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Posts Tagged ‘Morality’

It has EVERYTHING to do with religion

15/07/2016

Brussels, Iraq, Bangladesh, Turkey, Orlando, Syria, Libya, Nice… and these are just a handful of the places to have suffered grave and unimaginable losses due to terrorism so far in 2016.

And we can shout “Terrorism has no religion!” until our throats are dry, but it is a lie.

Because all those lives have been lost not just to terrorism, but to ISLAMIC terrorism. I reiterate again, that although most Muslims are not extremist terrorists, most extremist terrorists are Muslim. And they ARE Muslim. It is dangerously naive to declare otherwise. Islam, like all Abrahamic religions, can be interpreted pretty much any way suits an adherent’s lifestyle. An extremist Muslim is just as much a Muslim as a moderate Muslim, they just take different messages from their holy book. And as long as Allah continues to resist making a personal appearance in order to mediate and clarify, that will remain the case.

It is not ‘racist’, it is not ‘discriminatory’, it is not ‘Islamophobia’. It is simply fact.

Most of those Muslims carrying out attacks in the West were born and brought up in the countries they appear to hate so very much, by parents who (I imagine) moved here for a better life. In order to try and stem the advance of this carnage, and the divisive social and political disintegration it causes, we need to stop coming out with both excuses and blanket condemnations, and start concentrating our efforts on finding out why these people hate with such vehemence.

We need to find out how they could become so radicalised against the relatively mild background of democratic Western Europe.

Is it disaffected youth, whose apparent inability to find a sense of purpose in their everyday lives made them the ideal target for some particularly amoral puppet masters?

Is it the ease with which religion can be interpreted to justify even the most heinous actions?

Is it the ease with which religion feeds into the innate and divisive human trait of seeking a righteous “us” versus an immoral “them”?

We need to find out whether their families, friends and communities simply fail to notice this radicalisation process taking place, whether their sense of kinship is stronger than their compassion for the innocent men women and children of their host countries, or whether the numbers of the complicit are higher than we dare imagine.

Most importantly , we must ensure that within our message of democratic freedom, a very clear emphasis is put on a secular Freedom of Religion. Not the freedom to do whatever you please in the name of religion, but the freedom for everyone to believe whatever they please and to live as they please, providing it is not detrimental to others and whilst understanding that religion is a personal choice, not a political or a moral framework.

And for all those who feel that the only trigger for these attacks is clumsy Western intervention in the Middle East, what about those Muslims who kill other Muslims for being the wrong sort of Muslim? What about those Muslims who kill ex-Muslims simply because they no longer believe in Allah? What about those Muslims who kill other Muslims simply because they have dared questioned some of the tenets of Islam?

I have no solutions to the sickness currently affecting Islam, but pretending it is not there is the height of stupidity.

Nice wasn’t the first, and it won’t be the last – that much is certain. And whilst we should not play into the Jihadists’ hands with unjustifiable hatred towards all Muslims (another ‘Holy War’ – Islam against the world, is exactly what they are hoping for), we owe it to ourselves and to the innocent lives lost to be brutally honest about the causes, because only then have we any hope at all of tackling them.

So think about Brussels, Iraq, Bangladesh, Turkey, Orlando, Syria, Libya and Nice, cry for them and mourn with them, just don’t pray for them, for more religion is the last thing they need.

Status Viatoris

Je suis Charlie 

Twelve people dead, just to assuage the hurt feelings of some truly pathetic human beings. It is heartbreaking, terrifying and infinitely absurd.

And predictably, the apologist protestations have already begun: the terrorists are not “true” Muslims. These acts of terrorism are not religiously motivated. None of this has anything to do with Islam. None of this has anything to do with religion.

Poor, poor, poor misunderstood religion; the hardships it has to endure.

But unfortunately for religion, the deities who, several thousand years ago, so kindly dictated their respective rules, threats and petulant demands for blind obedience to willing scribes, neglected one rather important detail: clarity.

Hence why there are 300-odd Christian denominations, for example, and why some Muslims think Islam is the religion of peace whilst other Muslims think murdering their detractors in cold blood is a perfectly acceptable way to behave. Some religiously-motivated behaviour happens to comply with the laws of whichever land the adherent lives…

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Straightening Records

17/05/2013

status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

It was pointed out to me yesterday that my previous blog post could possibly be construed as an attack on my future mother-in-law, as well as being very offensive to those who set great store in an invisible sky fairy a god.

Firstly I would like to clearly state that any woman capable of producing a man as wonderful as Tigger, most certainly gets my vote. But that does not change the fact that I have always tried to write about myself, my life and the people in it with humour, and I do not feel that my in-laws should be any more exempt from that treatment than my ovaries, for example.

Secondly, it is an indisputable fact that I am often rude about religion. I am rude about a lot of things, but being rude about people’s religious beliefs is for some inexplicable reason considered to be beyond the pale.

Personally I think that making even a half-hearted attempt to emotionally blackmail your son over his wedding plans is also beyond the pale, but there we go – when it comes to someone’s religious beliefs we are just supposed to just humour the believer and assume that they know no better.

If a woman wants to attend Mass three times a day then of course, that is up to her. I may feel that her time would be a lot better spent reading a good book, playing silly games with her grandchildren or admiring the beauty of the world around us, but it is her life, not mine.

But religion is sadly not something that is confined to simple personal choice. It still attempts to use a guise of moral superiority in order to force its controlling nature on others: women’s reproduction, women’s sexuality, the love between consenting adults, children’s education, government policy, scientific fact and indeed almost every other step of human life.

But on what authority? On books written by a myriad of anonymous writers thousands of years ago? Books that contain more gratuitous cruelty, intolerance and bloodshed than even the best gory thriller…

Religion is no more a guide to morality than The Big Bang Theory is a science documentary. If it was, there would be more than 0.1% Atheists/Agnostics in US jails.

Non-religious countries would boast violent crimes rates superior to religious ones.

And the murderous Inquisitions, the evils of slavery and the Holocaust – to name but the tip of the religious-atrocities iceberg – would not have been carried out by those convinced they were acting with “God” on their side (all of this long after the “discovery” of the supposedly pacifistic and loving New Testament).

So yes, I proclaim it my right to be rude about religious belief.

I also proclaim it my right to complain very loudly about its undue influence in the lives of those who do not chose it.

After all, not only has religion shown itself to be the very antithesis of morality, but there is also not an atom of proof that even one god exists, let alone the plethora of deities that control the lives of so many.

But luckily for all concerned; Belligerent Atheist is not all I am in the same way that Faithful Catholic is only a part of who my future mother-in-law is, and I am sure that we will find plenty of other things to share in the years ahead – not least our love for a very loveable man…

This is Status Viatoris, who was herself shown up (but not offended) this morning for not having read enough about climate change – the pursuit of knowledge is what makes the world go round, in Italy.


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