Bigotry

I received an email from a friend today that was of a tone that is increasingly prevalent nowadays. It was supposedly the text of a letter written to a British national newspaper by an English housewife. The originator of the email introduced the text with “Ever notice how some people just seem to know how to write a letter?” I gather from the general tone of the ‘letter’ that this comment had little or nothing to do with the author’s ability to include salutations, dates or punctuation!

I agree that there have been many inhuman acts carried out by terrorists in the last decade or so and I would be among the first to condemn the perpetrators but it is the almost unified condemnation of all followers of Islam that I can not and will not subscribe to. While this ‘letter’ doesn’t quite do that, I get the feeling general condemnation isn’t far below the words.

The religion has clearly been hijacked by a rabid minority who have taken upon themselves a holy ‘jihad’ against all infidels or non-believers. What is apparently overlooked by the ‘English housewives’ and all of like opinion is that the extremists don’t make a great distinction between the religion of any who disagree with them. I would hazard that the numbers of Muslims who have been murdered by the jihardists would be as much a hurt to true believers as the numbers of ‘infidels’ who have been killed is to non-Muslims. I suspect another oversight by the housewife would be the fact that the barbarism of the extremists is as abhorrent to the moderate Muslim as it is to the English Housewife.

There have been horrific atrocities carried out by extremists in other religions throughout the years, too, but sadly the outrage has been modified by a sense of ‘it doesn’t really affect me’ or ‘they’re different so it doesn’t matter as much’ or some such similar rationalisation of the act or its victims. If it were the Irish ‘troubles’ the English Housewife might dismiss it as being ‘those Irish’. If it was the pogroms in the ghettos of Russia or Central Europe ‘she’ would have largely ignored it because it didn’t effect ‘her’. If it was the genocide of one tribe by another in African states it would be put down to a lack of ‘being civilised’. If it was the Kosovo Catholics exterminating their Muslim neighbours her attitude would be either hardened by the insulation of distance (and general condemnation may even be tempered by a not too deeply hidden support of the actions.)

I also wonder whether the ‘English Housewives’ of the world are as strident in their condemnation of such acts as the drone killings in Pakistan or

Whatever the acts the world is not made better by such broad-brush bigotry. Condemn the bombers. Condemn the mad mullahs who foment the hatred. But please don’t condemn  everybody who by accident or desire belongs to a belief system you don’t agree with.

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ANTI MUSLIM PROPAGANDA

I received a very disturbing email this morning, not just because of the dreadful pictures contained therein but also (and for me, mostly) because of the message it was delivering.

Firstly, these are the dreadful pictures depicting an 8 year old child being administered the punishment decreed following his being found stealing a loaf of bread, that of having his offending arm run over by the wheel of a car.

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The text in the email states- “An 8 years old child was caught in a market in Iran for stealing bread” Then- “In the name of Islam he will be punished, his arm will be crushed by a car. He will loose forever the possibility to use his arm ever again.” And- “Is this a religion of peace and love?

I agree entirely with the message that such punishment is barbaric, I agree with anybody who condemns a religion that supports such barbarism, I agree that such mal-treatment in the name of ‘justice’ cannot be condoned, BUT I cannot agree with the intent of this email to paint ALL Muslims in the same colour as the fanatical mullahs who undertake to put their own extreme interpretation on the teachings of the Koran. More and more today we are being shown evidence of the excesses of the fanatics and the disciples of the fanatics of world of Islam.

Some time ago I received another email that gave a hugely imbalanced list of many Jewish ‘achievers’ against few Islamics. What the email chose to ignore was all of the beauty, learning, civilisation, etc., that Islam gave the world, but of course when you are pushing a message the last thing you want is balance!

In Iran children are being tortured in the name of Islamic ‘justice’. Shame! In Iraq one Muslim schism is trying to destroy sects they disagree with. Shame! In Afghanistan the Taliban are cutting off the hands of women. Shame! In Libya women are being stoned for apparent adultery. Shame! And so the list goes on. What we aren’t being told, or at least not being told loudly enough is that the majority of Muslims across the globe are also outraged that their religion is being twisted and abused by the fanatics.

And, sadly, more and more we ‘infidels’ around the world buy into the broad-brush approach to condemning all Islam because of the actions of the few. Ban the burkah because every Muslim woman wearing one is either downtrodden or carrying a parcel-bomb under it. Move the mosques as far away from us as possible because they are all madrasahs teaching the young to rise up and blow us to bits. Ban entry into our country to all Muslims because they ‘aren’t like us’ and will breed revolution.

Unfortunately we are pussy-footing around issues because we are fearful of what the fanatics will attempt in the name of their perceived Western bias, intolerance, even hatred. I do believe that the moderate voice of Islam needs to be heard, that the extremists need to be cried out against by those in the Muslim mainstream, but the same can be said in the West with the more extreme versions of so-called Christian groups.

But I am not going to forward the email as it was sent to me because I do not subscribe to the view that Islam is like what those who sent the original message, and those who sent it on would have us believe, a religion that does not preach “peace and love”. If any of today’s religions preach “peace and love”, I doubt they do it any better than the Koran and the original teaching of Allah does.
“Where Would We Be?”

TAKE OFF FACE VEIL!!

covering the face, according to the Koran, is not mandatory” says Muslim scholar/academic, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. This comes as little surprise to anybody who has been interested enough to actually research things a bit and see what has been said about the preachings and interpretations on Koranic teaching on this subject. There is little doubt that almost anybody who reads the Koran (or the Bible, the Mahabharata, Mao’s “Little Red Book”, etc..) can put their own interpretations on the messages therein. What is written in one or two of these writings is open to misinterpretation depending on the dialect it is read in, of course, but it’s not so much this that causes confusion as much as it’s the imperatives of the person reading and putting their own ‘spin’ on the words they’ve read.
And so we come to Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. HIS interpretation is that the words of The Prophet don’t require Muslim women to hide their faces. Later Muslim scholars-cum-pseudo-demi-prophets added all sorts of conflicting messages that over the many intervening years have morphed into being accepted as the actual words of Allah, The Prophet. It has come down to what readers, pretty much, want the words to say, the message to be. How much authority these persons have determines how ‘factual’ the message is. And so the modern day Muslim carries with him/her what they have been preached by their Mullahs in the place they believe to be faith, truth, and The Way. There is little reason to believe the authority figures in the family should argue with the teachings of their leaders. There is little reason to expect the other members of the family should look for any other message given they are true and abide by The Faith. Their everyday life is somewhat dominated by the practices of their faith and so the lessons of that faith do not cause any need to question, to debate, to argue against. Ergo, depending on one’s branch of the religion and thus the interpretations and teachings a woman may feel her Mullah’s teachings, her husband’s exhortions and thus her own belief will require her to wear the burkah, niqab, or whatever other covering may be called.
So that Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri says the Koran says there is no requirement for women to hide their faces is quite possibly, even probably true. That his interpretation will be accepted as fact has limited likelihood of acceptance given there have been so many rabid, extreme, anti-most-things advocates in the more extreme versions of this religion than most others. It is a male dominated religion and one that is clearly at the behest of those who are at the front in the daily prayer sessions in the mosque, and who run the madrasahs. Even though Dr Tahir has issued a fatwah against terrorism and suicide bombings and has an audience, one is skeptical that his voice will be strong enough to be heard, either by Muslims or those with bigoted views, at least to the extent to bring about quick change..
The view of this non-Christian, non-Muslim, non-Buddhist, non-any religion person is that Muslim women should be free to wear face covering if that is their wish because I believe it is little different from Jewish men to wear ringlets, Buddhist monks to shave their heads, or Baha’i disciples to piss people in airports off with their chanting and gongs. Just so long as it is their wish!!

There is absolutely no reason or right for the prejudiced pricks of this world to decide that (a) Muslim is evil, (b) all Muslims are Al-Quaeda terrorists, (c) the extremist views of today’s extremist Muslim clerics represent the majority of Muslim views, or (d) that any Muslim woman wearing any form of face-veil has a sinister ulterior motive. Believe what you wish about her motivations, it is her right.

Where Would We Be?

Where would we (the World) be without religion? Big question, but a big problem deserves a big question. Just ponder this- without religion we wouldn’t have had the Irish “Troubles” (what a ridiculous tag for such barbarism!); -without religion we wouldn’t have a paedophilic catholic priesthood; -without religion we wouldn’t have had The Holocaust; – without religion we wouldn’t have the Israel/Palestine obscenities; -without religion we would not have had Kosovo or the other insanities of that era of ethnic cleansing. And the list can go on, …and on, …and on. And, of course we have the mindless intra Islamic inhumanities to man. Does anybody really understand the differences between Sunni, Shi’ite, Shia? How does a book of peace generate such hatred and loathing? Buggered if I know. All I know is that when I was growing up I could never understand how a ‘loving’ God could allow such shit to happen, so I decided not to subscribe. I am inclined towards the philosophy of the Gautama, but I’m a bit scared to delve too deeply in case I find that someone has committed fratricide, homicide, genocide or some other ugly-cide in the name of their Buddhist beliefs.

By the way, I came across a great (anonymous) quote the other day…“The only thing wrong with being an atheist is that there’s nobody to talk to during an orgasm.”

…and this one today… “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” Sir Stephen Henry Roberts (1901-1971)

(See also https://kutarere.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/koran-burning/ )