A cry for peace: Religion, Politics, War and The Middle East

By Naomi Tsvirko

Bombs in Gaza, a civilian plane goes down in what Russia and Ukraine deem a warzone and in Mosul, Iraq, Christians are experiencing the wrath of Islamic extremism. Welcome to the world you live in.

While the western media continues to fight for the secular ‘free world,’ Middle Eastern media outlets place religion at the forefront of almost all reporting. But what I am perplexed about is ‘we’, the most intellectual and superior species on this earth, are still not learning from our mistakes. As cliché and cheesy as it might sound, why is the world still not placing love before hate? A simple question that might be received with condescending eye rolls and perhaps some blanket political statement like, ‘these issues are complex and deeply rooted in historic blah blah blah…’ to which I will respond, ‘then why must an innocent baby die in the arms of its parents because an evil government or group want revenge?’ Let’s stop hiding behind pseudo-intellectual political statements and stop analyzing the motivation of governments and start defending life.

As political leaders around the globe continue to play chess, the victims are innocent Palestinian and Israeli children – born to hate and some lucky enough to live. Innocent Christians in Mosul forced to convert or die by Islamic extremists. Who is to blame? Ask an atheist and they’ll blame the belief in God or religion, ask a believer and they’ll blame another type of believer, but if you look closely you see Jews, Christians and Muslims fighting over land and their right to freedom, and then somewhere in the distance are the ambassadors for a secular society, but can they all continue to co-exist? Not if the extremists continue to have power and that is the bottom line.

While people like you and I are quiet about our moderate beliefs and our insight into how media ownership works – the world will continue to be ruled by extremists and when I use the word ‘extremists’ I’m not only talking about the Jewish, Muslim or Christian type, I am also talking about the old white guys sitting behind their capitalist desks because they too are extremists, the type that offer you ‘freedom of speech’ wrapped up in a hidden agenda.

The world needs to unite against hate and it starts with those political discussions in your living room, the ones where you blurt stuff out because you know you’re with your ‘own,’ where you think what your saying is harmless. Those conversations are dangerous because one day the little boy in your arms will become a man and you may deem him your freedom fighter, whether you name him Rupert or Bin Laden, your freedom fighter will be someone else’s terrorist. So when you’re in your living room, raise a Ghandi. Love first, hate -not even last.


Image: Selfie of Arab-American journalist Sulome Anderson and her Israeli-American boyfriend, holding a sign that says “Jews and Arabs Refuse To Be Enemies,” while kissing.

About the author:

Naomi Tsvirko is an award-winning writer and educator, she blogs at www.naomitsvirko.com. You can follow her on Twitter @naomitsvirko