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Self-interest is winning over religious bigotry

Reader comment on item: Are Israeli Arabs Finally Moderating?

Submitted by Dave (United States), Dec 24, 2020 at 10:13

People are inherently selfish. This is a natural instinct to ensure the survival an individual. It is also necessary that people cooperate to ensure the survival of a species, whether as a tribe or nation. But cooperation requires some limits on selfishness. Religious ethics acting on the individual conscience are one means of restraining behavior, along with secular laws and policing. It's this balance between selfishness and discipline that makes a civilization.
Things have careened out of balance in many Islamic countries. The religious and police forces have become so oppressive and corrupt that they themselves pose a threat to the freedom and safety of the individual. Where the function of religious ethics is to limit selfishness, religion has become a vehicle enhancing megalomania in Turkey and Iran, and has been used to rationalize mass murder in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. The religious war against Israel has served as a malign catalyst, adding fuel to the fire of this madness.
Finally, people are asserting their self-interest in a constructive way. Realizing that the jihad against Zionism is only helping the crazies who want to harm them, many Muslims are trying to cool things down. It's one thing to sit back and complacently watch Hamas launch rockets at Israel, but quite another to see the Iranian-backed Houthis launch rockets at you, or to see ISIS manics rampaging nearby. As Pogo said, I have met the enemy and it is us.
A coalition of the sensible is forming. Countries like Egypt, Cyprus, Greece and the UAE counter Turkey, and the UAE, Bahrain, the Saudis and Israel oppose Iran. Even some Palestinians, like Mansour Abbas, are rejecting rejection. Things are slowly coming back into balance. Some day the word "civilization" could be joined with Islamic again.

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