My time is limited for the next few days, so I am keeping it shorter than normal. Hezbullah's success I fear will fuel the not so moderate Muslims (shall we say, putting it 'nicely') into a belief that the Westerners, especially Americans that they see as the cause of all evil, can be beat and need to be continued to be 'beaten'. Shortly after the Gulf war, in the early nineties, I lived in Saudi Arabia. It was known how some Saudis did not like Westerners at all, and not for political reasons, but their Wahabi convictions. This Wahhabi brand of Islam has been creeping more and more into too many Muslims, especially in countries, where the Saudi government builds mosques and schools all in the name of..and all the while, teaching a conservative brand that would scare any sophisticated person. I have been struggling with mixed feelings regarding Islam. There are Muslims and Muslim friends who are quite moderate, intelligent, and thoughtful. Then when I hear about sharia law, hudood etc.. the treatment of women.. I see a religion of tribalism and cannot imagine it teaching anything good. But then, how come I see Muslims like my friends, and then see a political Islam that is so vengeful, so fundamental in its zeal, and dare I say, backwards? Islam has been the unifying code of behaviour in so many countries, and has somehow served extremely well to unify people in reactive, violent opposition. I know I am missing something. Most likely, a good knowledge base of books that could help me understand the difference between for example, the Medina period and the Mecca period. Would it teach me to understand the motivations of today's groups such as Hezbullah, or are they merely resistance groups cloaked in religious terms in order to get the legitimacy, the recruits and support of the ummah at large?
Another thought I had today, as the kids were taking their swim lessons and I pondered the sadness and seriousness of the current ME conflict.. could Israel forge a peace by taking away Hezbullah's peaceful, social activities? Perhaps the way to undermine Hezbullah, is to support and help the Lebanese with schools, orphanages, etc. the way Hezbullah has done. If not Israel alone, most definitely someone or some group other than the Party of God.