Sitting on a plane I run through the possible subjects to discuss in this week’s blog post. I consider health related matters but cannot bring myself to settle on a topic. I feel compelled instead to introduce a subject that tortures me far more than do the demigods of media and science. It is the conflagration of Muslim extremism that threatens to engulf our world. Wow, where did that come from you might be wondering. In a word, sadness. I am sad for the young Christian girls of Nigeria who have been stolen from their families, and in a 10th century style forced to convert to Islam and threatened with slavery or marriage to Muslim men. They most likely will never again lay their eyes upon their parents, siblings, and other blood relatives. I am sad for the woman who sits beside her 20-month-old child in a Sudanese prison awaiting a sentence of torture followed by hanging. Her crime: marriage to a Christian. I am sad for all the men and women in other nations forced to follow their religious beliefs in silence, lest they be silenced for good. I am sad that the world watches as so many suffer and I am sad we have lost perspective as we fan the flames of our own relatively petty issues. And finally I am sad for us as we watch a world that will most likely collide with ours, potentially ending the freedoms we now take for granted, ones our ancestors struggled so hard to leave as a legacy for us to enjoy.

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  1. Maria May 19, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    Super refreshing! Nice to “get to know” your thoughts above and beyond the medical world. Would love to see more.

  2. Brian Edwards MD May 19, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    “So long as there is death there will be sorrow, and so long as there is sorrow it can be no part of the duty of human beings to increase its amount, in spite of the fact that a few rare spirits know how to transmute it.”
    ― Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals

    Seth I also am sad about the issues you discuss.
    I look to history for some answers to the turmoil in the world.

    Will Durant wrote that history is full of terrible events. However most of history is peaceful and calm. That history is not written about.

    I met two Muslims from Oman. We spent a 16 days together on a cruise. There was not an unkind bone in their body. I have also met many Indonesian Muslims. They love Americans.

    The 30 year war was initially motivated by religious conflict between Protestant and Catholic.

    “It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history, and one of the longest continuous wars in modern history.”

    There is global progress in economic, medical and moral terms.

    We would not have known about Nigeria if it were not for social media.

    As Americans I think the two recent wars failed to make any friends with Muslims.

    Try to be kinder as George Saunders said in this commencement address.

    Mao said Political power is at the end of a gun. I think with the Global economy we will see that conflicts will be solved through trade and diplomacy. The Europeans are leading the way with this lesson in forming the European Union. They have a school in Bruges devoted to this philosophy.

    Bertrand Russell also said, When trying to decide which action is right, choose the more compassionate one.

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