Waging a ‘holy war’ brings an end to rational man

Appearing on Fox News on October 10th 2023, US Senator and lawyer, Lindsey Graham declared:

“level the place”, as Israel did precisely that to Gaza, without any heed to the Palestinian people living there.

Graham asserted that: “we are in a religious war here, I am with Israel. Whatever the hell you have to do to defend yourselves; level the place.”

This place, Mr Graham, is home to 2.3 million people, more than half of whom are innocent children, babies and toddlers, not to mention the many vulnerable people including elderly and pregnant women.

Waking up the sentiments of religious war and giving human brutality the seal of God’s blessings is a dangerous game. Europeans spent centuries killing each other in the name of God, with every side claiming that God was on its side. God, however, in reality was on none of their sides, since, put quite simply, the God we love and worship is merciful and kind.

In the dark ages, Christian fanatics and war criminals used verses from the Bible to justify their brutality. In this context, they often cite 1 Samuel chapter 15 verse 3 which reads:

“Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”

In 1 Samuel, Samuel is seen as a prophet and judge and as Israel’s principal figure immediately preceding the monarchy. This is why it is difficult for any right-minded person to believe that someone in this elevated position: a prophet of God and a judge too, would incite such hatred and violence towards infants.

In the Quran, Surah Baqarah verse 216 reads:

“Fighting has been made obligatory upon you ˹believers˺ (to defend yourselves) though you dislike it. Perhaps you dislike something which is good for you and like something which is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know.”

It is clear that there is nothing holy here about fighting, even when forced to defend yourself.

Then the Quran gives guidance and imposes rules of engagement in war, Surah Baqarah verse 190 reads:

“Fight in the cause of Allah ˹only˺ against those who wage war against you, but do not exceed the limits. Allah does not like transgressors.”

The limits here clearly being if you touch, destroy, kill or disturb anyone or anything not actively engaged in fighting you in the battlefield.

A return to any misguided concept of ‘religious wars’ would no doubt bring the end of the West before the rest.

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