World View: Religious Conflict on the Rise Around the World

This morning's key headlines from

  • Restrictions on religion, and religious conflicts, on the rise globally
  • Why has Wall Street not been held accountable for financial crisis crimes?

Restrictions on religion, and religious conflicts, on the rise globally

Campaign poster by Swiss People's party advocating the ban on minarets - From 2009
Campaign poster by Swiss People's party advocating the ban on minarets - From 2009

Restrictions on the practice of religion, as well as religious conflicts, have been increasing in countries around the world, according to research from 2007 to 2010 by the Pew Research Center. Three of the examples mentioned by the report are:

  • November 2009 constitutional referendum in Switzerland banned the construction of minarets on mosques in the country.
  • In Indonesia, more than two dozen churches were forced to close due to pressure from Islamist extremists or, in some instances, local officials.
  • In Nigeria, violence between Christian and Muslim communities, including a series of deadly attacks, escalated throughout the period.
The number of countries with very high government restrictions on religion increased from 10 to 18 during the period. These include: Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Egypt, Vietnam, Syria, Russia and Indonesia.

The number of countries experiencing social hostilities -- mob or sectarian violence, harassment over attire for religious reasons and other religion-related intimidation or abuse -- also increased. Countries where social hostilities were high include: Pakistan, India, Israel, Nigeria, Yemen, Palestinian territories, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

The level of restrictions and hostility also rose in the United States, from a low to a moderate level. These incidents typically occurred at the local level, including restrictions on wearing certain religious attire or symbols, including beards, or difficulties in obtaining zoning permits to build churches or mosques or religious schools. Religion-related terrorist attacks spiked in the U.S. in 2009, including the Fort Hood attack by U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan, and the attempted airplane bombing by the Nigerian underwear bomber.

Worldwide, the number of countries where religious groups were harassed were: Christians - 139, Muslims - 121, Jews - 85, Hindus - 30, Buddhists - 21.

This is exactly what is predicted by Generational Dynamics theory during a generational Crisis era. In a generational Awakening era, such as America in the 1960s and continuing for several decades thereafter, society places the highest priority on individual rights, including freedom of religion. But as a society enters a generational Crisis era, levels of nationalism and xenophobia increase sharply along ethnic, religious and geographic lines. Individual rights become subordinated to the concern for the survival of the nation and its way of life, and religious harassment becomes a method for "identity group expansion," which I discussed at length three days ago. This research has validated the generational theory prediction, and suggests how increased conflict between religions might lead to a regional war somewhere that could spiral out of control through identity group expansion. Pew Research Center

Why has Wall Street not been held accountable for financial crisis crimes?

A spotlight report by Al-Jazeera tells a story we've heard before, though almost never from the mainstream media -- that the banksters who committed the crimes that led to financial crisis are not being investigated and prosecuted. One person interviewed, Chris Swecker, formerly of the FBI, warned banks of an epidemic of mortgage fraud as early as 2004. However, his warnings were ignored:

"That's where we start to talk about criminal intent and fraud is knowing full well that there was fraud going on and just turning your back on it and saying, alright, we're going to package this stuff up anyway and we're going to sell it anyway."

There is absolute certainty by this time that in 2004, the banksters were knowingly creating tens of trillions of dollars in fraudulent synthetic mortgage-backed securities and selling them to gullible investors, resulting in the global financial crisis that is far from over.

However, the Obama administration Justice Department adamantly refuses to investigate the banksters who committed these crimes. According to the report, they're refusing because the bankster financial institutions provide huge amounts of money in campaign contributions to the Democrats. However, the report points out that they contribute even more to the Republicans, so a Romney victory in November will not change anything. Al-Jazeera

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