For peace in the Middle East we need more Muslim extremists.
We do not need more Muslims detonating suicide and homicide bombs or beheading innocent men, women, and children. We do not need more Muslims declaring allegiance to Sharia Law and Jihad. We do not need more bloodshed or female genital mutilation or honor killings. We do not need more cries of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.
We need more Muslims extremists who seek to share the beauty of their worship, the texture of their lives, the tastiness of their delicacies, and the complexity of their culture.
Muslim extremists who do so with grace and kindness and welcome and pleasant voice.
Muslim extremists need to gain access to, and learn, and preach, and practice the tactics and techniques and purposes of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
I am calling these Muslim “extremists” because in their culture and religion they will be considered so. They will be ostracized. They will be hunted, likely, with numerous Fatwas issued from a myriad of sources. They will be considered outcasts, opposed to the Qu’ran.
But during the 1960’s in the United States “extremist” voices emerged and merged and created a path to change and broke the American will to continue to send its boys and men to fight and die in a war it could not win and attempted in vain to do so.
Musicians such as Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan; poets including Allen Ginsberg, Adrienne Rich, and Robert Bly; and peace activists Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden, and Muhammed Ali all strode to pressure government internally and externally to change their outlook and change their actions.
Not with guns, but with flags. Not with malice but with mantra. Not with hate but with hope.
They fought bullets and missiles and death with ideology and ethics and empathy.
It appears as if the world body of Muslims today have come to accept a fate of death and disparity and destruction and divide. The American young of the 60’s did not accept this.
Through acceptance, appreciation, and cooperation with israel, by hearing Israel’s pleas for peace not as weakness, but as strength, by seeing the horizon as a a place for possibility there can be not only peace, but, as well, prosperity.
By realizing the risk the IDF places upon civilians and soldiers is critical. By reflecting on Anwar Sadat’s reconciliation with Menachem Begin as a step long ago forged in the desert sands, millennia in the making, we can so too realize a better future: millennia in the making!
Muslim extremists must look within at the animosity and its inward and outward source(s).
Muslim extremists must be willing to “let it go” for something healthier and happier and better.
The price today is great. At stake is not just the soul of two nations but the safety and security of the world. It is not--cannot be-- Israel’s obligation to continue to desert its own ideals and ethics in capitulation to murder and mayhem. This would be the action of insanity and suicide.
Yet, amongst too many Muslims we see insanity and suicide ‘on the regular’. Men and women and children indoctrinated from every facet of society to be willing and eager to martyr themselves for the cause of liberating “their land” and destroying the Jewish people.
We had similar groups in the United States, even during the 1960’s: the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground. Today, while their presence is still alive, as is their history: their agenda is not the will of the people. Ultimately: it too will fail.
The people, the Muslims of Israel, the Muslims neighboring Israel--those not indoctrinated and not indoctrinating--with claims they are fueled by the Israel Palestine conflict-- with hate and ‘genocidal lust’--who wish to live simple quiet spiritually and physically comfortable lives with family and friends, with good food and laughter, with celebration and elation:
We need you to be extreme. We need you to sing your song. Often.