OldArchive / Letters to the Editor
A Beehive in The Middle East
This administration now realizes that poking at bees will get you stung. We feel the pain in terms of a thousand body bags, as well as in wasting billions of tax dollars we cannot afford.
Less understood is the belief system of Islamic "Bees." Writing as a student of history and theology, the main issue centers on mind set differences. Our hemisphere has a "dualist" mind set. We don't mix government and religion, while Islamic nations mandate it. Religion has always played a dominant role, especially since the 16th century when a 14-year-old "messiah" preached that "I am God's mystery." In a pitiless jihad (holy war), he snatched control of Persia and enforced Islam as the national religion, building on theology of Mohammed who had abolished all previous truths two centuries prior. Henceforth, Muslim faith is subject to no alteration and must be "implicitly" obeyed and rigorously applied.
The Great Imam in the name of Ayatollah Rullah Khomeini in the late 1970's returned from France in a rage upon the emancipation of women by the Shah of Iran. He is declared to be the long prophesized Twelfth Imam. At a decisive moment, he sloganizes a deep resistance to western values, against the U.S. and Zionism particular. More importantly, he unleashed an appeal to martyrdom—where death insures sanctity and honors the memory of those who suffered. This renewed fervor is evidenced today in al-Sadr's ability to whip up Islamic discontent of all foreigners. A Khomeini theology to a Western mind is shocking and unsettling. He advocates on many matters, including child marriages. Authentic French translations reveal a patriarchal dominant mindset as he advocates "it is highly recommended that a girl be married off as soon as she reaches the age of puberty." He reminds Muslims that "one of the blessings of man is to have his daughter experience her first period not in her father's house, but in that of her husband's."
Among hundreds of "controlling" mandates ranging from rule of the clergy, Islamic Justice, many borders on obsession with women's bodily functions, divorce and minute daily activities including specific instruction on defecation. Conveniently, according to the Imam," His power derives from shining lights in the darkness of the heavens, infinitely gifted by birth and by nature superior to other men—so much that the angel Gabriel declared, "if I came too close to him, I would be burned." I point out my favorite edict to my wife, Karen, that the Imam rules that "a woman who has contracted a continuing marriage does not have the right to go out of the house without her husband's permission. She must remain at his disposal for the fulfillment of any one of his desires, and may not refuse herself to him except for a religiously valid reason." On marriage, the Ayatollah rules that "if the husband has included in the marriage contract guaranteeing his wife's virginity, he may annul the marriage if it turns out that she was not a virgin."
On matters of international relations, he proclaims "The Islamic movement met its first saboteur in the Jewish people, they are at the source of anti-Islamic libels and intrigues current today. Then came even more damnable representatives of Satan, the imperialists."
"Within the last three centuries or more, they have invaded every Moslem country, with the intention of destroying Islam? The clergy must undertake no functions other than religious ones which serve monotheism, virtue, the teaching of the divine laws and the uplifting of public morals. The army must also be under the control of the clergy in order to be efficacious and useful."
He advocates TV and radio for the youth to obtain Islamic news. Singing and music, however, are prohibited.
Khomeini leaves no stone unturned as he refers to missionaries "as those other agents of imperialism, who are busy throughout the Moslem world in perverting our youth, not by converting them to their own religion, but by corrupting them." He seems xenophobic (an extreme hatred of all foreigners) when he complains that in Teheran, there are propaganda centers for Christianity, Zionism and Bahaism who have been set up for the sole purpose of luring the faithful away from the commandments of Islam and implores that it is every Moslem's duty to destroy all those hotbeds of danger to Islam.
When it comes to religious faith, right and wrong is often defined in the mind of the beholder. One cannot be a judge and jury of another's belief system of worship. Given the radical influence of Moslem ideology, Islamic theology and entrenched theocracies, the expectation of "building a nation" in a Western mold of voting for democracy is untenable, very much like building a house on quicksand—not much chance for success.
The administration would be far ahead if they set a course for home where there's firmer ground and ample need for "nation building." At least the effort would be appreciated with a much higher return on investment.