[lit-ideas] Re: Aren't you glad you no longer have a Hitler problem?
- From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2006 20:21:36 -0500
This stuff is well known Mike. Wahhabism originated in Saudi Arabia in
the 18th Century. Salafism came along later. They were both
Fundamentalist in nature. Maududi wrote and was very influential in the
days before and after Pakistan became an independent nation. The Muslim
Brothers, influenced by Wahhabism, were influential about the same time in
Egypt. Sayyid Qutb was a Muslim Brother.<<
Well known, yes, but totally inaccurate as far as the spirit of Islamism is
concerned. Islam is not Wahabism or any other -ism but is Islam. Islam is
no more "captured" by its radical offshoots than Christianity is by Bob
Jonesism or Pat Robertsonism or Jerry Falwellism or Dobsonism or any of the
other dozens of Christian fascist sects. There are fascist kooks galore
within all religions, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, you name it. All are
home to fascists who want to control the world. The worst of course was the
Catholic Church -- but thank god, Protestantism came along -- along with
hundreds of thousand killed by both sides -- but that's the price of God as
they say. Islam is a religion as deeply rooted in love and respect for the
human individual as any religion. And the more I read into it, the more I
think that perhaps it's more deeply rooted in peace and love than
Christianity or Judaism. I'm amazed that your wide reading hasn't brought
that home to you.. Must be what you're reading.
As to who are the good guys and who are the bad, I guess I must fall in line
with Andy. They're all evil.
Today's holy homicide isn't unusual. It has been happening for centuries.
When the First Crusade was launched against "infidels" in the Holy Land,
mob-like armies gathered around Europe. Some Germans followed a goose
thought to be enchanted by God. It led them into Jewish neighborhoods, where
they slaughtered the residents. Advancing Christian armies decapitated
Muslims and catapulted the heads into beseiged cities. Finally, the
crusaders captured Jerusalem and massacred the populace. A chronicler priest
wrote: "In the temple of Solomon, one rode in blood up to the knees and even
the bridles of horses, by the just and marvelous judgment of God"
After a Vatican council proclaimed that the host wafer miraculously turns
into Jesus' body during the mass, rumors spread that Jews were stealing the
wafers and driving nails through them to crucify Jesus again. Murderous mobs
wiped out more than 100 Jewish communities to avenge the tortured host.
Other massacres stemmed from rumors that Jews were sacrificing Christian
children and using their blood in rituals.
When the Albigenses Christians in southern France wouldn't conform to
official dogma, Pope Innocent III sent troops to exterminate them. After the
town of Beziers was captured, soldiers asked their papal adviser how to
distinguish the faithful from the heretics among the townspeople. He
commanded, "Kill them all. God will know his own." It was done.
The hunt for heretics led to establishment of the Office of the Inquisition.
Pope Innocent IV authorized torture. Shrieking victims were broken on
fiendish machines and then paraded to the stake. Some were scientists like
Giordano Bruno, who incurred the church's wrath by teaching that the planets
orbit the sun.
In the 1400s, the Inquisition turned its attention to witchcraft. Clerics
declared that some women were having sex with Satan, transforming themselves
into animals, flying through the sky at night, and casting hexes on godly
folk. The number of "witches" tortured and executed over three centuries is
estimated from 100,000 to 2 million.
From the 1500s, members of India's Thuggee sect strangled people because
they believed that the goddess Kali wanted her followers to eliminate excess
lives generated by Brahma the Creator. Thugs were garroting an estimated
20,000 victims a year in the 1800s until British rulers stamped out the
religion. At an 1840 trial, one Thug was accused of sacrificing 931 people.
The Reformation triggered two centuries of religious war that took millions
of lives. Eight Huguenot-Catholic wars ravaged France. Protestant-Catholic
slaughter sundered the Low Countries. England suffered killings when the
Anglicans broke with Rome -- then more killings when the Puritans broke with
the Anglicans. The Thirty Years War brought the worst religious death toll
of all time. Amid the Catholic-Protestant combat in Europe, both sides
paused to kill Anabaptists for their crime of double baptism.
Islamic jihads (holy wars) killed multitudes over the course of 12
centuries. First Muslims spread the faith west to Spain and east to India.
Then breakaway sects branded other Muslims as infidels and warred against
them. A jihad in the Nile Valley in the 1880s destroyed an Egyptian army and
wiped out defenders of Khartoum, led by British General "Chinese" Gordon.
Wahhabi believers crushed other Muslims and created the fundamentalist
kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
After the Baha'i faith began in Iran in 1844, the Shi'ite majority killed
Baha'is by the thousands -- and this persecution has continued into the
Muslim and Hindu taboos led to the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857. British governors
in India gave their native troops new paper cartridges that had to be bitten
open. Animal grease on the cartridges infuriated Hindus, to whom cows are
sacred, and Muslims, to whom pigs are satanic. Troops of both faiths
rebelled and massacred Europeans.
In the late 1800s and again during World War I, Muslim Turks and Christian
Armenians killed each other by the hundreds of thousands.
In a tragic irony, the great pacifist Mahatma Gandhi forced the British to
leave India in 1947 -- which freed Hindus and Muslims to set upon each other
in a killing frenzy that cost perhaps a million lives. Outbreaks have
continued ever since. For example, a pig walked through a Muslim holy ground
at Moradabad in 1980. Muslims blamed Hindus for it, and subsequent rioting
killed 200 people.
The most religious nation today probably is Iran, "the government of God on
Earth." It is the execution capital of the world, where thousands are put to
death. Shi'ite terrorists who killed American hostages on an airliner at
Teheran Airport in 1984 announced that they did it "for the pleasure of
Today, with Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India on the brink of war over the
religious strife in Kashmir, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
warns that both sides possess atomic weapons. That would be the ultimate
madness: the world's first thermonuclear religious war.
Ronald Reagan hailed religion as a force for good, "the bedrock of moral
order." That's a common view. But people need to realize there's another
side to religion -- a deadly one that has produced tragedy, century after
It's still the same old story. A fight for love and glory a case of do or
die. Or would could just declare religion and nationalism and tribalism
and classism evil and move on towards some kind of humanism. What do you
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