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Friday, April 3, 2009

War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

Before I start writing anything else, let me preface this ENTIRE essay/note/madman's ramble by saying that whatever may be said here is meant to spawn thought and discussion. It is not meant to offend nor demean any individual, culture, or way of life.

A few days ago I got sent a link to a video called “Fitna The Movie - A Geert Wilders film about the Quran”. Now, I had heard the controversy surrounding this movie but never uptil now had I the opportunity to sit down and watch it. For those who don't know what I am talking about, here is the controversial video in question.

First a little back story on our friend Geert Wilders. He is a dutch politician who has been a member of the dutch parliament since 1998. First for “The Party for Freedom and Democracy” and from 2006 on, “The Party for Freedom”, a party which he founded and of which he is the political leader. He has always been a staunch critic of Islam and believes the ideals of Islam are in conflict with Dutch law.

Geert Wilders is however, a very strong supporter of Israel. In the past 25 years he has visited Israel over 40 times where he claims to have met with Ariel Sharon and Ehun Olmert personally. In the last ten years that he has served in parliament, Wilders has always supported Israel and politically attacked nations, individuals and groups which he perceives to be enemies of Israel.

To basically understand the mentally of our enlightened friend Geert Wilders, lets take a look at a direct quote of his in which he was referring the increasing Muslim population of the Netherlands.

“Take a walk down the street and see where this is going. You no longer feel like you are living in your own country. There is a battle going on and we have to defend ourselves. Before you know it there will be more mosques than churches” (Geert Wilders).

Hmm. Shed some light on his character?

Now, the actual video was in all honesty nothing but a joke.

Again, let me preface what I am about to say next by re-iterating that I am NOT tied to any religion nor do I have any special compassion for Islam. In fact, I disdain the very idea of organized religion. I believe organized religion, is a parasite on the human race, feeding itself while simultaneously killing its host.

This video was created to do nothing more than to incite hatred and intolerance. It is easy to take parts of any holy book that are out of context and make it sound like the most inhuman thing ever written. This, is what Geert Wilders did to gather more supporters for his ignorant and hateful ideology. Lets take a closer look shall we?

Female circumcision, is an African cultural tradition and even though it is practiced culturally within Islamic communities, it is not related to Islamic teachings.

Killing homosexuals is not taught or supported in Islam. Stoning itself is never mentioned once in the Quran. How many times is it mentioned in the Bible you ask? 18.

Contrary to popular belief, Jihad does NOT mean holy war. Jihad directly translates to effort. As preached in the Quran, War jihad is the smallest jihad. Educating jihad is the greatest jihad.

Wilder, references the Quran 8:60 in which he says, “Strike terror in the enemies of God”.
Sorry Wilders, but if that phrase were to put into context, it translates as “Frighten the enemies of God.” Substantial difference.

From 8:57 to 8:61 the translation is as follows: “If you are in war, you defend your life and fight. But if your enemies accept peace then do it.”

Interesting no?

In the end, ALL the verses about violence are either taken out of context or wrongly translated.

Hey look, I can do it too:

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy [a] everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.” Samuel 15:3

“Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.” Number 31:17,18

It should also be noted (although it really shouldn't have to be), fanatical terrorism has existed for a very very long time now. People causing suffering to a group of civilians due to a conflict of ideologies. Their sole purpose is to "convert" their enemies style of life into one which is deemed acceptable by the terrorists. This hand is extended not only to religious fundamentalism, but to political wars across the globe. From the start of the KKK in the 1870's, racist and political terrorism of Nazi Germany and Stalin, the red brigades of Germany and Italy, to the ETA in Spain and the PKK in turkey. Terrorism is a fanatics way of life. It exists EVERYWHERE and is not limited to any particular religion or creed.

We, as westerners assume that the fanatic will listen to the “right” logic and the individual will prevail over the nonsense. However, how can this be possible when the very culture itself is in complete opposition to that? Here in the western world, your own individuality, security, and comfort super seeds everything else. You are not going to jeopardize your own life for the sake of the community.

However, else where, tribal mentality is the ruler. Where, worrying about what happens to your own self is in-consequential. What matters is, how will it affect everyone else? The tribe is replaced for the individual. Thus, acts of fanaticism are acceptable as long as the perceived results will be a positive for the community as large. Heck, we see signs of this in the western world today. Evangelical Christians and neo-conservatives ring a bell for anyone?

I will say this however, Islam is a very dated religion. It is the only one out of the major theistic beliefs that has remained static. It tries to force an ever changing world into its own envelope, and perhaps this makes Islamic fanaticism inevitable. At its height Islam used to be the most progressive, and liberal religions in the known world and then it just stopped. Corruption, greed, and just plain pigheadedness took hold. Its a shame really.

Perhaps one day we can all live in a world where organized religion ceases to exist, and TRUE religion gains its foothold. Even then, how easy would it be manipulate and corrupt? Maybe we need to work on bettering our selves before we try and force others to believe something we only half heartedly understand.

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