Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tibet: A Preview of Coming Attractions?

Let's say that the voices of peace and reconciliation make themselves heard after the 2008 American elections, ending violence in the Middle East.

Or, at any rate, ending opposition to Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other enthusiastic supporters of a particularly control-oriented sort of Islam.

I suspect that these Islamic enthusiasts, and their supporters, would bring peace and order to the Islamic world in short order. Peace and order on their terms, and by their definition, of course.

That process would take a while, but let's say that by the run-up to the 2016 American elections,
  • The Pan-Islamic Purview Independent Caliphates (or whatever it's called) has control of the lands between India and Greece
  • This association has been discretely providing financial and tactical support to American political candidates - sure, it's illegal but that's American law, and they're above that
  • The surviving American candidates either throw their support to the Purview's candidate, are kidnapped and sent back in pieces, have tragic accidents or are blown up by martyrs
Unlikely? In detail, yes. In a generic sense, assuming that America adopts a 'live and let live' policy towards radical Islam, I'm not so sure.

When the Purview's presidential candidate wins the election,
  • Congress is either disbanded or (more wisely) maintained as a relatively expensive public-relations front for the council of imams who actually determine policy
  • Existing judges, from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court, are replaced with men whose knowledge of Sharia law is unquestionable
  • A sweeping campaign of social reforms begins purging blasphemy and women drivers from America
Again, unlikely? In detail, yes: but how many people really believe that a group of power-hungry, ideologically-driven men, with little to no regard for laws or traditions other than their own, wouldn't try something like this?

We can get an idea of how well people react to their country being taken over by a foreign power, no matter how well-intentioned, by looking at the Chinese province of Xizang. (The name "Xizang" probably isn't familiar to you. Quite a few people in America still call the place "Tibet," even though China invaded the country, fair and square, in 1951, started calling in a Chinese province, and call it "Xizang.")

Protests in the Tibetan capital Lhasa turned violent last Friday, and today there are protests in neighboring Chinese provinces.

" 'Whether intentionally or unintentionally, some kind of cultural genocide is taking place,' said the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. He was referring to China's policy of encouraging the ethnic Han majority to migrate to Tibet, restrictions on Buddhist temples and re-education programs for monks." [emphasis mine]

China's leaders certainly aren't Islamic, but they do have a history of enforcing rules for ideological reasons: remember Mao's "Cultural Revolution?" Mao's gone, but it looks like 're-educating' people whose thoughts aren't government-approved is still practiced.

Judging from what went on in Afghanistan, and what's happening in Saudi Arabia, my educated guess is that there is an element in Islam that is quite serious about enforcing their beliefs. And if America allows the likes of Al Qaeda and the Taliban to continue their policy of conquering and reforming insufficiently-Islamic countries, Sooner or later, it will be America's turn.

I don't think I'd enjoy that.

More about Xizang, or Tibet:

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.