Saturday, February 04, 2006

Addendum to Rant

By the way, it's even worse when you read the comments. How is religion defensible when you get this:

Early Friday, Palestinian militants threw a bomb at a French cultural center in Gaza City, and many Palestinians began boycotting European goods, especially those from Denmark.

"Whoever defames our prophet should be executed," said Ismail Hassan, 37, a tailor who marched through the pouring rain along with hundreds of others in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

"Bin Laden our beloved, Denmark must be blown up," protesters in Ramallah chanted.

An imam at the Omari Mosque in Gaza City told 9,000 worshippers that those behind them should have their heads cut off.

"If they want a war of religions, we are ready," Hassan Sharaf, an imam in Nablus, said in his sermon.

About 10,000 demonstrators, including gunmen from the Islamic militant group Hamas firing in the air, marched through Gaza City to the Palestinian legislature, where they climbed on the roof, waving green Hamas banners and chanting "Down, Down Denmark!"

Thousands protested in Nablus and Jenin, burning Danish flags and dairy products.

Whoever defames our prophet should be executed. Perfect. No comment could possbily capture more of my disdain and loathing of religion. And don't kid yourself about most of it is "responsible religion." No, most people are responsible people in that they lack the drive to go out and get worked up enough to kill someone over anything, including religion. That's why most people (think, the people who went to your church) aren't like this and why you often get pushback on condemneing religion with comments like "most people are normal." Yeah, but it has nothing to do with the religion. Religion just makes people say, "If they want a war of religions, we are ready." Fucking pathetic Muslims, lives so meaningless they're ready to slaughter and be slaughtered over a perceived slight in a cartoon. They're Joe Pesci with a 4 year old maturity level. Waaaah! Me want! Everything bad is your fault, and I have a mechanism for justification - religion.

And yes, I believe in God. Don't mistake for a minute my ranting for some kind of athestic agenda. It has nothing to do with that. Here's what I believe.

There is a God.

That force is incredibly powerful, so powerful my mind isn't built to wrap around it.

And that's OK.

Because there's no need for me to get it.

I just have to do my best in life, and what happens after I die (if that is even the dichotomy that matters) is not in my control, and believing it to be in my control is a conceit borne of anxiety from others who sense this big-ass God force and can't bear the thought of not having control, so they invented wonderful, magical constructs and recipes for gaining control over the fear of the unknown, but it's all just inventive hoped-for fiction because nobody fucking knows, and nobody will, ever, in this version of life. And that is that.

Because if you didn't pick the right version of the religion that says it is true and all the others are false, and that screws you over in some afterlife, then God is so fucking weak as to be beneath my respect. That would be so pathetically lame, so profoundly unpowerful and petty, that it simply cannot be God.

Most importantly, if anybody else tries to tell you about God and persuade you in their version of perception being the truth, they are fucking lying to you, they are a total asshole, and you are a total schmuck if you believe it.

2 Comments:

Blogger TubaOnFire said...

Amen to that. The problem that all religions have is that they have made God so small. God is bigger than all the crap we make up in our religions. We create cultural expressions to make us feel better and attached to something holy and eternal. However, that is for us, not for God.

On the cartoons, I think you hit on an important point that there is a passive acceptance of violent lunacy in the Muslim world. Even Tom Freidman's moderates are unwilling to say "no, this is wrong." They like the power. They like the threat. They like the relevance. I mean, is there any reason to give a rats ass about any of these countries. Do they produce any art (I am an art snob, you know), any literature, any music, culture, business, anything to make them relevant? Nope, they are known for suicide bombers. If you don't pay attention to me, I will throw a tantrum and blow something up. Fuck that. Stop whining.

11:13 PM  
Blogger mylias said...

What Would Jesus Do?

By Remi Kanazi

02/04/06 "ICH" -- -- Picture this: A cartoon of Jesus, with his pants down, smiling, raping a little boy. The caption above it reads “Got Catholicism?” Or how about a picture of a Rabbi with blood dripping from his mouth after bludgeoning a small Palestinian boy with a knife shaped like the Star of David—the caption reads “The Devil’s Chosen Ones.”

I wonder if people around the world would just consider this free speech? Of course, some would condone or agree with one, two or all three, while others would say “it’s free speech,” although they “find it offensive and in poor taste.” But do you honestly think media outlets such as the BBC, Le Monde, or any media outlet in Copenhagen would pick up these cartoons? The outrage would begin instantly and advertisers would pullout. Yet, those in Denmark and their supporters around Europe call it freedom of speech to have a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed—who is not supposed be depicted to prevent idolatry according to clerical interpretation of the Koran—with a turban shaped like a bomb on his head.

The double standard the West has set for the rest of the world is disgusting. We live in a foolish bubble where we think we are free to say or do whatever we want without consequence. I remember watching Saturday Night Live when Sinead O’Connor ripped up a picture of the Pope. The furor was enormous, which led to NBC receiving a 2.5 million dollar fine by the Federal Communications Commission. Imagine if it was a picture of Jesus—the US Congress would have made the Teri Schiavo intervention look like a joke.

Where are the pictures of the dead soldiers, the dead women and children in the Western media? Some governments won’t allow it and other media outlets just fear the backlash. When I need journalistic honesty, I have to turn to Al Jazeera, why is that? One cannot even deny the Holocaust in Europe, question 9/11 in America (unless you want the Ward Churchill treatment), but the West claims they’re all about free speech.

It is no coincidence the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is grossly pro-Israeli. It is no coincidence that you never heard the full quotes of Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s comments on Israel and the Holocaust—no matter the basis. And it is no coincidence that Arab analysts who are against the war in Iraq, the occupation of Palestine, and America’s “war on terror” are insufficiently represented in the European press.

So what are Muslims to do? Violence is out of the question—that would be “an overreaction.” So why not boycott? That would be a mistake as well, according to the European Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini who stated, “Calls for boycotts or for restraints on the freedom of the press are completely unacceptable.” What Frattini meant to say is that Muslims should choose capitalism over faith. Maybe the European Union will clarify through a cartoon—Mohammed selling the Koran for ten bucks in a Danish pawn shop. But boycotting is a friend of the West. However, they more conveniently title it “sanctions.” I’m sure we all remember the 500,000 Iraqi women and children that died because of the UN boycotts on Iraq after the first Gulf War.

Is Europe is willing to continue this new trend against boycotts? Will the European community call on Israel to show Paradise Now in non-independent theatres? It’s the only way to stop the boycott of Palestinian freedom of speech. Will the European Union resume aide to the Hamas-led Palestinian government tomorrow? Since Hamas’ call for the destruction of Israel is protected under the clause of freedom of speech and the group stopped suicide attacks 18 months ago, it only seems logical.

If Denmark, Norway, France, Germany and the rest of Europe believe in the freedom of speech, it should include all instances and all religions. These nations are carelessly defending their hypocrisy and reinforcing the double standard that alienates Muslims and desecrates the Muslim faith, under the guise of free speech. I guess only one question remains for small Norwegian Christian newspapers like Magazinet that reprinted the cartoons: What would Jesus do?

*** Remi Kanazi is the primary writer for the political website www.PoeticInjustice.net. He lives in New York City as a Palestinian American freelance writer and can reached via email at remroum@gmail.com

6:11 AM  

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