Friday, 22 April 2011

What is wrong with Islam?

To start with it can be asserted that there is a lot wrong with it. Am I Islamophobic? No! A phobia is an irrational fear and my objections to Islam are rational. However, my particular angle in this article is not focused on any specifically Islamic issue so much as the Abrahamic religions and their general ethos.

The three main branches of Abrahamic religions are Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All of them profess to be universal and benign. Reality evidences that they are neither of those things. Not that they are based in reality in the first place. I was brought up as a Christian and my scant research into Judaism and Islam indicate that my objections to Christianity are equally pertinent when it comes to the other two; Hypocrisy.

It is a paradox that Christianity advocates freedom. There is little doubt that all three religions are committed to freedom. My personal experience is that Christianity has enabled and empowered me to believe in myself. I am one of God's children and when other people want to silence or control me it is clear that God loves me and I have a God given right to be me. Of course I have a corresponding duty to be true to myself. So I am encouraged to speak the truth and to stand up for what I know to be true. Part of the announced message of Jesus is that we are all free whatever other people say. And Christianity supports that premise. That is what the whole crucifixion affair was about.

Then there is love. I can't speak for Judaism or Islam but Christianity places love as probably the next highest thing to God. And God is love. Mr Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) in his philosophical ramblings equates love with truth and I would agree. It is a little complex and I won't explain it here but it is to do with harmonising with real reality. Love is harmonizing with reality, given that reality is God.

The trouble is that humans seem rarely able to contain the whole circle of rationalisation that reveals the truth of love. So love becomes a concept and God becomes metaphorical and reality becomes temporal. It doesn't take long for the 'love' that most Christians 'believe' in to become an ethereal thing. Not of this earth, this reality, but something 'spiritual' and other worldly. Then they spend their time alive wallowing in a fictional notion of an ideal of love that they have conjured up in their heads. There is no surprise then that their map of reality clashes with their experience of reality quite often.

Then, when, say, a child kicks them and expresses anger, they are offended and declare that that is not love. And, in order to do God's work they set about teaching that child how they should act. At this point they have gone off the rails. This is the point at which the crack that was caused in the fabric of spacetime by their inability to believe what they originally knew was right, namely that reality and God and love are the same thing, begins to cascade and reveal itself in a rupture to the harmony that is, a priori, reality.

Humans are very complex and rarely are mistakes easily accommodated in their brains. Humans have a huge capacity to be convoluted and to lose themselves up their own proverbial behinds. So the moralising to children becomes a mission that they believe to be God's work. By the 21st century in Western culture Christians had begun to realise the obvious contradiction of beating goodness into Children and they had developed a more subtle and apparently more acceptable way of doing it; Patronization.

By acting out the role of the benign facilitator of life (remember it is inherent in human existence that children are dependent on adults) they moralise children in order to implant the belief that they are not acceptable to the benign powers if they do not agree with the moral constructs. The best example I saw of this was a priest talking to his congregation, and specifically the children, about Jesus and how Jesus was so kind and that is how we should be. The thunderbolt hit me. Of course it all seems reasonable and nice and cuddly but hiding beneath the surface is the hidden message that the children would not be acceptable to this culture if they didn't agree.

It may be true that being kind is a good way to be but being free to find that out for yourself is more important than being forced to conform to someone else's construct of kindness. It was clear that the priest was not loving and nurturing and respecting the children but rather trying to coerce them to conform. Behind him was the symbol of the threat. I heard him say, metaphorically, we will crucify you if you don't agree with us. I know this sounds harsh and even unreasonable to many who start by conforming to Christian views but I am a great believer in real rationalisation. That is, that we discover the truth by rational thought. When two things seem contradictory the path to a deeper understanding is to examine the contradictions and to find an explanation that incorporates what previously seemed incompatible. Example is the best way to teach and a kind priest who does not offer insidious and veiled threats to children is a better way. There is a fundamental difference between telling someone that you respect another person's attitude and telling children that to be 'good' they too must respect that person's attitude. There lies the subtle crack in the universe.

Way down the line it is easier to see the overt contradictions in the crusades, the inquisition, the acts of brutality carried out in the name of Jesus or Muhammad, and iconic acts like the World Trade Center disaster and the oppression of the Palestinians by Israel. Most people can see the paradox of these apparently peace loving religions which result in these heinous crimes against humanity. The problem seems to be the need to sum up one's belief in goodness in a concept or framework. Once you do that you are lost. As far as I know from all my reading around the subject the guy that we remember as Jesus was precisely not into organised religion. The one he belonged to and that he never left he expressly condemned for its practises in the real world. The ideas are fine but the hierarchy, the judgmental attitudes, the indoctrination, the exclusive nature, the elitism were all criticised.

Islam claims to be a religion of peace but the threats that emanate to people who don't conform are simply the evidence of the contradictory nature of the religion. All religions of peace and freedom must accept the freedom of other people and, in fact, by their own dictate, love them. I think the invention of a God figure that must be worshiped is a fallacy that will always end in tears. One of the most frightening things for me is to see the millions of people around the world who profess a belief in these Abrahamic religions bowing down and paying homage to a fictional notion of an all powerful, human like, invention. It seems to be the apex of worshipping the oppressor so that you don't get hurt; So that you are loved and looked after. Christ's message seems to be that there is no legitimate hierarchy on this earth, that there is no person who should be worshipped and blindly obeyed. The message is one of self belief and respect. It could be no other way. Christ realised that he was the only one and I suspect Muhammad did too. The Christian message is clear and it is that each and every one of us is God. As are the birds and the trees. Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, dictates to others and viciously attempts to intimidate others to agree with it. They are all unholy, undesirable, unpleasant and there is little evidence that these massive dictatorial memes are acceptable to the good people of planet Earth. Religion should be made illegal.

All these religions quite evidently manifest the worst fears of their followers. These religions turn this reality into their version of hell. All the people who conform to these mechanisms of oppression for their own personal benefit are the inhabitants of hell itself. The higher up the hierarchy the deeper they are in hell. They talk about the day of judgement but little do they realise, by their own admission, they are going to be judged and feigned ignorance will be no excuse.

Islam, like the other Abrahamic religions, is self contradictory.

1 comment:

  1. Only thing wrong with Islam is that it's here...