Thursday, July 5, 2007

Ouch! That Petard Hurts!

Very little changes. The recent British "terrorist" incidents have produced a raft of comments, but no discernible change in the way the governments or the other religions "of the book" are dealing with Islamic radicalism.

Could the reason be, "don't queer my scam?"

These Islamists are a very potent danger, and no one seems to be addressing the source of the danger, and that is those passages in the Koran which can be interpreted as justifying, yea, celebrating murder/suicide.

Here's a link to an article in The Australian newspaper which you should read. It is written by one Tanveer Ahmed, and it is titled "Islam must face its uncomfortable truths."

Here's the final paragraph: Muslim communities must openly argue precisely what it is they fear and loathe about the West. Much of it centres on sexuality. This is the first step in rooting out any Muslim ambivalence about living in the West. But thereafter, the argument must proceed rapidly to Islamic theology and all its uncomfortable truths - from its repeated glowing references to violence, its obsession with and revulsion at sex and its historical antipathy to the very possibility that reason can exist as separate from God.

Christian theologians and Jewish theologians must immediately engage in a pan-religion discussion of the deity. They must admit the metaphorical nature of our book religions, and they must challenge Islamic theologians on the nature of God. This will not necessitate a radical shift in theology; all that is needed is intellectual honesty, and trust in the ability of fellow humans to follow rationale.

We need to put the early lore and writings into historical context. We need to acknowledge the communal necessity of certain aspects of early religions. We need to acknowledge those moments when human weaknesses were given the patina of being shared with a deity. It is a virtual blasphemy to teach of gold and pearl and carnal satisfaction in Paradise. Yet these metaphors continue to be taught not as literary tools but as fact.

It is time for popes and prelates and rabbis to cede a bit of their mysticism for the good of humankind. Otherwise they continue to enable those who would destroy them and their "flocks."

Religions of the book must be defanged. A political assassination, an abortion clinic killing, a suicide bombing on a bus all must be denounced as antithetical to the concept of the deity of the books.

Until that begins, we will not see progress towards peace. The world cannot longer tolerate an anthropomorphic deity.

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