Most popular Entries:

Most Popular Entries
Click on the categories above if you only want to read about a particular topic. The articles below have gotten the most hits in my previous blog

I Hate Filipino Culture -Society/Politics

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Is Islam a religion of violence

A lot of people see Islam as a religion of violence. If interpreted literally, it can be. But the Bible is just as potent an instrument of hate if also interpreted literally. The punishment for homosexuality in the bible is death (Leviticus 18 and 20), The punishment for worshiping other gods is death, the punishment for blasphemy is stoning… to death. In the bible, a lot of crimes that we would consider petty are punishable by death. We look at acts done by muslim extremists as primitive because that’s exactly what those acts are. They’re following books written at a different time when the concept of civility was not as we know it now. But why is it that more acts of terrorism are committed under the name of Islam than in the name of the Abrahamic God when both religions promote similar punishments for the same crime?

The Roman Catholic church hasn’t always been peaceful and humane. It took its sweet time. Up until the 16th century, The Catholic church was burning people at the stake for heresy.  A lot of European conquest was partly fueled by the need of the church to convert as much of the world into Catholicism. A lot of people died in the process.

Muslims had a very prosperous civilization in the middle ages. But most muslim countries now are poor and have not been very progressive for a long time. Those that are rich became rich just recently. The hotbeds for terrorism are usually the poorest of these countries. Al qaeda in Afghanistan and ISIS in Iraq -theocracies that progress has barely touched, where life expectancy is short and death is a way of life

When people aren’t dying around you, the value of human life goes up. The death of one soldier in World War 2 doesn’t have the same impact as the death of one soldier today in peace time. We’re not used to death anymore. And when a person doesn’t worry about death happening within the immediate future, that person is free to think about other things that don’t necessarily have anything to do with survival, such as the rights of your fellow man as well as your own. And most especially, since death and killing become taboo, you don't think of killing your fellow man when his beliefs contradict yours.

A lot of the more violent aspects of Catholicism have been slowly rooted out by modernization in Europe -a process that is still continuing today in the free world. It wasn’t too long ago when racism was state imposed and slavery was legal (slavery was permitted in the bible). Look where progress has brought us now. State imposed racism and slavery have been practically eradicated and several states have legalized same sex marriage.

A lot of people claim that religion is the root of a person’s morals but in the modern world, it’s not. . Morality evolves as civilization progresses. As life becomes less of a privilege than it is a right, concepts such as equality gain a foothold in a society's collective consciousness. We no longer live our lives based on the morals of bearded men who lived at a time when human life was a disposable commodity. Morality evolves as society evolves. And we live in a world where morality has evolved to encompass everyone’s rights, including those who don’t belong to our group and those who don’t belong to our religion. Unless you live in Davao, death is no longer the only possible punishment for any given crime.

There are of course those that progress has left behind. Those who choose to hold on to archaic laws and morality. And I think therein lies the answer to the first question in this entry on why one group tends to produce more extremists than the other. One group has progressed more than the other. I think one lesson that we can learn from the Catholic church is that it doesn’t matter if your religion promotes violence and bigotry or not. One can go beyond it and still practice the same religion.

This is not a post against religion. It is a post for reason... For a morality that is carefully thought out and not based on doctrine or dogma. That’s more or less what we have right now in the free world. And it’s something that a lot of people who subscribe to Islamic extremism could use.