These words of Idries Shah ring true not only for Muslims but for all believers as well.
Christiane Amanpour, CNN Chief International Correspondent, produced a six-hour documentary on God’s Warriors. It was first aired in 2007, but it’s been rebroadcast through the years. I consider it as one of her best works. It examined the impact of religious fundamentalism as a powerful political force in the three major faiths: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.
I’m sure it would be shown on TV again. If you haven’t seen it yet, just check your local CNN schedule for an encore presentation. Or you can look here. It’ll be worth your while.
If there’s something that I’d learned from the documentary, it’s the ongoing trend towards non-secularism. It doesn’t matter what part of the world you’re in. Religion is coming back in style. Zealots from all faiths are wasting no time pushing it to the mainstream and to the seats of power. But what’s worse is that they leave no room for compromise. They’re blindsided by this way off-center belief that theirs is the only true religion.
Here we go again. Haven’t we learned from the lessons of history? In the name of religion, the dark ages came into being. It reminded me of the Inquisition. It reminded me of the Crusades. It reminded me of numerous wars waged by both sides for religious reasons.
In the present time, it reminds me of Al-Queda, ISIS, and the Taliban. It reminds me of suicide bombers who kill innocent civilians in the name of Allah. It reminds me of Christian fundamentalists, too, who believe it’s their God-given duty to send troops overseas on the pretext of spreading democracy. It reminds me of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. It reminds me of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Darfur, Kashmir, Chechnya, and wherever battles are fought as a test of faith.
Religion can provide the moral compass in governance, but it falls short in the end. Religion and politics are a potent mix. As history has shown, time and again, those who partake in it become drunk with absolute power and there are no highway patrol to flag them for driving under the influence.