‘Children are among at least 26 people massacred in Egypt and dozens more injured after gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians.’ ~ THE INDEPENDENT, 26 May 2017
People are dying in the name of a war of political and religious connotations, in the name of dogmas and Gods taken in vain, and we better acknowledge it, fast.
Fail to do so and we do ourselves a disservice, looking for ways to dress up the issue as something it isn’t. We’re in the midst of another crusade, not yet full-blown, but the ingredients are there. Bear with me, don’t bail on account of soundbites normally branded Islamophobic. Hear the argument out. There are maniacs around the world killing in the name of Allah, no one can deny this without sounding batty. There are self-appointed jihadists out there looking for martyrdom, killing Christians, Shias, Jews and atheists, women and homosexuals, blasphemers and apostates, and they do so with impunity.
The reason for this impunity is the existence of state theocracies — countries around the world that tolerate extreme religious beliefs upheld in the name of religious prerogative: beliefs unassailed by outsiders, left alone on the grounds of sovereignty and big bucks; beliefs preserved and enabled on a state level, sanctioned by government, promoted, institutionalized. There are places out there where the law of the land is religious-driven, and where this religion, whatever it may be, is applied in a manner not conducive to the welfare of those who don’t subscribe to it. Where the interpretations of the religious texts and scriptures on which the law is based are in direct contravention of human rights, if not decency at large.
Dare anyone say there are no such places in the world, working their sour magic from the state level down to their grassroots, or the other way round, championing dated and backward mentalities, attacking their dissenters with impunity?
It’s a phenomenon just as shitty and sick and disgusting as the murders committed by soulless corporations around the world in the name of profit and greed — just as vile as the wars perpetrated in the name of sick foreign policies, and it should be called out for what it is, as are the corporate greed and atavistic foreign policy phenomena we are faced with, alongside many others — called out for the atrocity that permeates such theocracies, the monstrosity they promote, either openly and directly, or by default and proxy.
It needs to be shamed and isolated, not pandered to, not allied with.
It needs to be hunted down at the root, at the very core of the ideology that fuels so much prejudice and discrimination toward those who disagree with it, a discrimination that manifests in the form of law or general behavior. It has to be identified, this phenomenon, just like we identify the roots of greed and soullessness in modern consumer culture. We have a duty to scrutinize it without restraint, subject it to ruthless criticism and invective, expose it for what it is, target it in such a way that enables us to gradually push it back, repel it and neutralize its foulest aspects, preventing it from metastasizing into a full-blown holy war again. We need to beat the shit out of it like we did with Christianity and its Holy Inquisitions and its neanderthal approach to women and marriage and life in general. We have to reform it, put it under the control of a sensical, just, secular state, a secular world, and keep it there, in check, lest we end up setting back the clocks three four five hundred years, reliving the nightmare of our ancestors.
One long and careful look at the Middle East and its atrocious theocracies, not to mention the good old US of A and its resurgent brand of Christian fundamentalism, plus various parts of Europe with their fascist Inquisitional populist agendas, and we know we can’t afford to stall much longer.
And in case you’re wondering why I’ve placed so much emphasis on the Islamist part of the equation, barely touching on other religions and/or extenuating factors of a non-religious nature, it’s because we’ve been discussing all those religions and extenuating factors for a while now — I’m repeating myself, but it’s necessary — exploring the ways in which they contribute to terrorist attacks. Islam, on the other hand, we barely touch on it, branding all criticism of it Islamophobic, shutting down the discussion, and that is a dangerous phenomenon, which is why I am placing special emphasis on it.
Part 5 to follow