Friday, May 28, 2010

Will the real Islam Please Stand Up


So, will the real Islam please stand up?
And put one of those fingers on each hand up

TV runs in the background …… Bomb blast rocks through a market in Lahore many are feared dead
Me: When will Muslims actually get some respect for life and property?
Muslim: Surely you don’t believe that these are real Muslims?
Me: Real?
Muslims: Islam is a religion of peace and hence and therefore Muslims can’t do this. This is probably the work of some other force.
Me: Yoda?
Muslim: Who? I don’t know ….is he Jewish?
Me: Which other force do you think is doing this?
Muslim: The Jews, the Americans Allah knows.
Me: But the Taliban accepted responsibility for this.
Muslim: Yes they did but maybe it is some fragment of the Taliban that is being funded by the Americans.
Me: let me get this straight. There are mullahs that are getting money from America to bomb Pakistan
Muslim: Yes.
Me: (I want to ask why? but) So we should kill them. If we are the land of the pious Muslims, we should go after these Taliban who are damaging Pakistan no matter who is backing them up. If you hate the Jews and Americas that much you should equally hate their cohorts.
Muslim: uhhh… ?

Me: You said that these guys were running a proxy war on behalf of the Americans to destabilize Pakistan, so we should go after them and kill them
Muslim: Actually these Taliban are misguided Muslims, we should try and reason with them.
Me: Reason with them? How do you do that?
Muslim: talk to them.
Me: But we tried that it failed.
Muslim: yes because government sabotaged it.
Me: ahh ... no it didn’t the Taliban backed out.
Muslim: NO THE GOVERNMENT SABOTAGED IT.
Me: but you have to agree that there is something really wrong with Islam
Muslim: No. Islam is the one true religion
Me: really? How do you explain terrorism, bombs going off and suicide attacks?
Muslim: That’s not real Islam
Me: Subjugation of Women, public lashing?
Muslim: That’s not real Islam
Me: Child marriages?
Muslim: That’s not real Islam.
Me: Blasphemy laws? Let me guess not the real Islam?
Muslim: yeah see you finally see it from our angle.
How many times have you entered into a debate that has ended with this? The problem with Islam is that A would say B is not the real Islam, B would say A is not the real Islam and along would come C who would say neither A nor B are the real Islam. Islam has become this amorphous, fluid, mutilating object, when it comes to debates, whatever aspect you touch you are told that that isn’t it.
The fact is Quran is a very ambiguous to say the least. It contradicts itself a lot. If you talk to the Mullah-apologists regarding this he will say that the wrong kind of muslims …. which means everyone else but him …. misinterpret the verses of the Quran. Some verses are to be taken literally, some are to be taken in context of the verses before and after it, some are to be taken in the context of the situation in which they are revealed, some in the context of the times of the Prophet (marriage to a minor and slavery are explained using this trump card) and yet some have metaphorical meanings and are not to be taken in the literal sense. Here comes the problem, which verse is to be interpreted in which way. Apparently no one knows for sure. Each sect, mullah, militant group, suicide bomber makes up his own mind as how to interpret it. Then there is the hadith, that’s a whole different can of worms that is far more complex in interpretations.
This is the thing that makes Islam amorphous. If the Quran is as complete and as absolute as it is portrayed to be, then why is there room for so much variation? If Allah was all powerful, all knowing, all wise he would have seen the conundrum his words would have caused. Why couldn’t he just say in clear words listen these are the dos and these are the don’ts? Did Allah deliberately cause this confusion, in that case he is a sadistic bastard, or did he not know what this was actually going to cause, not something that would look good on an all powerful creator. Or was it man made and like all religions most of the stuff had to be kept ambiguous enough to allow it to be bent so that the masses can be controlled.
I think Islam needs a proper command and control structure of sorts. Like the Vatican Church, Islam needs a centralized authority that every Muslim adheres to (or two or three for different sects but not more than that). Issues pertaining to incorrect interpretation of Koran can be checked. Just like the Vatican kept some of the rules of traditional Christianity out, this centralized body can keep stuff like jihad, child marriages in check. It would put a leash on Islam and that is precisely what is needed. Get Islam in some solid state.

9 comments:

SJ said...

Good blog. Realllllly hard to find Pakistani Atheists/Agnostics. I don't think Islam is really as violent a religion as these Taleban/extremist types adopt, but it is more indicative of people adhering to an ideology so closely that anything different is seen as cause for concern and hence has to be eliminated.

pakistaniatheist said...

There a few of us around. As for Islam being not as violent. i have always held that "Gods don't kill people, People with Gods kill people". Islam is as violent as most other religions have been in their past. The difference is that Islam is going through this phase in a globalized world. I due course i think Muslims will need to reexamine themselves and modify according to the modern world. It will need to evolve just like all other religions.

SJ said...

I agree with that. I think religion is a relatively easy reason to get people to kill others...maybe even moreso than nationalism. Anyway also sent a request to join your group on Facebook.

AZ Ivzir said...

I wrote something similar. here's the link, do check it out...

http://spindlesnwebs.blogspot.com/2010/06/best-religion-without-consolidated.html

loneliberalpk said...

The "true-Scotsman" fallacy. If I had a nickel for every time a Muslim threw that in my face..

Prometheus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prometheus said...

Hilarious. People are usually motivated by extremist propaganda and to some extent there is a valid reason for their claims from Islam.

thecloseted said...

Good Read.. :)

Metalhead said...

Good blog..really...nice to see there are free-thinkers out there besides me..being alone in a country full of religious lunatics was making me mad..
IT's really really really hard to find atheists/agnostics in this country..it is to be expected i suppose..we are quite kill-able according to Islam.

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