Thursday, November 15, 2007

More God Delusion

One of the things that Dawkins gets flat wrong in The God Delusion is when he talks about ethnic cleansing and religion.

"Iraq, as a consequence of the Anglo-American invasion of 2003, degenerated into sectarian civil war between Sunni and Shia Muslims. Clearly a religious conflict - yet in the Independent of 20 May 2006 the front page headline and first leading article both describe it as 'ethnic cleansing'. 'Ethnic' in this context is yet another euphemism. What we are seeing in Iraq is religious cleansing."

This would be all fine and well, if religion were somehow separate from ethnicity, which it is most certainly not. Ask a Jew if you are unclear on this. The Sunni and Shia communities in Iraq are not different only in religion, and the fact that they have different religions is but one facet of their individual cultures. In Iraq prior to the invasion there was not as much enmity between the two groups, but Saddam still promoted Sunnis over Shia. Not because of their religion, Iraq was secular prior to the invasion, but because they were culturally closer to Saddam than the Shia.

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