Norouz and Islam (or religion)

I have heard people debating whether Islam and Norouz are „compatible“.

Here are my thoughts:

First of all, Norouz is a national celebration of all Iranians independent of ethnicity, dialect or religious belief while Islam is one among several religions.
From a rational point of view there is no „either, or…“ to decide about.
You can be atheist, Zoroastrian, Muslim, Bahai..and celebrate Norouz.

In case of Islam, no matter whether you are a practising pious Muslim or a mainstream Musim there is no reason to not celebrate Norouz. This is because Norouz does not violate any islamic principles. It does not hinder anyone from believing in God, prophet Muhammad or the herafter.

Contrary to a wide spread but wrong understanding of piety Islam is not hostile to being happy or celebrating. Islam does not demand from a Muslim to do nothing else than praying or fasting or reading Quran.

Some calls for banning Norouz because it allegedly contradicts Islam are as absurd as banning TV programs or sports because these activities supposedly distract people from performing their „religious duties“.
This is of course complete nonsense. Norouz´ entire duration is 13 days and even during that period anyone can pray or fast or read Quran as much as he likes.

Religious zealots must be cautious not to alienate people against religion by unnecessary and out of perspective radicalism. They are doing a disservice to religion by placing and portraying it as an antipole to everything that people love.
Don´t blame religion. Blame (some) religious people.

The bizarre „terrorist“ policy of the US

The relationship of the US with and her attitude towards the Taliban is marked by irrationality and inconsistencies.

In the 1990s when Iran backed and supported the Afghan „Northern Alliance“ in their fight against the Taliban, the United States took no anti-Taliban position.
While the Taliban took Kabul in 1996 and went on steadily gaining ground against their adversaries American Petroleum companies secretly met Taliban delegations and US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad downplayed the radicalism of the Taliban.
Northern Alliance´ military commander Ahmad Shah Massoud sought American and European support but got none with only Russia, Iran and India funding and arming his faction. The Taliban, however, received massive man power, monetary and weapons support from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, both US allies in the region.

In the aftermath of 9/11 The US invaded Afghanistan and drove the Taliban from power, but the Taliban proved to be resurgent. The central governments power never really extended much outside of Kabul. Many areas remain contested and insecure today. 18 years after their „defeat“ the Taliban manage to overrun bases of Afghan special forces or to launch attacks inside Kabul inflicting huge casualties.

It can be rightfully concluded that the US „war on terror“ conducted in Afghanistan since almost two decades continues to be a huge failure, despite having stationed between 15.000 and 130.000 Nato troops there, in addition to more than 300.000 Afghan army soldiers being trained for many years.

Paradoxically the US has blamed Iran for the ongoing debacle in Afghanistan claiming that Iran has been supporting the Taliban. Needless to say that there is no proof for such claims: No Iranian weapons convoys being sighted going from Iran to Taliban areas, no Iranian cargo planes landing in secret Taliban air bases. Nothing. Plus, the Talibans traditional strongholds are far away from the Iranian border and both on the border to and inside of Pakistan, a US ally.

Interesingly some American officials have blamed Iran for holding talks with the Taliban, but at the same time considering it very natural that the US is doing the same very officially.

This grotesque attitude towards the Taliban and the obvious double standard of condemning others for negotiating with an „evil force“ while considering it normal and justified to do it when it serves US interests is in line with American foreign policy elsewhere:

The US has no problem with Israel openly admitting having supported Al Qaeda elements in Syria (Video minute 2:40 and 3:58) and „defends“ Al Qaeda versus Hizbollah by stating that Al Qaeda has not attacked Israel.

The US is also not much bothered by it´s allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates equipping Al Qaeda elements in Yemen with American weapons. These Al Qaeda elements do not any longer fight the „Arab coalition“ but the Houthi rebels.

The same went on for years in Syria where Saudi Arabia and other US allied GCC countries massively supported Syrian insurgent groups affiliated with Al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda aligned insurgent forces in Syria probably field well over 20.000 fighters, most of them located in the North Western province of Idlib, yet in 4.5 years of military presence in Syria the US airforce hardly ever attacked Al Qaeda. Instead it bombed and killed hundreds of Syrian, Iraqi and even Iranian fighters engaged in fighting Isis in Eastern Syria.

Apparently Al Qaedas sectarianism and terror is only bad when it hits the US, but when Iran, Syria or Russia are affected by Al Qaedas violence the US and it´s partners overtly and/or covertly support Al Qaeda.