How do you end a conflict when everybody fighting thinks that God is on his side?

How do you end a conflict when everybody fighting thinks that God is on his side? It's impossible, especially when the line between faith and superstition wobbles and breaks apart. Shortly before I came to Jerusalem, Israel's seemingly indestructible Prime Minister Ariel Sharon fell into a coma. Many Israelis are convinced that Sharon was struck down because rabbis put a curse on him for pulling out of Gaza. That was three years ago, and Sharon –-lying in a hospital bed, half-man, half-machine-- still languishes in a coma.

Want more proof of divine intervention? During the Gaza war, Israeli newspapers solemnly reported that Rachel from the Bible appeared to warn a platoon of soldiers to stay away from a booby-tapped house.

I cite two Jewish examples. But there are plenty among Muslims and Christians, too. Take the Spiders of Allah. James Hider, the Middle East correspondent for the London Times and a self-confessed arachnophobe, was covering the U.S. Marines' campaign in Fallujah where he heard reports that the city's preachers would boost the Islamic fighters' morale with tales that Allah had sent in legions of “chair-sized arachnids, whose poisoned hairs could make a human body turn blue and explode in a shower of corrupted blood.” Oh, and the spiders also scream along at 40 kms an hour.

Read the full article at The Time


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