Question: In the metric that the West and the Middle East share Abrahamic religion, do you believe it is possible for some form of reconciliation of the two, and what would be the conditions for this to occur? –Thomas K.
Answer: As a kid growing up (and I speak for liberals and conservative Muslims alike) we viewed struggle very differently than the West viewed it. Day by day it seems to be turning into a religious divide. Unlike in the West, the news in the East reminds us that it is the Zionists, the only army in the modern world, that are occupying what is without doubt Palestinian land and is oppressing the Muslims with the aid of the Americans. I firmly believe this to be true. Jews and Christians are referred to as "people of the book" in the Quran. Muslims and Jews have a long history of living together in peace. The last 50 years have actually been a break from the traditional norm that prevailed for a thousand years. For a thousand years Christianity brutalized the Jews (no offence intended to Christians or Jews) with the culmination of WWII. The divide that is present today has a deep policitical foundation. It did not start as a religious divide, but as things grow from bad to worse, it will manifest itself as a religious conflict as conservatives on all sides arm themselves while caricaturing the other side as the "real" bad guys. Peace and reconciliation I believe is only going to be achieved through political means. Be it in Chechnya, or in Palestine. –Muhammed