Thursday, January 31, 2008
Dealing With an Alien Belief System
One of the problems in this Post-9/11 world is defining exactly how one feels about the Islamic religion. Isn't it patently unfair to condemn a large part of the world's population for the actions of - - - A few? How can we say “a few?” Do we limit this to those Muslims who actually had first-hand participation in the airliner hijackings and destruction of great buildings? Certainly this would be equally unfair. Those participants had a great deal of support, command structure and financing to speed them on their way to martyrdom.
At the same time, it is just too pat to classify Islam as “a religion of peace,” without examining the face it presents to the rest of the world, its writings, and the world wide effects of that movement.
I view the images of the 11SEP2001 attacks, and the aftermath of suicide bombers elsewhere in the world. I see some worthy, intelligent women who have had the courage to slough off the “traditional” Islamic restrictions on women and who have made genuine contributions to society. At the same time, we hear of the many thousands of their equally bright sisters who are still confined, restricted, and oppressed by hundreds of years of custom solidified into draconian law. I see the images of throat slashings and beheadings of some who fail to toe the strict line of Islam. These make me wonder if there isn't some, some SMALL justification in the argument to slaughter them in their millions, for simple self-protection. No, I certainly would not argue for genocide by race, nor wish to wipe out an entire people because of religion.
At the same time, I see most of the Muslims in this area, quiet, decent individuals, who have jobs and families and who are really good neighbors. Those I know personally are not wild-eyed radicals, wanting to wipe out all the world's other religions and kill those who do not embrace Islam.
I have no real answers to the problems posed by trying to live in the same world as the Islamic religion. I seriously doubt that any one person has all the answers. It is valuable, though, to read some well reasoned thoughts on the topic; to hear an arguably sane voice crying out through the background noise.
Let me share a source with you. Roger W. Gardner of the Political Grind Network, has written a piece called “Wrestling With Mohammed ,” which asks, “Is Islam a religion of peace or an imminent fascist threat?” It was first published back in October 2007 and I recommend it highly.
No, Mr. Gardner doesn't have, nor claim to have, all the answers. He does present what seems a rational viewpoint, which may help some others to organize their feelings on this topic. It certainly gave me food for thought. I'll not try to synopsize the article. It would be futile and unfair to cut-and-paste Mr. Gardner's thoughts into my blog. Click the above link, take several minutes to read it and form your own opinion. I really believe it'll be worth your while.