Will the city of Mosul be the site of the beginning of another Doomsday? Or will it be remembered as the place that brought people to their senses, to break through old animosities, to prevent the worst carnage since World War II?
A public announcement has been made of the intent to crush the ISIS occupation of the city of Mosul which holds within its population of close to two million citizens an Islamic state force of approximately 8,000 soldiers. It is to be encircled and attacked by Iraq and allied forces, ten times stronger than those of ISIS, in a month or two.
The timetable for the attack has a multi-purpose. It takes a period of time to train forces, acquire new equipment, build an arsenal of drones, of night vision devices, and to perfect the paraphernalia required for the disarmament of booby traps. It takes time to amass a force which, if deployed, will not fail.
The timetable also allows for a conference between the two major Arab tribes, the Sunni and the Shia Muslims, to consider an end to their differences, and perhaps to invite Sufis to add some spiritual motivation to end the carnage of jihadism.
And finally, the timetable provides an opportunity to align the effort with International Women’s Day on March 8, 2015, a symbolic joining with the fight of womanhood against male dominance.
The first observance of Women’s Day was held in New York in 1909. It was organized in remembrance of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union strike in 1908.
However, the most impressive demonstration of a cry for women’s equal rights was enacted on March 8, 1917 when female workers went on strike at the Putilov Steel Works in the Russian Capital, then called Petrograd, for ‘Bread and Peace’. They marched to nearby factories, gathering over 50,000 workers to join the strike. Within days, they were joined by soldiers and virtually every industrial enterprise in Petrograd was forced to shut down. It ultimately instigated the abdication of the then ruling Tsar, allowing the start of the October Revolution which brought about the second October Revolution which then brought the Bolshevik party into power under Vladimir Lenin, who became sole leader of the Soviet Union in 1922.
Today, such women are needed again to stop the carnage in the Ukraine against the Russian invasion. And they are needed to mobilize Arab women to stop the persistent barbaric killings in the name of Allah.
And let us not forget that we in the West have not fulfilled our democratic duties; we allow the barbaric rape of women in our institutions of learning and have yet to live up to the promise of equal rights without gender discrimination.
We cannot fail to prevent ISIS from gaining the power to start a third World War. But, we must also pay the price for rebuilding the homes and feeding the millions of refugees left homeless and hungry due to the wars in the Middle East and Africa.
Islam has to have its Reformation as we Christians had to have ours. We pray differently in different congregations, but we have the same God. We pray to Him for guidance because we are all his children and we still have to learn to get along with each other.
I have no answers. I do not know if God will take a hand in our fate. I just pray that the collective hope of people will shift destiny with its spiritual energy.
Let women become the leaders in our struggle for peace! They are our last chance!