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Apr 062018
 

The phrase “Islam is a religion of peace” gets bandied about a great deal these days – either by those saying that it is a religion of peace and islamic terrorists are an aberration, or by those who question whether islam is a religion of peace at all.

To be honest though, the phrase is irrelevant. You can have the most peaceable religion in existence and yet fundamentalist followers of that religion will resort to violence, and yes you can have a religion that calls for the torture to death of all non-followers, yet if the followers of that religion are peaceable nobody is at risk.

Questioning the religion as a whole is all very well (and as someone who would prefer that all religions disappear in a puff of logic, usually to be encouraged), but it does tend to encourage the kind of idiot who normally goes in for racism into attacking all muslims (and often sikhs as well) because of the sins of a few.

Muslims are just people; people with the disadvantage that they have been indoctrinated into a faith – not much different to christians, sikhs, hindus, jews, or zorastrians (and if I’ve left out your religion, yes I mean you too). Some are good people; some are bad.

But in the words of Steven Weinberg: “but for good people to do evil—that takes religion”.

But truisms like that are overly simplistic; religious terrorists are people who are convinced that they are good – probably better than their coreligionists – and who want to enforce their beliefs and standards of behaviour on others. And are prepared to do so in ways that most of us would call psychotic.

These people – the religious terrorists – are in all likelihood only a tiny minority of all muslims (or christians, …), and in a surprising number of cases are not especially well educated in their religion. In fact many of them are petty crooks, with a burning desire to be more significant than they deserve.

In the end, debating whether islam really is a religion of peace or not is pretty much a waste of time because it is irrelevant – even the religions with the most peaceful reputations have terrorists (major religions only).

Old Metal 3

Jan 162010
 

I was previously aware of the religious nutters being scared of the Harry Potter books, but before reading the Wikipedia article on the reaction I was not aware of just how much there was!

Anyone would think that the Harry Potter books were not fiction, and that children are such mindless idiots that they are likely to base their religious choices based on an entertaining story. The allegations that the Harry Potter books promote satanism, the occult, witchcraft, the Wiccan religion, amongst other things (including Christianity!).

These allegations indicate that the knuckle-dragging extremists either did not bother to read the book. or did not understand what was written within. Interestingly one of those bringing about legal action (several times in fact) to get the books banned, Laura Mallory has admitted that she hasn’t actually read the books themselves in their entirety. You do have to wonder why she should actually admit to such a weakness in her case, and why the conversation in the court did not go along the lines of :-

“Have you read the books?”

“No.”

“And you expect to be taken seriously? Case dismissed. <BANG>”

The interesting thing about those who are frothing at the mouth in fury at the Harry Potter books is that they all seem to have one thing in common. Whatever their religion – various forms of Christianity and some Muslims, the one thing they all have in common is that they are the sort of extremists who should not be allowed an kind of access to children in case they brainwash them.

The real mark of stupidity is that there are far more “dangerous” books out there than those written by JK Rowling. Other fantasy books contain far more favourable depictions of witches; with greater criticisms of organised religions. But the drooling idiots of the lunatic fringe of the religious right are not literate enough to realise this.

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