[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 1990s.

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 God."

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 century. http://www.newwave.net/~haught/homicide.html

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 think?

Mike Geary
Mosque Master

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