curse anymore, but a blessing in disguise."

What a terrible and sad reality.


trailbee said...

As you posted this here and not elsewhere, may I tell my little blup here: in the Sacto Bee's Sunday Commentary is an article by Thomas L. Friedman, Arabs' silence is deafening, which I think goes along with your observation. It makes good reading.

Star said...

I have also found that having a personal connection makes the understanding easier. The media can report, but you know that they are putting their own slant on things whether it is in newspapers, on television, or even a Presidential news conference. Granted, the only side you are hearing is one person's (or a select few), but what they relate are true circumstances for them.

AnnieElf said...

Hi Biene - I am looking for that article. Thanks for mentioning it.

I have found through my recent reading Julie that hearing the people through their own voices underscores their point of view in a way that you can't get from commentating. BUT hearing their voices also shows you how easily they are swayed by one strong and passion leader who knows how to pray on people's fears and prejudices, in fact, inflames them to even more unrealistic levels of fear and hatred and rage. And all in the pursuit of the desire for political power. Thanks for commenting here Julie.

paris parfait said...

Annie, sadly sectarian violence has always existed - it breeds in zones of chaos and violence. Sectarian violence fueled many wars in the past and continues to thrive to some degree in most parts of the world. The US media has rarely covered these stories, unless prompted by some catastrophic event. As you know, in general the population seems more interested in entertainment than news. Many Americans seem to prefer not to know what's going on elsewhere, outside their comfort zones.

AnnieElf said...

Sadly, must agree with you Tara. Too many Americans either tune out, get interested and form opinions, or get an opinion and then stick with it to the bitter end instead of considering the options that might lead to peace. Of course, it's not as cut and dry and this and I don't mean to generalize, but . . .

Frida World said...

I admire your committment to finding alternative sources of information. It takes real effort and the results are not comfortable or simple or easy.

Yesterday I was completely worn down by a local factional conflict that I've been monitoring (and in a limited sense attempting to mediate) on behalf of my absent boss. I feel sad and a little hopeless about the future.