I slam, you slam, we all slam for Islam
I've been cogitating over this one for a few days so appropriate to inflict it on you now that there's a big display of pro-Islam downstairs in the foyer.
I think where our whole sense of progression and the embracing of a politically-correct agenda comes unstuck is in the Problem of Religion. We quite rightly want to foster tolerance; when we invite migrants to settle in our country we don't want to persecute them for their beliefs the way China does the Falun Gong. Only our more rabid reactionaries even want to ban the headscarf from schools, the way they do in France.
Our politicians are careful at every turn to state that the Moslems cutting people's heads off, the ones blowing up crowds with car bombs, and the ones flying planes into buildings and playing havoc with the London Underground, have a (in John Howard's words) perverted sense of Islam and its teachings. You'd want to hope so or it's no better than all those old religions that practiced ritual sacrifice.
But if it's simply down to them getting things completely wrong - perhaps for their own bloodthirsty agenda - why aren't the religious leaders taking a proactive stance to curb this activity? Now something to this effect DID happen when they were trying to rescue the hostage Douglas Wood but, apart from a token "We condemn this activity" it has been noticeably absent at a broader level. And this is most lamentable when you consider the current world situation.
So why don't the ayatollahs and imams and suchlike join forces in quelling a movement that is causing Islam almost irreparable damage? There are a few possibilities. They may be only giving lip service to the opposition while secretly supporting the bombings. Community leaders seem to inhabit a sliding scale of more or less sanctioning these acts. Or, and here is the point I wish to make, there may be no avenue for them to say that the terrorists are working against what it says in the Koran because they are spiritually in line with the teachings - a true application and not a perverse interpretation.
One of the boards downstairs states 'Ways in which Islam respects women'. Hmmmm. Have to wear burkas while men can get around with head uncovered. Strike. Clitorectomy. Major, major strike. Women travel under men's passport. Strike. Cannot own property. Strike. Must allow the man to speak for them. Strike.
More strikes than a building site. Nice try.
Want a lesson in how women are respected in Islam? Afghanistan under the Taliban.
Religious tolerance? Those Buddha statues were thousands of years old, arsewipes.
The problem, as I see it, is in trying to apply harsh desert religions two thousand years old. It goes equally for Christianity, except for the fact that Christians seem to be better at papering over its more repressive and intolerant features (unless you're a minor who's had consensual sex with another minor and live in some bohick US state where you've got a record (unspecified) as a sex offender for the rest of your days. Now that's backwards.)
And the idea of a fatwah. My attitude is that a deity who cannot fight their own battles is in no wise worth your devotion.
I came across a Koran in a department bookstore. It was only cheap and I thought I would disavow myself of my prejudice. I picked it up, opened it at random, it was a long section on detailing how a woman who had committed adultery is to be taken to the public square and stoned to death; that all the people, children, the lot, should gather to watch. I don't know what happens to the man but, given that all the accounts I hear of fathers killing the daughter who has shamed them I suspect rank hypocrisy.
It didn't disavow a goddamn thing, needless to say. I was going to buy it but I decided I had enough medieaval morality with the Old Testament.