Muslims and Freedom

Saddam HusseinUp until 2003 Iraq had been ruled by a megalomaniac dictator, Saddam Hussein for the previous 24 years. During that time he had begun a war with Iran that resulted in 1,000,000 dead Iraqis and Iranians. He had invaded Kuwait, attacked the Kurdish minority with poison gas and oppressed the Shia majority population of Iraq. The death toll was extraordinary.

In 2003 an army of mainly U.S. soldiers invaded Iraq and quickly defeated the Iraqi army and took control of the country with a minimal number of deaths to combatants and civilians. Given freedom from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, Iraqis immediately began internecine warfare with the Sunni minority especially violent in their bomb attacks on majority Shia mosques.

President BushIf President Bush really believed Islam was a Religion of Peace he must have been terribly disppointed to find they used the freedom he had given them to start killing each other.

In 2011 dictatorships in Egypt and Libya were toppled by protests and violence. Protest also began in Syria against the government of the Assad family. In Syria, the government has been dominated by the Alawite minority for the previous 40 years. The Alawites are an heretical sect of Shia Islam that arose around 900AD and comprise 12 - 15% of the population which is majority Sunni Muslims. The Alawites have suffered oppression from majority Muslims for centuries and have survived in the inhospitable coastal mountains of north-western Syria. They took advantage of French control of Syria and joined the army in large numbers and were able to take over the government after independence. There's little doubt that the government in Syria has been so determined to resist the uprising because of Alawite fears of genocide should the Sunni majority control Syria.

Muammar GaddafiIn Libya 5 years after the crazed dictator Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed the country is in chaos approaching breakdown. Virtually everyone is armed, corruption endemic, tribal and regional factionalism intensifing and oil production is only 10% of what it was. Civil war is onging and nearly half a million people have fled the country.

In Egypt the 2011 uprising resulted in the deposition of dictator Hosni Mubarak after 30 years in power. In 2016 the country is in a worse situation on nearly all possible conditions than it was under Mubarak. There are mass arrests, mass death sentences, torture and ill-treatment of prisoners. Freedom of association, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression no longer exist. Religious minorities and atheists are threatened and attacks on Coptic Christian churches and properties continues without intervention by authorities. Violence and discrimination against women continues and rights for gays, refugees and others are unthinkable.

Egyptians could really use a fearless social activist and critic like Waleed Aly to work for social betterment there, teach Egyptians that Islam is a Religion of Peace and improve rock music as well. As a former Christian, Susan Carland could use her expertise to teach the 10 million Coptic Christians in Egypt the "beautiful balance of the spiritual and the intellectual" in Islam, convert them to Islam, thereby ending their persecution by Muslim Egyptians, and in her spare time campaign against genital mutilation of Egyptian teenage girls.