Sunday, February 05, 2006

Religion is a menace to humankind

Piggy at Piggy&Tazzy made a good point in his latest post; How come that the peace-loving Muslims of the world are so quiet? Are they so afraid of the more fundametalist groups within their religion that they just don't dare to speak up for peace?

I think much of this can be blamed on the media. Peaceful demonstrations don't sell papers, dramatic pictures of flagburning does. Religous leaders calling for peace and serenity don't sell, while their colleagues frothing around their mouths do.

This makes up for a very one-sided view of what's actually happening but still, that can't be the whole answer.

Another question he raises is why Muslims seem to resolve to violent behaviour as soon as anyone critizises their religion. I don't think he meant all Muslims, because most Muslims do not get violent. The problem is that one never sees those who keep quiet and get on with their lives. Most people are like the three little monkeys below and that's universal, no matter what color or beliefs they have. Claiming that all Muslims resort to violence is just as stupid as claiming that all gay men are pedophiles.

I've been thinking a lot about this. There has to be more to this than what meets the eye and I started to ask myself questions. One thing that immediatly struck me is that the vast majority of Muslims live in developing countries. Most of Muslims who actually have some form of higher education, a) live in the big cities. b) live in a western country. Those who live in rural areas and have higher education are, for the most part, priests.

These priests have a lot of power, something they won't give up willingly. I'm NOT saying that all priests are power hungry but it only takes a few to ignite a disaster. (Look at Germany in the early 1930's.) Poor people are rarely educated. This applies in urban ares as well as in the countryside. It also applies to religion just as well as knowledge of how a democracy works. If you're poor, you constantly fight for survival. All your energy is set on survival, not educating yourself. Where do you get knowledge about the world? You don't. You listen to those who supposedly know about things. If they tell you that Denmark is a bad country, you believe them. You're easy prey for anyone who wants to exploit you for their own agenda.

I've read the Quran. I've read articles about the Quran. I've read interpretations of the Quran. Nowhere I can find anything that supports terrorism. Muslims are allowed to fight wars (and so are Christians) against oppression. Here's an example from one of the intepretations I've read:

However, there are times, in certain circumstances, when Islam (Submission) tolerates, permits and sometimes even accepts the practise of war. Islam strongly emphasizes the ideas of justice, freedom and opposition to oppression. There is another condition: fighting for self-defense. War is tolerated in these conditions, but if there is a possibility to avoid war, then this alternative, as long as it is reasonable, must be taken.

"You shall prepare for them all the power you can muster, and all the equipment you can mobilize, that you may frighten the enemies of GOD, your enemies, as well as others who are not known to you; GOD knows them. Whatever you spend in the cause of GOD will be repaid to you generously, without the least injustice.If they resort to peace, so shall you, and put your trust in GOD. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient." (8:60-61)

Self-defense involves oppression, aggression and tyranny; Islam tolerates the use of war in these cases.

"Permission (to fight) is granted to those who are being persecuted, since injustice has befallen them, and GOD is certainly able to support them. They were evicted from their homes unjustly, for no reason other than saying, "Our Lord is GOD." If it were not for GOD's supporting of some people against others, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and masjids - where the name of GOD is commemorated frequently - would have been destroyed. Absolutely, GOD supports those who support Him. GOD is Powerful, Almighty."(22:39-40).

The other condition and perhaps the most important and often confused as a holy war, is the war in the name of God which actually means in the cause of God as God does not encourage war but rather encourages peace whenever possible. Fighting an oppressor or aggressor is fighting against oppression or aggression, thus it is fighting for justice and therefore in the name (cause) of God. See (2:244), (22:78) and ;

"Those who readily fight in the cause of GOD are those who forsake this world in favor of the Hereafter. Whoever fights in the cause of GOD, then gets killed, or attains victory, we will surely grant him a great recompense. Why should you not fight in the cause of GOD when weak men, women, and children are imploring: "Our Lord, deliver us from this community whose people are oppressive, and be You our Lord and Master."(4:74-75).

Even as an enemy, the Muslim (Submitter in English) must respect his adversaries. Mere, brutal and barbaric fighting is condemned in Islam (Submission). Islam condemns barbaric killing of any human being. During military activities, the killing must not include civilians, provided they do not attack or provoke or share directly in the war. . The enemies, even when at war, must be treated justly. If victory is achieved in any war for justice, then there is to be no oppression, enslavement or injustice to the enemy or people. Nor must there be control over source of wealth of the nation or people or colonial regimes. The division of people, putting them one against the other is also forbidden. Justice and freedom must be established. The cooperation and acceptance of other cultures and peoples is compulsory too.

This is the impression I got myself by reading the Quran. That's why I started to read other peoples interpretations. There's nothing in it that tells Muslims to go out and kill people randomly. So, since there's nothing wrong with the religion itself and it's holy book, the problem must lie elsewhere. What comes to mind? People who interpret the context of the book to their own benefit. Priests and scholars. Who are the easiest to influence in the desired direction? Poor, uneducated people with nothing more to hope for than a Paradise.

This is nothing new to mankind. It's happened in Christianity on several occasions. That's why I think that religion is a menace to mankind.

I will post more about this but right now I have to get back to my studies. Live well, live in peace.


Qur`ans to fire in Finland and in Danmark said...

Qu`rans are burned in last weekend in Finland

Pedofile rapist prophet Muhammed is the most succesfull pedofile in history

Sikamaisen hyvää ruokahalua kaikille sianlihan ystäville - Koraanin lehdillä tulisijat tuleen

Tampereella on jo sianlihamakkaroita ja sikaruokia käristelty koraanilla sytytetyissä tulisijoissa todistettavasti mm. Seppo Lehto tulisijassaan 2005 ja 2006

Muslimit tietävät tämän jo joten ;)

Be aware that muslims won`t rape you, too
Ole varuillasi ettei muslimit tule ja raiskaa sinuakin matkalla kotiisi. Heille kun tuo ruumiillinen koskemattomuus on tuntematon asia.

Muistakaa käyttää Auran sinappia ;) toisin kuin Muhammed saa sitä Allahilta asentaessaan omaansa lampaan anukseen ;)

PissedOffPencil said...

Oh, this is just what we need, another hate spreader. How old are you? Fifteen?
Quite strange there have been no news about this alledged burning of Qurans. I suppose the burning took place in your own backyard.

Virginia Gal said...

Hi POP - interesting post, as usual. Ahhh so to some of your readers, we moderate Muslims are now not only to be blamed for not repressing fanatics, yes cause we all know how EASY that is (GW doing a bang up job on that!) but for all things wrong with this protest against a dumb comic.
Moderate Muslims don't condone violence - we are trying to combat it, outcry over it - but that rarely gets press, its boring. I teach Sunday School where every teacher firmly reiterates how Islam advocates respect and non-violence of other religions. However what I do like by many (in Europe) is that on one hand we Muslims are separated in order to inact change (hey you moderate Muslims why don't you do something) but than lumped in together when violence and outrage are occuring. You can't have your cake and eat it too, either you recogize that Islam, like all major religions, has many faces and that we are ALL not alike or you alienate us - furthering the crusade metaphor.
I think this comic has allowed the racists to finally come out and be open in their hatred against Arabs/Indian subcontinent and Islam.

Celena said...

Maidink directed me over here. I'll be back, but only if you change your "LA" clock.. it's fast by an hour ;)

thatfarmgirl said...

POP. I respectfully disagree about religion being a menace. It is mostly the people CLAIMING to be religious who are the actual menace. In justifying outrageous and illegal behavior, everyone seems to forget that God's message is LOVE ONE ANOTHER. End of story. I don't care how many people try to interpret the Bible, Koran or Torah otherwise, the message is the same...LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

You are absolutely right - I didn't mean all muslims and thought that was quite clear. Just the same as all christians aren't all bible-thumping 'your going to burn in hell unless you stop being gay' nutcases.

I've heard nothing about the supposed burning of 'Qurans' either, although that doesn't mean it didn't happen. Highly unlikely though.

Viginia Gal - I don't think that anyone (I know I dont) blame moderate muslims for the problem. Not at all. But I do think that you have to respect the fact that a great many of us are seriously confused as to the reasons why there never appears to be any challenge of the fanatics.

And why it appears that the fanatics are multiplying like rabbits.

Just take a look around, look at the size of the crowds supporting them, look at the vast number of demonstrations calling for violence, then look at the absence of anyone calling for calm.

As I said in my post, my concern is the lack of any display from the moderates that balances opinion. The only ones who ever get up off their arses and say something are, unfortunately, the fanatical lunatics.

And for that opinion I make no apology whatsoever.

PissedOffPencil said...

Virginia Gal: Thank you and of course most intelligent people understand that shouting louder than extremists isn't all that easy, especially since the media prefers drama before discussion.

This "lumping together" occurs everywhere and with any individuals who have some things in common, ie: teenagers, elderly, babies, Christians, redheads, blondes, Muslims, men, Hindus, women, gays, whites, blacks and so on. It's inevitable not to group people together in different constellations from time to time.

Celena: Welcome! The clock isn't right? Strange, that's supposed to be automatic...

ThatFarmGirl: Of course I didn't mean it quite the way it came out but religion is still the reason for most conflicts around the world. There is hope though. With better education, internet, travelling and migration we have more and more places to learn about each other. Hopefully we'll use that knowledge to some good.

P&T: Don't you think media has a great part of the blame? Selling pictures of frothing fanatics is so much easier.