Religious actions

I was surprised to read the letter writer admitted to only becoming aware of the Muslim Brotherhood during Egypt’s recent Arab Spring.

Re: ‘Beware of the Brotherhood’, a letter to the editor in the Feb. 5 edition of The NEWS by Jack Vincent.

I was surprised to read the letter writer admitted to only becoming aware of the Muslim Brotherhood during Egypt’s recent Arab Spring. Even those with rudimentary knowledge of world politics must remember that al-Qaeda was formed by Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon previously jailed as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood which had been banned for decades.

Of course, they operated in a clandestine manner, but following the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak they came out of the woodwork to win the ensuing elections fair and square. That result suited neither the all-powerful Egyptian military nor Western powers, resulting in new President Morsi being ousted in a coup; we will probably never know how the Muslim Brotherhood could operate as a legitimate government.

The world seems transfixed with the actions of another Islamist group by the name of ISIS; media organizations report their latest atrocities with palpable horror and disbelief. Last fall the beheading of Western journalists and aid workers were making headlines and now it’s the immolation of the Jordanian pilot; without doubt these are barbaric acts.

However, those who recoil in horror seem to conveniently forget that the West’s favourite Arab ally is Saudi Arabia, with whom Canada has recently agreed to supply $15-billion in military equipment. Saudi Arabia regularly carries out beheadings in public and has reportedly been the main benefactor for ISIS for several years.

Also conveniently forgotten are similar atrocities carried out in the name of another religion  —  like burning heretics at the stake, hanging women deemed to be witches in New England and many thousands executed in horrible ways during the Spanish Inquisition. That religion with the murky past is Christianity; there was a dubious link between that faith and terrible public lynchings sometimes coupled with burning of African-Americans at the hands of self-righteous mobs in the Deep South’s Bible Belt. The Ku Klux Klan’s symbol was the burning cross, after all.

Being a dedicated Antagonistic Anarchistic Agnostic (Triple-A), I carry no torch for any religion, but urge your readers and scribblers to delve a little deeper into history before casting that first stone.

Bernie SmithParksville

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