Imagine: The Case for the Islamic Culture
I write this because I feel it's important, after the recent events being disclosed about the U.S. military continuing to defile the people of the Islamic world, most notably the burning of the Koran by U.S. soldiers.
I want you to take five or ten minutes of your day to just imagine. Imagine that your nation is being ransacked by a foreign occupation. Blood is spilled on a daily or weekly basis by the gunfire of these military occupants. Who knows the reason why they're here? Maybe because the foreign government accused your nation of terrorism and they are trying to battle insurgents for the alleged purpose of combating terror. Maybe the real agenda is to take all your country's resources and establish a puppet regime. The reason doesn't matter for now.
Imagine in this hostility a school nearby you has been blown up, killing dozens of children. Amidst a flight-or-fight response, you and your friends and family decided to do something about this problem. You all decide to take up arms and fight off the foreign forces. Sure, your assembled team may win a few battles, but at the cost of your best friend you've known since high school. Imagine looking back as you retreat from a lost battle, seeing the corpse of your best friend being dragged off by these uniformed occupants. Then a day later, you find your friend's corpse being defiled by the foreign military, a squad urinating on that friend you've known for a long time. This enrages you; the hostile environment twists up your emotions to such negativity, it colors your soul black.
Months pass by as you see your fellow countrymen, women and children killed left and right, slowly causing you to go insane. The girl you had a crush on recently, or perhaps your actual girlfriend or wife, is killed. Your pet is thrown off a cliff. Your grandparents are kicked out of their houses. Another close friend is captured and tortured - all by the foreign military invading your homeland.
After all of these events, you still miraculously hold on to some sanity. Imagine now that you are an atheist, living in the ruins of your secular nation. Or if you're a Christian, imagine living in a Christian nation. Whatever your faith or non-faith is, apply it to the culture of your land that you hold dear. Perhaps it's the key thing that has kept you from going utterly insane. Now imagine a squad of these hostile forces burning a bunch of books. It could be the works of Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, and many years worth of scientific research gone. Or perhaps the Bible or Torah was in that fire. Whatever the books were, imagine your favorite material being burned in disgrace by this military. Or perhaps they burned your nation's flag - the straw that broke the camel's back.
Now, for some reason, you start sucking into the practices that the foreign military were doing unto you. You find yourself in a new group and let them influence you into their teachings due to your rationality being squashed by your heavy, negative emotions. You are programmed by this group because of your vulnerability to react violently toward the blatant disrespect for your culture. Now, think how your resistance to the foreign power can be used to “justify” the reason why the military are here in the first place. You have now played into their agenda, being radicalized to a point where they could deem you as a “radical atheist” or “radical Christian,” an "insurgent" or whatever.
Apply this little story to what is going on in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, and all the other Middle Eastern cultures. If you truly understand the situation that is being forced onto these people, then you ought to feel a bit ashamed if you displayed any disrespect for their culture, whether intentional or not. The whole “Burn the Koran” thing and the “Draw Mohammad Day” are antagonizing and unproductive if we are trying to bring forth a better world. Not only are such actions childish, they only help fuel the radical fire that has already been lit by the U.S. and other nations currently invading the Middle East.
Trying to pin down a religion (by itself) as a basis for radicalization and treating it as the sole cause for people to act irrationally, is intellectually dishonest. The way the Atheist and Christian communities act toward the Islamic culture is skewed and filled with bias. They refuse to hear what Muslims have to say, and often put themselves on the moral high-ground. Even if the tragic events of 9/11 were caused by a group of radical Muslims, one must consider how the foreign occupation of their land made them feel utterly forced in that direction. We need to look at what caused their extreme anger toward us. And we must remember also that the actions of a few do not reflect on the entirety of the culture.
What if the world looked down on your atheism or Christianity because of an act a dozen men carried out that was extrapolated to the whole nation? What we all have to do is learn how these environmental factors take place in all of our daily lives. Once we understand how we are programmed to behave and believe in certain ways, we can then start taking steps to achieving true freedom of choice by removing the programming we all have. We must unite for a better world and stop falling for these dividing factors that keep us from progressing. If we wish to achieve a better world, we have to first stop responding to violence with more violence, and stop categorizing an entire group based on a few. Stop antagonizing each other's beliefs, because it gets us nowhere.
Even if you have proof that there is no man sitting in the sky passing judgment on you, you have to realize that there is such a thing as offensive truth. Would you say at a funeral, “Well at least he won't be sucking up any more resources,” to your friend's dead father? No, because that's disrespectful. Let the Muslims, Christians, Jews, and all other religious folk hold on to their religion. Until we decide to live together peacefully, the question of “is there a god?” is completely irrelevant and does not need to be debated at the present moment. Likewise for you religious people don't push your beliefs down others' throats. You don't want someone pestering you to convert to a different religion all the time, right? And you don't want another religion influencing your lifestyle, right?
We all bleed red. We all have the same skeletal and biological systems. We all need food, water and love. We are all stuck on this beautiful blue orb called Planet Earth. We need to take care of it and each other. The whole argument over religion is childish and should be left back at grade school.
We must move on...