Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Wednesday 1 April 2015

Union apostasy. Betrayal

We are all aware of the consequences of apostasy in the Islamic world; usually death. I presume that once having adhered to the faith, to make the conscious decision to leave is seen by the faithful as an act of betrayal and this is why the punishment is so brutal.
During the miner's strike in Mrs Thatcher's administration, miners who for one reason or another continued to cross picket lines and make themselves available for work were branded as 'scabs' and ostracised in the community. Some were subjected to physical abuse and others compelled to move for fear of harm to their families, the rhetoric stoked up by the Ayotullahs of the National Union of Mineworkers, politically campaigning against Tory rule. Again the anger was motivated by a sense of betrayal and today, thirty years later, the tension is still felt in communities and families remain
The question is this: is there so much difference between the two cases despite the detail of punishment? The working miners weren't executed but many wished they had been, so severe was their alienation from their family and friends.
The usual punishment for acts of treason (betrayal) in war is the death penalty; not so different from that of militant Islamists.
The act of betrayal, whether at a private, personal level, or in, National terms, for example, during times of war, excites huge emotional response, almost the most intense felt by humans.  Because of this, I fear that there can never be an end to conflict unless we can somehow rebrand the sense of betrayal, perhaps, as freedom of choice and even here we meet the same problems.

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