Once again troubles in Western Asia, including Iraq issues, have significantly come to the fore.
Iraq and the areas in it have apparently long been important to humanity. The rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run through the middle of Iraq. Between these rivers is an area referred to as Mesopotamia. Here it is claimed is the birth of modern civilization.
The militant group Islamic State have gained a lot of recent controversial publicity. The BBC News website states on the 11th August:
- The rapid advance across Iraq by militant fighters from Islamic State, widely known as ISIS, has thrown the country into chaos and led to US air strikes against their key positions.
- The brutal, extremist group, which claims to have fighters from across the world, has announced the establishment of a "caliphate" - an Islamic state - across parts of Iraq and Syria and forced many minority communities from their homes.
The beheading of Steven Sotloff, a US journalist, by the Islamic State was apparently in retribution for the US air strikes. It was stated on a BBC website that:
- The "humanitarian crisis has not gone away" in the Middle East and is getting significantly worse, a Labour MP has said.
- Speaking of Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, John Woodcock said it was "in our clear interest to act against them".
- He spoke to Jo Coburn on the Daily Politics after David Cameron gave a statement to MPs on UK backing for US airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq, adding he would not rule out participation in similar action in the future.
But what effects does this unsettled and distressing time in the Middle East have in the UK? We've already seen that the Israeli/Palestinian conflicts have led to debatable incidents/protests in this country.
Well, Ava Vidal published several thoughts about Islamophobia in the Telegraph. In an article entitled "'People grab our veils, call us terrorists and want us dead'" she writes:
- I am not denying that there are countries where the predominant religion is Islam where women are treated badly. But patriarchy is the problem, not Islam. In Islam, the rights of women were recognised much earlier than they were in the West.
It could be convincingly argued that wearing a veil is not an essential part of being a Muslim. This area is a very difficult position for me to be in. I am feminist (yes, men can be feminists - have a look in a dictionary - feminists are not only women) so I am deeply uncomfortable with the suppression of women. Alongside that, as I have hearing difficulties, I regard someone wearing a veil as discriminating against deaf and hearing impaired people who need to lip-read... so I see veils as both expressions of sexism and disablism.
BUT I do not discriminate against any religion nor do I appreciate anyone else discriminating against religious beliefs.
Now I've heard the... 'debatable' statement that "Islamic people breed so much in this country that white people will get out numbered".
Let's look at this rationally shall we?
I have created a table of the ethnic composition of the United Kingdom according to the 2011 Census:
How about we look at religious variations in the UK too?
I certainly think that the sometimes violent and destructive campaigns in the UK don't really help matters. They enhance the irrational prejudices and distrust instead of trying to be examples of tolerance - but maybe many human beings can't be like that.
Perhaps human beings much prefer - and are more comfortable with - "our group is better than your group" - we can cope with feeling we belong to some group (aka "tribe").
Maybe conflicts can't ever be resolved as long as we think like humans...