Post Cold War Violence and Islam


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The end of the Cold War in the early 1990s radically changed the geopolitics of the world. From one moment to the next, the armed conflicts stopped being of a political-ideological nature and became driven by cultural, ethnic, linguistic or religious factors.

However, of all the new motivations behind the bloodshed, by far the most common was religion and the religion that was behind the largest number of wars was Islam.

Among the most prominent of those conflicts was that of Sudan. There, the Muslim regime went on to systemically commit genocide against both Animists and Christians in the south of the country.

There were also the pogroms committed by the Muslim majority of Indonesia against the Christians living in the province of Ambon. That took place in the late 1990s, as the economy crumbled in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis.

There was as well the centuries old animosity between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, which flared up to new heights in the 1990s. Thousands were killed.

Following the elections in Ivory Coast in late 2000, a quasi civil war erupted, pitting Muslims against Christians.

In the Philippines, a low level conflict between the Christian government and Muslims in the south intensified. The confrontation started centuries ago, but in the 1990s it took a turn for the worst.

In Chechnya, Muslim armed rebels tried to declare independence from Russia and Moscow responded with force. The confrontation rapidly escalated into a civil war between Orthodox Christians and Muslims.

In Thailand, Muslim rebels intensified a bloody insurgency in the south of the country in a land that is 95% Buddhist.

And last but not least, the numerous attacks against the West that Al Qaeda launched since the mid 1990s.

These have been the most relevant conflicts, but there were several others in which Islam also played a role.

Such a situation begs a question. Why has Islam been at the core of so many armed conflicts in the last years?

Is it all due to chance? Is it due to a fortuitous confluence of events?

Of course not.

The persistent presence of Islam in those conflicts is the inevitable result of the underlying nature of that religion. This is the only creed in the world that was born out of an act of violence and which officially demands from its followers the use violence. As a result, it is always on the offensive, trying to convert others by force or killing those who refuse to convert.

Charles Sabillon did High School in Texas and has undergraduate degrees in Philosophy, Economics and Law as well as a masters and a doctorate in International Relations. After the PhD, he undertook post-doctoral research in the fields of History, Economics, and Ecology. He has taught Economic History at a university in Switzerland and speaks fluently English, Spanish, French and German.

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