Hell for values of hell

For some strange reason no one seems to bother asking exactly why the Islamist fundamentalist loony fruitcakes (yes, I know, quadruple redundancy, I'm on vacation dammit!) of ISIS are insisting on going about murdering and otherwise doing very unpleasant things to religious minorities in Iraq:
Unjustly regarded as ‘devil worshippers’ on account of their unusual beliefs, the Yazidi have for centuries been one of the most persecuted minorities of the Middle East. Islamic extremists regard them as infidels, worthy only of being killed. [Didact: First, there is no such thing as an "Islamist extremist"- because there is no such thing as an extreme version of Islam, it's just a bat-s*** crazy political ideology to begin with. Second, according to standard Islamic doctrine, EVERYONE who isn't a Muslim is by definition an infidel.] 
They are an ethnic Kurdish people who tend to have fairer complexions than many in the Middle East. 
They regard wearing blue as sacrilege, they never eat cabbage or lettuce because it creates wind [Didact: what about broccoli?] and their men often have long beards and wear their hair in plaits – which make them resemble the cartoon characters of ancient Gaul, Asterix and Obelix. 
They adhere to a 4,000-year-old faith passed down and adapted through the generations by word of mouth, and composed of elements of several religions. 
Their reverence for fire and light derives from the ancient faith called Zoroastrianism, the religion of Persia long before Islam arrived. [Didact: And which Islam practically wiped out. The old-fashioned way, with fire and steel.] They combine such Christian practices as baptism with Jewish or Islamic circumcision. Like Buddhists they believe in perpetual reincarnation. 
But it is the central tenet of their religion that has led others to brand them devil worshippers.
    They believe in one God who illuminated seven angels with his light. The greatest of the seven is the Peacock Angel, known as Malak Taus, who is dressed in blue (which is why the Yazidi refuse to wear the colour). His other name is Shaytan, Arabic for the devil or Satan. 
    The Yazidi believe that God left the Earth in the care of the seven angels and told them to obey Adam. The Peacock Angel refused, stating that Adam was created from the soil, and God’s light could never be at the mercy of the soil. 
    He was cast out for his disobedience, but was quickly reconciled with God who respected his argument – which proved he was, in fact, the most loyal angel of all. This is why the idea that he was akin to Lucifer is so misleading. 
    Tragically, the Yazidi are also victims of another misunderstanding, over their name. Sunni extremists believe it derives from a deeply unpopular seventh century caliph – or leader – Yazid ibn Muawiya. 
    In fact, it comes from the Persian word for angel or deity, ‘Ized’. Their name simply means ‘worshippers of God’. 
    Yet no such theological distinction interests Islamic State fighters in a Middle East where minor divergences between Sunni and Shia Muslims are a matter of life and death, and the region’s 12million Christians are diminishing by the day. 
    In such a murderous atmosphere, ‘Satan worshippers’ are inevitably the targets of genocidal fanatics.
    It's important to understand what Islam is in order to understand why it is so violent toward... well, everyone who doesn't agree with it. Islam is not a religion first. It is a political ideology first- one rooted in 7th-Century Arabia, with distinctly Arab methods of sorting out arguments over rank and divine revelation. (Read: behead, torture, impale, dismember, and otherwise make life extremely unpleasant for, anyone who disagrees with you. Fun bunch.)

    Moreover, there is considerable historical evidence that Islam's supposedly "canonical" sources were heavily edited, redacted, and revised to suit the needs of early Islamic caliphs and their administrations. In fact, a search for the historical Mohammed will likely as not reveal that the so-called "prophet" of Islam, as depicted canonically in the Koran, Hadith, and Sirah, never existed in the first place.

    Most stunning of all is the fact that there is real and weighty textual, historical, and anecdotal evidence that supports the notion that early Islam was actually something like a heretical offshoot of Christianity.

    Because of this, Islam's doctrines have been used and twisted and manipulated through time to allow- even encourage- Islam's expansion through use of military force. The early caliphs found it very useful and politically expedient to take their "holy" book's demands for war against the "unbelievers. Today, Islam's followers use jihad against "infidels" and "unbelievers" under the rather interesting, logically tortured justification that the world is divided into the "house of Islam" and the "house of war"- and that the only way to ensure peace all over the world is to use force and violence to bring the "house of war" into the "house of Islam".

    This is rather ironic, given that some of the absolute bloodiest conflicts and wars in human history have actually been between various sects of Islam.

    Which brings us back to what ISIS is doing in Iraq right now. Let's face facts: they are attempting to establish an Islamic caliphate. They will almost surely succeed. When they do, they will proceed to do exactly what an Islamic caliphate does- make life a living hell for anyone who isn't a Muslim.

    There is not room enough here to go into detail about exactly what that means. (Besides, I have a flight to catch.) Let's just say that if you do some reading, you're going to discover that the only alternatives open to the Yazidis, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, and everyone else in the region will be conversion (and subjugation), war, or death. It's not a pleasant set of alternatives.

    So what should America do about all of this?

    One hundred percent of exactly nothing.

    The USA cannot afford yet another costly war in foreign lands- and this specific war was caused by America's unnecessary meddling in the first place. Saddam Hussein may have been a nasty piece of work, but he was still strong enough to keep the religious nutbags at bay during his reign. As long as America left him alone, he could continue to be a very nasty piece of work- and he could continue to keep the even nastier pieces of work suppressed.

    Now that basic check is gone. And we are seeing the results before our very eyes- religious minorities starved, beaten, persecuted, and slaughtered.

    Is there really any need to go about compounding that folly?

    Apparently President Jackass thinks so. But that's to be expected, the man isn't all that clever.

    As for the rest of us- we should not get involved in wars between barbarians. If the West were still a Christian hegemony devoted to protecting and upholding the Word of God- the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, David, Moses, and on downwards to Christ Himself- then there would be not only a need but a moral justification for going to war to protect Christians from persecution. It was done before- in limited, haphazard, and ultimately futile fashion. It could be done again- if only there was indeed a Western, Christian hegemony.

    But there isn't one. And there is no good reason, at all, for sending yet more of America's sons to fight and bleed and die in a land that has shown for the past 2,000 years that it is practically incapable of building or maintaining a real, tolerant, religiously harmonious civilisation.


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