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No mystery in Afghan soldier attacks

Posted by Secular on November 14, 2011

by Dr John L Perkins

Letter to the Editor, The Age, by John Perkins.

There should be no mystery as to why Australian soldiers are being shot in the back by their erstwhile Afghan allies (Clive Williams 14/11). It is only a mystery because we underestimate the role of religious ideology in such conflicts.

Those who are mystified just need to study Islamic history and read the Koran. The Prophet Mohammed was the leader of a military insurrection. Islam was first established in the Arabian peninsular, and beyond, by means of military conquest. The Koran contains many of Mohammed’s war proclamations. These characteristics of the religion are highly relevant to any understanding of Islamic insurrections and terrorism today.

The fact that such things apparently remain a mystery is a sad commentary on our inability to subject religious ideologies to rational analysis and criticism. The false assumption that religions are just benign charities is costing us dearly.

As societies, we cannot forever maintain the pretence that all religious beliefs are true, even when we know for sure that in many cases they are not. Our counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism efforts make no attempt at all to engender a more rational and evidence-based approach to the underlying ideologies. As such, they are doomed to failure. We need to at least aspire to a more rational world.

John Perkins is an economist specialising in global warming models. He is the President and a founding member of the Secular Party of Australia, and is also a long-standing member of numerous rationalist and humanist societies, contributing regularly to free thought magazines.

© The Secular Party of Australia Inc., 2011. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author and from the Secular Party of Australia is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and to this blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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