Last month, we watched a Saudi Imam gleefully firing artillery into Yemen. Now, some other religious leaders are getting in on the action. First, we have an Orthodox priest blessing a Russian fighter jet:
— Noah Browning (@Noah_Browning) October 11, 2015
And second, we have footage from the Middle East Media Research Institute of a Gaza cleric brandishing a knife from the minbar. The Times of Israel ran a story about the sermon, from which we pull this choice quote: “My brother in the West Bank: Stab! My brother is the West Bank: Stab the myths of the Talmud in their minds! My brother in the West Bank: Stab the myths about the temple in their hearts!”
It easy to laugh off these people as wackos—indeed, that is what many Western observers do. Yet the involvement of religious leaders is a driver of further polarization and a sign of how deeply entrenched today’s global conflicts are. Such events shouldn’t be overlooked.