Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The real threat to Iraq's Muslims

By GARY BAUMGARTEN

Ron Paul made an interesting point during last nights's GOP debate - one that caused some in the audience to boo him.

He suggested that the reason the U.S. was attacked on 9/11 was because of America's foreign policy. Which, he said, angered fundamentalist Muslims.

In fact, it has been argued, the post-9/11 policy has angered them even more. The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, those who hold this view argue, are seen by many Muslims as Christian crusades. The infidels, it is held that they feel, must be repelled and attacked at every quarter.

It's a valid argument, worthy of consideration and debate. (For the record, I do not hold that the invasion of Iraq was a Christian crusade but rather a misguided mission motivated by other factors.) But, now that the U.S. troops are no longer engaged in combat missions in Iraq, where is the similar outrage over the killing of Muslims by Muslims?

Today, in Iraq, another attack on a group of Shiite pilgrims. Folks who were on a bus, heading to a Shiite holy site to pray.

The bus was stopped. The women ordered off. The men then taken to another location. And killed.

About two dozen people, whose only crime was belonging to a different sect than the Muslim gunmen who killed them, dispatched in the name of religion.

If that is not a holy war, what is?

Sadly, this attack was not an isolated one. Hundreds of other Shiites have been similarly killed in Iraq.

When atrocities occur in the Middle East, nations there line up either supporting or criticizing the governments involved. Depending on what sect is in charge.

Iran, which is not particularly known for its own tolerance toward dissidents there, is, for example, critical of Sunni-controlled Bahrain for its crackdown on Shiite demonstrators.

I don't know the number of Muslims who have been killed by Muslims in the name of religion. Perhaps there is a credible accounting somewhere. But any killing of anyone based on religion is too much.

Some religiously motivated massacres seem worthy of reporting and condemnation. Others, sadly, are largely ignored.

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