World View: Christians Versus Muslims in Central African Republic

World View: Christians Versus Muslims in Central African Republic

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Christians versus Muslims in Central African Republic
  • Who’s at fault for the Holocaust?
  • War and Peace
  • Russia’s Vladimir Putin calls Obama to discuss Ukraine

Christians versus Muslims in Central African Republic

Articles on current events in the Central African Republic (CAR) suchas the one I posted two days agooften generate a great deal of commentary. Last year, Muslim Selekamilitias killed tens of thousands of Christians and drove 400,000 fromtheir homes. This year, Christian anti-balaka militias haveretaliated with vengeance, massacring hundreds of thousands ofMuslims and driving millions more from their homes — so far.Muslims are just 15% of CAR’s population, and some anti-balaka leadersare promising to kill every Muslim that doesn’t flee the country.This is a fact. I may not like this fact, and you may not like thisfact, but it’s a fact nonetheless. 

One response is to say that the Christians in CAR are just defendingthemselves from the Muslims. I won’t disagree with that, except tosay that anti-balaka leaders saying that they’re going to kill all theMuslims seems to me to cross the line from self-defense into genocide. 

Another standard response is to say that the Christians in CAR aren’treally Christians. This is the same response often given to the factthat millions of Christian Church-going Nazis attempted to exterminatethe Jews. According to this response, the Holocaust happened becauseHitler wasn’t really a Christian. Well, my understanding is that ifyou’ve been baptized in Christ, then you’re a Christian, and thatthere’s no further litmus test. But OK, let’s ignore that. 

This response is very hard to defend, because you would also have toclaim that all those millions of church-going Nazis were also notChristian. But OK, let’s ignore that. 

Question: How do you know that Hitler and the Nazis weren’t Christian?Answer: Because they perpetrated the Holocaust. So this is circularreasoning. Christians didn’t commit the Holocaust because Nazisweren’t Christians, and Nazis weren’t Christians because theycommitted the Holocaust. But OK, let’s ignore even all thoseproblems. 

OK, so let’s just accept that explanation: Hitler and the Nazisweren’t Christian, because they perpetrated the Holocaust.

Who’s at fault for the Holocaust?

But now you have another problem, because the same argument can beturned against you. The Muslim jihadists are killing some Christians,but they’re mostly killing other Muslims — millions and millions ofMuslims. The same is true of Bashar al-Assad’s genocide against Sunniwomen and children. You can claim that the Koran justifies thesekillings, but it doesn’t. The Koran may or may not justify killingChristians (it’s debatable) and other “infidels,” but what thejihadists and al-Assad are doing is killing Muslims — and that’sclearly a violation of the Koran. And so the same reasoningthat people use to say Nazis weren’t really Christians can beused to say that the jihadists aren’t really Muslims. 

In other words, if Hitler wasn’t a real Christian, then Osama binLaden wasn’t a real Muslim, for the same reason. 

And so, if you can’t blame Christians for the Holocaust becauseHitler wasn’t a real Christian, then you can’t blame Muslims for 9/11,because OBL wasn’t a real Muslim. 

Lots of people point to the fact that most massacres being conductedtoday are by Muslims, albeit mostly to other Muslims. That’scertainly true. All you have to do is look at Pakistan or Syria, forexample, to see it happen. 

But I think there’s a more interesting question. Let’s turn thequestion around. Instead of asking why Muslims are most oftenthe perpetrators of massacres, let’s ask instead why Muslimsare most often the victims of massacres. Muslims are the victimsof massacres by Muslims in Pakistan and Syria, by Buddhistsin Myanmar (Burma), and by Christians in Central African Republic. 

What is there about this particular point in history that makesMuslims the most massacred group in the world? From the point of viewof generational theory, that’s a very interesting question. Muslimsare the most massacred people in the world today. Why is that? 

Some people would say that the reason that Muslims are the mostmassacred people in the world today is because a lot of the world isangry for terrorist acts like 9/11. Once again, that reason would bedifficult to defend, because it doesn’t explain why Muslims aremassacring Muslims. 

War and Peace

In his monumental book War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy recountsNapoleon’s invasion of Russia. But Tolstoy is completely stumped andfrustrated about why the war occurred at all, especially because thepeople on both sides were Christians. Here’s what he wrote: 

It naturally seemed to Napoleon that the war wascaused by England’s intrigues (as in fact he said on the island ofSt. Helena). It naturally seemed to members of the EnglishParliament that the cause of the war was Napoleon’s ambition; tothe Duke of Oldenburg, that the cause of the war was the violencedone to him; to businessmen that the cause of the war was theContinental System which was ruining Europe; to the generals andold soldiers that the chief reason for the war was the necessityof giving them employment; to the legitimists of that day that itwas the need of re-establishing les bons principes, and tothe diplomatists of that time that it all resulted from the factthat the alliance between Russia and Austria in 1809 had not beensufficiently well concealed from Napoleon, and from the awkwardwording of Memorandum No. 178. 

It is natural that these and a countless and infinite quantity ofother reasons, the number depending on the endless diversity ofpoints of view, presented themselves to the men of that day; butto us, to posterity who view the thing that happened in all itsmagnitude and perceive its plain and terrible meaning, thesecauses seem insufficient. 

To us it is incomprehensible that millions of Christian men killedand tortured each other either because Napoleon was ambitious orAlexander was firm, or because England’s policy was astute or theDuke of Oldenburg wronged. We cannot grasp what connection suchcircumstances have with the actual fact of slaughter and violence:why because the Duke was wronged, thousands of men from the otherside of Europe killed and ruined the people of Smolensk and Moscowand were killed by them.

Generational theory does provide some answers to these questions, andit has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with being human.Just as Christians can have inappropriate sex, they can also haveinappropriate wars. If humans did not have sex, then the human racewould die out. If humans did not have genocidal wars ofextermination, then the human race would not survive, because it’sonly through wars of extermination that the strongest tribes,societies, and nations become the leaders. 

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, these wars ofextermination are generational crisis wars. When one of thesehorrific wars occurs, the generations of survivors vow to doeverything possible to keep anything like that from happening to theirchildren and grandchildren. They succeed in that, but when thesurvivor generations die off, then the younger generations, with nopersonal memory of the crisis war, have no motivation to keep it fromhappening again. And so the next generational crisis war begins,usually around 60 or more years after the end of the last one. 

Going back to Central African Republic, the last generational crisiswar was the 1928-1931 Kongo-Wara Rebellion (“War of the Hoe Handle”),which was a very long time ago, putting CAR today deep into agenerational Crisis era. There are probably no survivors left fromthe Kongo-Wara Rebellion, and so it’s not surprising at all that a newwar of extermination is breaking out in CAR today. 

Russia’s Vladimir Putin calls Obama to discuss Ukraine

The White House announced on Friday that Russian PresidentVladimir Putin placed a phone call to U.S. President BarackObama to discuss a diplomatic resolution to the crisis inUkraine. According to the White House statement: 

President Obama noted that the Ukrainian governmentcontinues to take a restrained and de-escalatory approach to thecrisis and is moving ahead with constitutional reform anddemocratic elections, and urged Russia to support this process andavoid further provocations, including the buildup of forces on itsborder with Ukraine… 

President Obama made clear that [a diplomatic solution] remainspossible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not takeany steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity andsovereignty. President Obama reiterated that the United Stateshas strongly opposed the actions that Russia has already taken toviolate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorialintegrity.

Russia issued its own statement: 

Vladimir Putin drew Barack Obama’s attention tocontinued rampage of extremists who are committing acts ofintimidation towards peaceful residents, government authoritiesand law enforcement agencies in various regions and in Kiev withimpunity. In light of this, the President of Russia suggestedexamining possible steps the global community can take to helpstabilize the situation. The two presidents agreed that specificparameters for this joint work will be discussed by the Russianand US foreign ministers in the near future.

This reads to me like a standard attempt to buy enough time so thatthe world will forget what Putin is doing. By referring to the “continuedrampage of extremists who are committing acts of intimidation towardspeaceful residents,” Putin is preparing a case for military actionin Ukraine and for not removing his troops from Ukraine’s border.He could order his troops into Ukraine next week and claimthat Obama didn’t propose a way to protect “peaceful residents,”so he had to do it. 

We’ll see if anything changes now. Politico

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Central African Republic, Bangui,Christians, Muslims, Seleka, anti-balaka, Hitler, Holocaust,Osama bin Laden, Pakistan, Syria, Myanmar, Burma,Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, Russia, France, Napoleon,Vladimir Putin, Ukraine 

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