Have been really lazy since Thanksgiving, except that I felt like changing the front page of the site to mix it up for 2016. if you still want to look at the top whatever for the month, you can do it from the menu up top-decided to add a random post from all the years I've had this blog from anyone that has ever posted here.
I'm currently reading "Why I am not a muslim" by Ibn Warraq. As an atheist, at the top level, I believe that all religions and particularly when based on so-called holy books, are nonsense. However, with all the events going on recently, I want to understand the viewpoint that "Islam is not a religion of peace". It's unfair to cast all adherents of any religion as being the same, same thoughts, same ideals, same behaviour,so I reject those that want to paint all muslims with the same brush, as being terrorists, for example, just because of their religion. However, in the same way that there can be christians of all different sects and varying degrees of conformance to the bible, it must also be the same with muslims. that said, it seems that the Koran is a flawed document and definitely has parts that are warlike towards others. There simply must be more open criticism of Islam, but not from the standpoint that a different one, such as christianity, is somehow superiour. In fact, the same blind, non-reasoning acceptance of a lot of silly ideas exists with christianity as it does with islam. The book, above, posits that one reason for not being more harsh with islam and the problems with the Koran is that it might lead christians to do the same analytical questioning of their own beliefs.
In the latest mass shooting, for which the reason isn't fully public, one of the shooters was an American citizen. Salon article talks about this fact, and that America's violent culture is part of the problem. The author, Steven Salaita, is an Arab-American and discusses the nexus between the *supposed deviance of Farooq's shooting* and endless, adamant justification of US bloodletting throughout the world.
To put it plainly: thinking about violent behavior as something innately foreign is a terrific rationale for delivering violence to foreign places. It forces you to hate people and demands your loyalty to institutions designed to contravene your interests.
I think you’ve been hoodwinked by politicians and luminaries into hating Arabs and Muslims. This hatred is bad for Arabs and Muslims, of course, but it also does you little good. It might make you feel better about your place in the American racial hierarchy. It might alleviate your majoritarian anxieties. It might reaffirm the superiority of your faith. It might make patriotism easier to accept.....
Believe it or not, Arabs and Muslims (and other minorities) are not the source of your problems. Turn to the politicians who promise you an uncomplicated world for a better target of your anger.
I know you’re ready to counter with “terrorism,” but the term is largely a bromide in the American political vocabulary. It’s useless to debate which groups commit more violence. No week passes that we don’t hear of another white supremacist plot to murder South Asians, Jews, Muslims, Hispanics or African Americans. The U.S. and its allies generate extraordinary destruction in the regions of the world said to be uniquely barbaric. Police kill with impunity. Our president orders death by remote control. Everybody suffers but the people who oversee this horror.
Displays of spectacular cruelty pervade the United States, but you embrace any opportunity to disavow them as an exotic problem. And still more people will be killed today—many by those for whom you voted and to whom you pay taxes.
We should work to better understand how the elite apportion discourses of violence into categories of good and evil, civilized and savage, rational and unreasonable. Who creates these binaries? Who suffers their finality? Who profits from their endurance?
Therefore, terrorism is not only by Muslims, and only because of the Koran's intransigence in insisting on killing infidels. Otherwise, all Muslims would be out committing jihad, and they're not. Why? because like most of us, they're living their lives and want the same enjoyment of family and peace. That is not to say that islam is a peaceful religion, but neither is christianity as long as there are those that, rather than discard the Old Testament, continue to use it as justification for particular beliefs. And terrorism is done by white chrsitians, by buddhists; most recently in the Planned Parenthood shooting. Usually no one wants to paint a whole population based on the actions of some nutty people, and yet that is what some whose motives appear to be colored by racism and bigotry, want to do to the entirety of Muslims.
Back to my premise that light and discussion needs to be shone on the Islam faith. There is a hashtag on Twitter called #ExMuslimsBecause which shows that there are a lot of Muslims who left their faith. Some are atheist. Pretty brave to openly come out and announce this, and especially when in some Muslim countries, those that are skeptical get lashed or killed.