Pyromania notwithstanding, fire is not a bad thing. It ranks up there in usefulness right along with water, earth and air. Humans burn all sorts of things for a variety of very good reasons, and fire remains one of the primary means for the production of energy from giant industrial power plants to the smallest of internal combustion engines. In fact, there are literally hundreds of perfectly good reasons for setting something aflame. However, as we all see on our televisions, computers and in our newspapers, sometimes the reason is just plain batshit crazy.
Silence! I Kill You..!
There are few things on the planet that will drive people into a frenzy of fire, and there are few religions that have factions which act out on these drives. Radical Islam is one of them. Actually, it’s the only one I can think of, off the top of my head. I am sure there’s a cult somewhere that is not connected to Islam that chooses to set things on fire in retaliation for a perceived transgression, so I use the phrase “one of them” with a grain of salt. If you know of another, please, enlighten me. The propensity for these individuals to set things on fire is unprecedented within the confines of every social construct I can imagine. Doesn’t matter if the fire is in the form of a Molotov Cocktail, a Rocket Propelled Grenade or any one of several combinations of incendiary devices. The results are usually the same, only the duration to the end result varies and the number of casualties.
As most of us already know, there are some major things that these particular believers consider be an offense serious enough to garner some very special punishments. One of these offenses is any depiction of what is labeled an image of the Prophet Muhammad. The other is to somehow depict the existence of Muhammad as being somewhat less than ideal. While fire seems to be the preferred method of meting out these penalties, others include a fatwa of some sort (these are usually harmless, and not what most people think they are) to the actual murder of the offending party or parties. It should be noted, though, that there are millions of Muslims in the world who think these radicals are just as insane as most of us do.
One of the reasons these radicals behave as they do – outside of the obvious – is because they understand “respect” to be something that is “owed” to them. They base this on two things. One, because they say so. Two, if you don’t, bad things may happen to you. Those of us who are not muddled in the muck and mire that make up the doctrines and dogma of extremist religious views know the combination of these two things as “terrorism.” The main problem with this is, of course, that respect has to be earned. The process of earning respect does not include the use of fear, coercion or outright threats. Hence, at best, these people are bullies. At worst, well, you know…
Radical Islam, A Clarification…
Because I know there are going to be a few of you here, or on one of my social networks, that are going to invariably post something along the lines of the entirety of the Islamic faith being “Radical.” There may even be a meme or two involved, and more than likely a few references to the Koran, such as,
- “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war” – Koran:9:5
- “The Believers fight in Allah’s Cause, they slay and are slain, kill and are killed” – Koran:9:112
- “Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission” – Koran:9:29
- “Fight them until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah” – Koran:8:39
- “So fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief [non-Muslims]) and all submit to the religion of Allah alone (in the whole world)” – Koran:8:39
- “Fight them and Allah will punish them by your hands, lay them low, and cover them with shame. He will help you over them” – Koran:9:14
However, please understand that by using these standards, all the Abrahamic religions and several other world faiths can also be classified as “radical.” I’ve got two main lines of thought on this. One, simply holding onto the belief in the divine is not, in of itself, necessarily a bad thing. I’ve made this clear on many occasions. Two, holding on to the belief that an ancient book was actually written by or inspired by an anthropomorphic deity, and the words in these books are to be followed either literally or interpreted in such a way that they promote hate, bigotry and discrimination, is very much “radical.”
It is for this reason that I classify the extremist versions of all three of the Abrahamic faiths as being equal and on par with each other, regardless of which one of these groups happens to be acting like complete assholes at any one given time in the history of their existence – or to what extent. This, of course, sends members of these demographics into conniptions of Olympian proportions. The radical Muslims want to kill me because I said something bad about them, their holy book or their prophet. The radical Christians want to kill me (or perhaps just beat the shit out of me these days) because I compared them to radical Islam. Oh, the irony…
I have had enough of the politically correct talking-heads demanding that I respect any religion based solely on the fact that it exists. The death, destruction and disaster that has been foisted upon humanity by radicals in the name of religion is horrific. The role that radical Islam continues to play is nothing short of an international scourge on humanity. No ground is being gained, and those radical Muslims that hold up signs demanding the separation of body and head for not showing Islam respect have reached the pinnacle of psychotic behavior. They should not be respected. What they should be, is institutionalized.
The intentions of many individuals, the President of the United States and other world leaders included, who state that all of us should be respectful of all religions come from their desire for humanity to live in harmony with each other. This is exemplary, and most of the time it works, because most people are capable of this. However, it is painfully obvious that unless there is a paradigm shift in extremist interpretations of religious doctrine, specifically those espoused by radical Muslims, those efforts will remain one-sided. People will continue to be injured or murdered, property will continue to be destroyed and nations will continue to be oppressed.
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