If you were President, how would you play a part in the resolution of various Middle Eastern conflicts?
For an overview of these conflicts, see below...
The religion of Islam began under Muhammad in the 7th century in the Arab region of what is now part of Saudi Arabia, with a belief in an Abrahamic god that was previously presented, in what they believe was in primitive fashion, in the Torah and through Jesus beforehand. The Koran, its holy text, along with the latter-written derivative teachings of the Hadith, are the primary sources of varying forms of Sharia Law, the religious law consisting of rules by which states and individuals must abide by. The concept of the Islamic ruled state was borne out of Sharia Law and resulted in the establishment of these states primarily in the Middle East. The concept of the separation of church and state, a western view that arose in the 18th century, has largely remained absent among these states, as religion still plays an integral part in the rule of law, its enforcement, punishment, and state recognition of things such as marriage.
Early military conquests that led to the establishment of these states were seen as an integral part of an interpretation of the Hadith called Jihad, which is the duty of Muslims to maintain the faith. This led to the spread of Islam that covered much of the Middle East by the end of the millennium and aggravated conflicts arising from its spread, most notably leading to the Crusades and a fight in the region of what is now Israel and Palestine that continues today. Even today, the overwhelming majority of Muslims still believe in military conquest as an integral aspect of Jihad, although there are some among believers that differ on this interpretation.
Today Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. Muslim Arabs constituted a vast majority of the population in Jerusalem, a holy site claimed by both Jews and Muslims, and the Israel/Palestine region by the late 1800s, after which Jews started immigrating back into the region in building up a significant percentage by the time of the Nazi Holocaust and shortly afterwards, although they still were in a minority. British rule of the region after World War I backed this renewed Jewish interest in the area and led to a war in 1948 due to a failed attempt at creating two separate states after the British left, which the Jews favored, but the Arabs did not. As a result, much of the region became divided between what is now Israel and Palestine, and territorial fighting and animosity remains to this day. Islamic states have backed the Palestinians in this conflict, further entrenching the conflict, and much of the western world allied itself with Israel and does not recognize Palestine as a state, nor will many of the Islamic nations in the Middle East recognize Israel as a state.
Israel developed nuclear weapons shortly after the British left and, along with Pakistan, remain today as the only two countries in the Middle East region with nuclear weapons. However, Iraq and Iran were recently feared as trying to develop them as well, which led to the Iraq War invasion by the US in 2003, and an international treaty with Iran in 2015 that exchanged Iran’s promises of exclusively non-weaponized limited uranium enrichment for an ease of international sanctions. The US has since backed out of this treaty.
There has also been fighting between Islamic states, particularly between Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims, the two largest denominations of Islam, a separation that arose after the death of Muhammad. Sunnis dominate much of the Muslim world, but Shiites make up for the majority of Iran and Iraq, leading to various sometimes-violent tensions between Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait (the oil-rich region’s top four producers), violence against the Kurds in Iraq, and the post-Iraq War formation of the rogue, Sunni-based ISIS group that was primarily in the Syrian-Iraq region. Syria, which consists of a large mix of ethnic groups, has recently been an area of increased conflict and resulting insurrection against its ruling regime by various factions including ISIS, spurring international military interest as a result.
Terrorism as a tool of violence by certain adherents of strict interpretations of the Koran and Hadith has risen in recent years as well, using Jihad as its justification in the advancement of causes in these varying conflicts, both with other Muslims and with the western world. The number of terrorist acts around the world related to Islam has risen to approximately 700-800 incidents per year compared to less than 10 per year in the early 1970s, one incident leading to US military intervention in Afghanistan in 2001 that remains in place today. Recent polls among Muslims indicated almost a third believed that terrorist acts were justified in certain cases, although these numbers differed drastically by region.