The text begins its history with the Middle East around the time of Muhammad and the creation of Islam. From that time forth uprisings, demonstrations and acts of violence were commonplace and have continued to be since that time. To dig a little deeper and go back a little further in Middle East history one will find that this pattern of unrest stems from as far back as proof provides. To see a timeline of significant wars or battles of the Middle East, the picture is better illustrated on just how long this territory of earth has been in domestic or national conflict.
The text briefly touches base on societal life before Islam when explaining how villages handled domestic disputes or punishments for crime. According to times then, it was ethical to “settle the score” if a wrong has been done to an individual or family. The punishment shall fit the crime; however this meant that there was substantial feuding. “An inherent weakness in the system emerged, however, when the disputing sides were unable to agree on what constituted an even score, and the situation developed into a blood feud that involved whole tribes and their allies and lasted for generations.” (McKay, 124)
The implementation of Islam or the presence of the prophet Muhammad did not change this contention that has been so in-bedded into society, but it did give a whole new order to live by and aspire to adopt as an ethical foundation. The Koran although not specific in political order, was and is an aid in societal order. Going back far before the prophet, the Middle East has been the breeding ground for many extraordinary and momentous battles that have changed the earth and helped evolve civilizations. From the Egyptian invasion of Asia in 1479 B.C. to the Persian Empire wars in 546-539 B.C., to many others, the timeline reveals something quite similar to the timeline of today in the Middle East.
Frequent discussions about the possibility of peace in the Middle East often route into the subject of Islam and the inability or lack of desire of the Middle East countries to separate state from religion. It is common to hear arguments blame “Islamic extremists” for the unsettled atmosphere of the Middle East. Where in some instances this may be accurate, it is highly inaccurate in most cases; but I would like to emphasize the word some. Going back to the timeline of the Middle East disputes, we can see that majority of these battles were not established out of religious means. Most were catapulted from land, tax, and regime issues. Take the Wars of the Hellenistic Monarchies in Syria in 318-170 B.C. for example. This is a demonstration of generations of war between the Seleucids and Ptolemy’s in an effort to gain control of Syria. Does this differ in comparison to the decades long Palestinian/Israeli war? Not much. The only difference is that peace is on the world’s radar as something to strive for and ultimately achieve. As the Middle East continues to repeat history for...