WILL SYRIA’S CIVIL WAR TURN INTO
ANOTHER WAR ABOUT GOD?

Everyone in the world knows there is a civil war going on in Syria. But not everyone knows what is going on behind the scenes in that struggle.

At its root, much of the animosity between the people in Syria is fueled by ancient disagreements about humanity’s Deity — called in Arabic “Allah”, or literally, “the God.”

Yes, once again we are killing each other in a rage expanded by differences over the Source of All Love.

Officially, the revolution is said to be about too many years of minority rule, oppressive government, and economic disparity, those fighting in the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) will say. The FSA is a rebel group that has been struggling for just over two years, asserting that what they—and the majority of the Syrian people—want is a free and democratic country.

There is no doubt that these matters carry huge weight in the struggle, as the government of Syrian President Bashad al-Assad has — like his father’s government before him — strictly prohibited most forms of political dissent in the country, and outlawed all political parties except one—the Ba-‘ath Party that has ruled the nation since the early Sixties.

But underneath the political-social issues is a raging underground stream of religious turmoil, those familiar with the Syrian situation say. President al-Assad is a member of the Alawite sect, which is a non-conformist branch of Shia Islam.

The Religious Divide
The vast majority of Syria’s people are Sunni, not Shia — which accounts for less than 20 per cent of Muslims worldwide — and even fewer belong to the Alawite faction (only about 12 per cent of Syrians, by most accounts).

Even as in Christianity there are numerous sects or belief systems (Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, etc.), so, too, is it within the Islamic faith tradition. Sunni Islam is the largest branch of that tradition, and is considered to be the orthodox version of the religion. The smaller, separatist groups in the religion emerged as a result of historical and doctrinal differences.

In Syria — as in many other nations in the Arab world — Sunnis are in the vast majority, but have been ruled for decades by Shi’ites, and in Syria in particular, its Alawite faction. Since ruling parties generally look after their own, the result is that throughout much of the Arab world Shi’ites have favored far better economically and politically (more power over their own affairs and future) than Sunni’s, who tend to be at the lower end of the scale in terms of economic and political power and influence.

News Analysis — Part Two

Throughout the region, Sunnis have been saying “enough is enough.” This is what created what has been called the Arab Spring, a region-wide uprising begun in December 201 in which, to date, “rulers have been forced from power in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, civil uprisings have erupted in Bahrain, and Syria, major protests have broken out in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Sudan, and minor protests have occurred in Mauritania, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, and Western Sahara,” according to the free-source online reference Wikipedia.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Spring)

The Syrian revolt has been the most violent, with estimates that over 70,000 people have been killed in the fighting—with the number increasing daily. As recently as May 3 it was alleged by the government’s opposition that more than 40 people had been executed in al-Bayda, a village near the port of Baniyas in northwestern Syria, by forces loyal to the Assad regime. The government says the incident was caused by what it labels “terrorists” in the village.

Where Ideas About God Come In
The religious “angle” is not insignificant in all this. Members of the Alawite sect were long persecuted for their beliefs by the various rulers of Syria, until Hafez al-Assad took power there in 1970, a Wikipedia article asserts. When Hafez al-Assad died in 2000, his son Bashad al-Assad assumed the presidency much as a king’s son would assume the throne in a typical monarchy. Any opposition to this maneuver was systematically squelched. And so, for the past 50 years the political system has been dominated by an elite led by the Alawite Assad family.

Now the Free Syrian Army says al-Assad must go. It wants democratic free elections. But now, into the country are coming radical Islamic jihadists. They are flooding the towns and villages, entering by the thousands from elsewhere in the region, well financed by the broader Islamic jihadist movement.

These incoming revolutionaries are not nearly as concerned with the economic, social, and political issues in Syria as they are with the religious aspect of daily life there.  They see the Syrian conflict as a battle for the survival of traditional, conservative Islam. Because bitterness has long simmered between Sunnis and Alawites, it is not difficult to find on-the-ground support in the poorer villages and towns of Syria as radical Islamists from other countries seek to turn the civil war in that nation into a religious jihad.

Interviewed by international media outlets, some of these mostly youthful jihadists are not reluctant to make it clear that their desire is to create an Islamic nation regionally — and that they are prepared to die in that effort. They see this as dying for Allah, whose traditional followers have been downtrodden and marginalized and warred against for decades, in their view.

A relatively new group of such jihadists has formed, calling itself Jabhat al-Nusra  (“Support Front for the People”). It is said to be officially allied with al Qaeda in Iraq. A second group, the Syrian Islamic Front, is described by media outlets as an overarching body of divergent groups with an extremely conservative religious philosophy, not unlike the ideology of the Taliban.

Can outside radical Muslims turn Syria’s civil war — a battle for economic, social, and political equality — into a religious war, leading to the creation by fiat of a regional “Nation of Islam”?

So long as human beings insist on arguing about God, and about whose teachings with regard to God are the most “valid” and the most “sacred,” battles ignited by religion will continue to be waged across the Earth.

Might it be time for a New Spirituality to be explored across our planet? Might it be time for us to inspire such an exploration? Is it time for an Evolution Revolution?

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  • Victor

    Well, here we go again…

    “But now, into the country are coming radical Islamic jihadists. They are
    flooding the towns and villages, entering by the thousands from
    elsewhere in the region, well financed by the broader Islamic jihadist
    movement.”

    I´d add a very important sentence: financed as well by the NATO and now openly -before, secretly-, by the U.S…

    And as as you briefly noted, Al Qaida, before the ´bad guys´, now are again the ´freedom fighters´, again financed and supported by U.S. and the NATO…

    So, if this is a religious war, we´d have to note also that NATO, U.S., Obama, are CHRISTIAN. So, it would be fair too to include christianism in this issue. Because christianism, as it is understanded for many people, demands that Western Christianity intervenes elsewhere they want for any reason… Why not in Saudi Arabia, for example where the situation is equal or worst than in Syria…? Oh!, because Saudi Arabia is an ally, no matter that all Bin Ladens, etc., emerged from there…

    Remember George W. Bush saying: “Jesus (or God, it´s the very same at the end, in such view) commanded me to make war on Iraq…”

    So there you have it, yes, religious wars…

    Just for the record…

    Hugs and blessings, dear Neale and All…

  • Victor

    What a ´surprise´!…:

    By ´chance´ this new ´appeared´ at my FB page:

    Ex-CNN Reporter, Amber Lyon: I Received Orders to Manipulate News to Demonize Syria and Iran

    Monday, April 1, 2013 14:26

    PRAGUE, (SANA)- Ex-CNN reporter Amber Lyon revealed that during her work
    for the channel she received orders to send false news and exclude
    some others which the US administration did not favor with the aim to
    create a public opinion in favor of launching an aggression on Iran and
    Syria.

    Lyon was quoted by the Slovak main news website as saying that the
    mainstream US media outlets intentionally work to create a propaganda
    against Iran to garner public opinion’s support for a military invasion
    against it.

    She revealed that the scenario used before launching the war on Iraq
    is being prepared to be repeated where Iran and Syria are now being
    subject to constant ‘demonization’.

    There you have it…

  • mewabe

    Yes, fools are manipulated into conflicts by greater powers that fuel their racial or religious hatreds. But the actual reasons for conflicts are not religious but geopolitical. Israel in particular has a vested interest in bringing a semblance of democracy in the region…for its own survival. And the US follows Israel’s lead.

    • NealeDonaldWalsch

      I agree. Which is why I did not state that the root of this conflict is religious. It is clear, as I said in the article, that there are those who are seeking to turn it into what appears to be a religious war; to use the sometimes bitter religious divisions among the people of Syria as a wedging device. And it seems equally clear that there are those who have as their agenda the ultimate creation of a regional “nation” of Islam. As to your last point, there is no question that the claiming of Palestine as its own by Israel, in a decision made by the U.N. without including the Arab States, is indeed the root of the problem in the Middle East.

      The Balfour Declaration, which declared the support of the British Government for the establishment of a State of Isreal in Palestine, contained the admonition that it must be “clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the
      civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in
      Palestine…”

      The fact that this did not happen, but that exactly the opposite occurred, is at the heart of the anger of Palestinians, as well as millions of other people around the world. The point here, in this column, is not, however, to mull over or debate the political in’s and out’s of the world situation — but rather to invite exploration of a totally different notion: the idea that an Evolution Revolution might be ignited in the hearts and minds of fair-minded people of every race, creed, or national origin throughout the world.

      I have been told on what I have experienced as the highest authority that the problem which continues to face humanity is the nature and the content of our innermost beliefs — particularly our understandings of who we are, why we are on the Earth, the nature of God and of what God wants, and our true relationship to each other.

      • mewabe

        Thank you for your reply Neale, I am sorry I realize that I made my comment sound as if you had stated that the root of the conflict was religious, which you did not. I apologize…

        Yes I agree crazy beliefs make people do crazy things…and most of humanity’s beliefs or delusions are not rational.

        But I would like to know what you personally think of my observation, that there is something else at play: a choking lack of empathy (which I simply call feeling), that propels humans to act as if, indeed, they had no feelings whatsoever, abusing, brutalizing, oppressing, exploiting each other without so much as a hint of remorse.

        Whether a person believes or does not believe in God, or believes in a judging and punishing personal God or in the Tao doesn’t seem to make a difference: there is very little empathy, very little feeling displayed by the majority of humans, to an astonishing degree. Something is severely lacking.

        Do you agree or disagree? My thought is that this lack of ability to feel, to have empathy, is cause by widespread neurosis. Very young children are usually very feeling and are sensitive, but as they grow up in a neurotic world they in turn eventually shut down, and it is a very sad thing to witness. What do you think?

        • Victor

          Yes, seeds of sanity, emotional health, inner connection, healthy feelings… That’s what we need, what the world needs…

          Collective, global widespread neurosis in many forms and degrees, the core of our situation… Yes, I agree on that too…

          Not only beliefs, but neurosis, the one feeding the other…

          Do we need then massive psychotherapy, therapy, emotion-feelings doctors…?

          Massive healing… Who, how, when…?

          Topics for meditation…

      • How can we change these beliefs, if the great churches says, that every change that is not blessed by their own, is apostasy? For example, in islam there is the teaching, that after Mohammed will be no new teacher from God, because Mohammed was the last and highest of the prophets. Because of this belief, God himself could not send a new prophet or angel with a new message. Even if it were necessary. It would not be recognized. If the Koran or the Bible for fundamentalist contain the only truth any innovation or deviation for these people is made ​​by the devil. For the Catholic Church are the “Conversations with God” books stuff of the New Age scene. Because the church denies things like hearing voices in spirit, writing media or full trance mediums. And in Islam it is not even allowed to represent a different opinion on certain content. Last week I talked to a Muslim who wants to take me into a mosque. “We just do not talk about certain things, they are given to us by God …” was his answer to a critical question from me. Frustrating …

      • politics

        Neale,

        Excuse me for eavesdropping on this conversation, but I found it very interesting and noticed that both of you have made some very fine points on the turmoil in the Middle East. Then I noticed one of your comments, which I will quote;

        “I have been told on what I have experienced as the highest authority that the problem which continues to face humanity is the nature and the content of our innermost beliefs– particularly our understandings of who we are, why we are here on the Earth, the nature of God and of what God wants, and out true relationship with each other”.

        You mention highest authority as if you know something that others do not, based upon experience and this could be interpreted as some form of extremism. Could it not? Basically forming the same conclusions that others may have when they too, speak of the authority of belief. Be it with words or actions the thought is what remains.

        Have we touched upon the nature of what some may call the Beast?

        Just curious.

        • mewabe

          Good point politics, I reacted to this as well (see beginning of comment below).

          This authority thing could be a bad choice of words on Neale’s part, or it could be revealing of an actual desire to want to present what was received as “The Truth” (as opposed to mere thoughts), which would be rather dogmatic and would seem to contradict the disclaimer that “ours is just another way”.

          Whenever anyone makes the claim that God spoke to them, then you immediately have to face the implied authority issue, because in major religions particularly Judeo-Christian, God is portrayed as a commander-in-chief, a king, a lord, the supreme ruler to whom and to whose representatives all must submit and obey.

          This, needless to say, has always and instantly turned me off these religions completely, because it felt completely false to me. In my world God is not a boss but a creator and nurturer.

          To use the dogmatic attitude of religions to denounce their dogmatic errors is a bit of a paradox and not really necessary…no one needs to claim any “authority” to make their ideas valid, ideas stand on their own merit.

          • politics

            I hear what you are saying Mewabe.

            Though I am not sure that Neale was saying his truth is the actual word of God, only Neale can answer this. From what I have read of his books, he was very adamant about sticking to your own truth, which is what Neale does. It is others who exult him to another level and allow his truth to become their own as well.

            To be honest with you, I was just replying in a manner of which may allow some to realize how intent can be manufactured to allow anyone to be of a cause to work their own brand of service to, instead of service with.

            Basically prove their innocence in matters of affairs when it comes to well, Justified means of transfer of Ideologies. Belief that they know better. Again all I was saying is that maybe I touched upon on some hidden agenda that peeks out from behind the doors so others may notice the root of our behavior patterns.

            Be it unwittingly or not. Just an observation is all.

            But a very scary place when they think it is.

  • And the ‘sorting’ project is in heights of process…Whoop Whoop & Allalalalalah!

    Yes, it is most definitely ‘time’ for revolutions…and re-solutions…Has this ‘time’ ever ‘not’ been in Our most inglorious history?

    We are as warring ants…connecting in the field, deploring each other’s scents, killing the soldiers & their followers of abhorrent aroma, ‘capturing’ those that submit, & enlarging both the ‘winner breed’ & their slave crews. Oh, so supreme are We!

    We make excuses for Our behaviors…religion, condition, “We’re having a bad day”…Whatever floats the righteous boat! Put Zoloft in the waters & release Cannabis from human exile…Then perhaps 2-leggeds will pull their heads from their rear orifices & talk in mellow mind-less states to explore a new beingness concept.
    I See males & testosterone-fed females running amok…They simply do not understand their collective disparagement of the Patriarchal rule failing…They are in struggle for their lives for the survival of ill-intents of ancestry. Bless them, one & All…and allow these types of Angels their means of passage Home…Let Us be done with this ‘project’ so the Changing process can more heart-fully move.
    Perhaps the Evolution Revolution should stop feeding this struggle by simply moving away from all of it…Give it no mind, no focus…Starve it of attention. Stop listening to the news, stop buying newspapers…refuse to be part of any & all of it by moving to a higher plane of thinking. There is no reason grander options & structures of communication & community can not be risen above what is…There is no reason to vote within, or support with-out, any part of that which is, when the energies & efforts would better serve to produce wiser beingness.
    In Love, I have to brush the frustrations, the unreal-ness, the disappointment, the past, from my shoulders & move into the gardens of de-light to embrace the newness of growth other-‘wise’. I stand as witness that This ‘movement’ is near effortless…it is a simple decision to not be of what is & become what can be…and the process is more contagious than any virus known to Man. It has been this process that brought me to the word “Amazing”, which my ears behold in greater number every single day.
    I will no longer participate in argument about, nor accept excuses or justifications of, such human-contrived events as the above…not here, not anywhere. I will, however, continue to bless the grieving & those going Home, continue to send Love toward the healing, continue to raise those around me as they enter the realms I play in, continue to hone higher-thinking beingness with All That Is.
    In Love, to All those I sooo admire here, whom I have walked with over the past 2+ years in this site…You have contributed to this growth so much more than any “Thank you” could render as appreciation. Neale, Dear God-send that you are, Blessings…Always & All ways…to you, & Em, Humanity’s Team, to the E.R. movement. My computer time is lessening because I Am moving into expansion of Self throughout. I will check in from time to time, no doubt…but this long-windedness of the moment is as a last “HooRah!”
    Good Journey, Beloveds…It most certainly IS. 🙂 <3

    • NealeDonaldWalsch

      Erin, I am struck by this…this thing you said….

      “Perhaps the Evolution Revolution should stop feeding this struggle by
      simply moving away from all of it…Give it no mind, no focus…Starve
      it of attention. Stop listening to the news, stop buying
      newspapers…refuse to be part of any & all of it by moving to a
      higher plane of thinking. There is no reason grander options &
      structures of communication & community can not be risen above what
      is…There is no reason to vote within, or support with-out, any part of
      that which is, when the energies & efforts would better serve to
      produce wiser beingness.”

      I am pondering this deeply in my heart. I am asking: Do you feed the struggle by simply noticing it? Can you reduce the struggle by ignoring it? Is there even any reason to “reduce” it? Is it spiritually “evolved” to just stand by and let conditions be whatever they are, let people do whatever they do? If I was walking down the street and heard someone calling from an alleyway, “Help!”, would it be best for me to stop feeding the struggle by simply moving away from it? Can one produce “wiser beingness” when one does not know “wiser than what…? Do we need a contrasting element in order to create, know, and experience Who We Really Are…and who we intend to Be? I find these to be intriguing questions. Thank you for the offering. You’ve got me thinking. Hmmmm….

      • Michael

        I have run into this question several times now and I often refer to cwg1 and the joke about the new ager, “what heat?”. I thought that settled it for me, but there is still something here I feel I’m not clear about, and I am eagerly searching myself for my own answer. And here it is; Since I am not quite at the level of God consciousness, the decision I would make is easy. I would intervene as a father would stand between his young children who were abusing each other over the television remote, and show them how to share. I don’t know what God would do. Oh and I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time……………….You’re the man Neale! Thanks for everything, you save my life daily!

        • NealeDonaldWalsch

          Thanks, Michael. For those of you who don’t know this little joke, or have forgotten it from CWG-Book 1, here it is, in the context of Erin’s post, above:

          Erin wrote…”Perhaps the Evolution Revolution should stop feeding this struggle by simply moving away from all of it…Give it no mind, no focus…Starve it of attention. Stop listening to the news, stop buying newspapers…refuse to be part of any & all of it by moving to a higher plane of thinking.”

          In CWG I wrote this passage about that general idea…

          I’ve heard this before and I’ve always railed against it, because it seems so dishonest. I mean, if you’re sick as a dog, you’re not supposed to admit it. If you’re broke as a pauper, you’re never supposed to say it. If you’re upset as hell, you’re not supposed to show it.

          It reminds me of the joke about the three people who were sent to hell. One was a Catholic, one was a Jew, one was a New Ager. The devil said to the Catholic, sneeringly, “Well, how are you enjoying the heat?” And the Catholic sniffled, “I’m offering it up.” The devil then asked the Jew, “And how are you enjoying the heat?” The Jew said, “So what else could I expect but more hell?” Finally, the devil approached the New Ager. “Heat?” the New Ager asked, perspiring. “What heat?”

          • Michael

            But seriously, is there something she(Erin) knows here that is important to understand? I’ve heard so many people say, “you’re just adding energy to the problem” and therefore increasing the problem? I don’t understand. Do you Neale have anything else to say on this subject?

    • mewabe

      Erin, I don’t think Neale or the Evolution Revolution is taking part in the struggle…on the contrary, they are offering a way out of it.
      I think that they are saying: people, there is another way…you false beliefs are keeping you blind…remember who you are, stop bickering and take your just place in this universe of consciousness (not in these exact words, but you get the drift…)

      They are not trying to change the world on the world’s current terms. So they are not struggling with the world, they are opening a door.

      I agree with the patriarchy dying….about time! The best thing that can happen to this world civilization is to loose control enough that it finally understands that control and dominant power is not where it’s at.

      Control is being lost in every way…the environment is in a major crisis, economies of endless growth and consumption are falling apart, people’s beliefs and assumptions are being shaken to the core, this is GREAT!!! I have waited for all this since I was a kid, and it is finally happening. I call it liberation…which should, if the world does not go completely crazy with panic, take us all back to sanity, eventually and even perhaps in spite of ourselves (just as an addict, in spite of his desire to stay high, is forced to sober up or die).

      • NealeDonaldWalsch

        This is a remarkable statement of exactly what we are trying to do, mewabe, and I am very glad that you see this so clearly, and can state it with some wonderful articulation. Seeds of Sanity indeed! I loved your turn of phrase so much, I immediately registered the Domain Name. I will put up a page very soon at

        http://www.SeedsofSanity.com

        This is exactly what we are talking about.

        • mewabe

          Thank you so much Neale…I am very happy I could be of some use and I will check out the new site!

          • Victor

            Yes, seeds of sanity, emotional health, inner connection, healthy feelings… That’s what we need, what the world needs…

            Collective, global widespread neurosis in many forms and degrees, the core of our situation… Yes, I agree on that too…

            Not only beliefs, but neurosis, the one feeding the other… A dynamic duo: belief-neurosis… Neurotic beliefs…

            A neurotic God created by neurotic people, both creating neurotic societies that recreate neurotic gods, people, behaviours and the whole world…

            Do we need then massive psychotherapy, therapy, emotion-feelings doctors…?

            Massive healing… Who, how, when…?

            Topics for meditation…

          • mewabe

            We can make a conscious choice to change beliefs, but neurosis is another story…it is passed from parents to children…from educators to students…unconsciously, automatically.

            How do we open the heart of the world?…Not just for a few minutes as with a song, but forever?

            How do we cause people to be sensitive, to have empathy, to actually feel, so that they no longer need so many rules of law and morality because they now feel the law of love that was in their heart from the very beginning and that was meant to lead them from within?

            Only love will free us, nothing else.

            There is a scene in the movie “Powder” where the main character causes a hunter to feel the pain and panic he caused the dying deer he just shot to experience.

            A truly feeling person has this kind of empathy…not as a mental experience, but at the deepest feeling level, and it’s very real. A feeling person feels other people’s pain, fears, etc.

            But most of humanity is afraid to feel at a deeper level…and increasingly does all it can to stay numb.

            Have you noticed that the more neurotic (unfeeling, repressed) a person is, very often the more stringent and rigid his or her beliefs? Same with entire societies, the more suppressive of feelings, the more dictatorial.

            We could say that social, political and religious tyranny have their roots in neurosis, in the suppression of feeling (love, sexual feelings, any feelings).

            There is a very strong correlation.

          • Victor

            Thanks Mewabe!,

            What would you say about the healing of neurosis?

            Blessings

          • mewabe

            Thanks Victor, I wrote you a reply but my comment disappeared into the twilight zone, I will try to rewrite it later…

        • Thank you for this marvelous discussion. As Einstein reminds us, No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

          And Christ reminds us, “Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.”

          To me, this means it is beyond religion and in order to detach from the struggle, we will need to find a way to activate higher consciousness in all people.