Fundamentalist Ideas on the Road to Madness

Another terror plot stopped and another batch of terrorists arrested. This time in Sydney where four Islamists decided that they would design and build an explosive device, smuggle it onto a commercial jet flying, apparently to Dubai, and blow it, themselves and up to 500 other passengers and crew up in another meaningless display of epic stupidity. I don’t get it, really I don’t. Are these people so stupid or narcissistic to believe that their pathetic attempt at action was going to achieve anything worthwhile? The facts of this matter will no doubt be revealed in due course but in the meantime I cannot begin to understand the workings of their moronic minds that they thought that this was a good idea. Actually I don’t even want to try and understand how they work. Their ideology, like any fundamentalist is easy to describe – ‘Islam good, everything else bad, and I will kill you if you disagree’.

And that is it. That is the total of their belief system and rational behind this pathetic attempt, the Paris and London attacks, recent German attacks and all the others.

When the Baader-Meinhof Group and the R·A·F were doing their thing in Germany in the mid-70s they had a goal and ideals which could be discussed, argued or critiqued. Concepts of Marx or Gramsci, thoughts of Westernized Mao were tangible arguments which drew on the previous 20 post war years.

When the IRA, the Real IRA and the many and varied offshoots were chasing around blowing things and innocents up in the 70’s and 80’s they too had a goal, a united Ireland. That fact that a majority of people in the six counties didn’t share their view was irrelevant to them. They were riddled with factions and differing opinions on how to achieve that goal but were clear on their intent.

Even the PLO, founded in 1964, had a clear and unambiguous goal, the restoration of the Palestinian homeland through whatever means. Whatever means meant crying havoc and releasing the dogs of war, in the guise of Black September and other offshoot organisations. Black September were responsible for numerous shootings, bombings, hijacks and of course the infamous 1972 Munich Massacre which resulted in the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes and 1 German Police Officer, Anton Fliegerbauer.

Every action these groups took resulted in death and mayhem. The death of innocents and the destruction they caused were as heinous as any other but never once was God invoked as a reason to kill and maim and destroy. These, little did we realize, were halcyon days where the justification for these acts could be argued and understood, even if the actions themselves were reviled.

And what do we get now?

Islam good, everything else bad, and I will kill you if you disagree. This isn’t a rational argument, it isn’t a logical or meaningful sentiment. It has as much credence as a schoolyard bully. That is how pathetic this really is.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not particularly singling out Islam in this, although at the moment they are making it too easy, in a world of brutal stupidity, to point to them as the gold standard of moronic actions in the name of Cthulhu or whoever.

The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers. Denis Diderot

Islam, like any religion, is of no consequence to me. Whatever imaginary friend people wish to talk to should be unimportant to anyone but them. Madness, I am told can be quite a happy place, lost in your own thoughts, drugged and oblivious. If these Islamists have found their happy place chatting to Allah, then maybe they need to be content with that and not try to convert everyone else to their twisted belief system by whatever version of mayhem that they have to hand.  Please try, you would make the world a much happier place and I am sure that the non-murdering factions of the Islamic faith would agree.

When Thích Quảng Đức burned himself to death at a busy Saigon intersection on 11 June 1963 he was protesting against the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government or when Rigzin Phuntsog self-immolated on March 16, 2011 in Sichuan province, People’s Republic of China he was protesting against the Chinese rule of Tibet. More than 30 others have self-immolated for the same reason.

The photo of Đức, sitting serenely as the flames killed him is world famous, so much so that the photographer won a Pulitzer Prize for taking it. John F. Kennedy said of the photo, No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one.”

Đức was protesting against a perceived restriction to him practising his religious beliefs in a manner of his own choosing. That is, in the way of all Buddhists. When the government wouldn’t listen he took action. He could have bombed a plane, or strapped explosives onto himself and wandered into a market full of innocents before blowing himself and them into pieces, he could have blown up a load of innocent school girls on a night out, stolen a truck and drove it through a crowd, killing dozens or burst into a peaceful church service and started shooting the congregation.

Even if he didn’t want to put the effort in to all those plans and extreme procurement he might have just started stabbing people, at random in the name of his God.

But he did none of those things. He sat on a busy street, had fuel poured on himself, set himself alight and silently carried out his protest, causing no harm to anyone else but in doing so produced a greater effect and lasting impression than any of the Islamic nut-jobs have. In the manner of his quiet, unselfish sacrifice Đức gained a lot of sympathy for his cause and brought it to world attention.

What do the Islamist God botherers bring to the argument?

Nothing at all, there is no logic to their argument that can justify the killing of innocents. As soon as they call on the voice of Allah as justification they lose any credability that they might have. They may as well say that they took their orders from a piece of toast, cunningly burnt to resemble a deity.

All religions kill, there is no escaping the truth of that and people that kill on behalf of their religion, who invoke their religious beliefs as justification are either deranged or… actually that’s it, they are just deranged.

Sometimes though they use history to justify their actions. The Crusades and some such twaddle. Yes they were bad, but get over it, the Crusades were over a thousand years ago and the West, at least, went through the Enlightenment to get past exactly the sort of demented religious rhetoric and false thought that caused them.

They seem happy enough to remember 1,000 years ago as if it were yesterday but it is a shame that the Islamic group memory doesn’t seem able to remember when Arabia was the world centre of learning and science. When the scholars in the area were up there with the best in the world and teaching everyone else, when their Enlightenment was starting only to be snuffed out.

What happened? When did factions of the Islamic faith decide that blowing people up is more fun than dialogue, killing and maiming more fun than friendship, or even killing or maiming friends, families or neighbours for being something that they disagree with.

The Spanish Inquisition was fun, or so I believe if Monty Python were correct. That was an equal opportunity period of religious stupidity and intolerance. Anybody that fell outside the normal accepted beliefs or moral code were all potential victims of this particular period of institutionalised psychosis and could find themselves victimised, tortured and repressed.

It is often cited in popular literature and history as an example of Catholic intolerance and repression of other religions. Maybe it was although historians differ on whether the reports are true or were exaggerated due to anti-Catholic movements massaging the figures a couple of hundred years after the original event. Whatever the truth of the actual figures was, I think that is safe to say that if you were Jewish, Muslim, a Witch, a blasphemer, a bigamist, gay or a Freemason in Spain during the inquisition your life was a lot more exciting that you probably desired.

An example of Catholic intolerance and repression?

500 years ago, yes, in one area of Christian Europe. And still brought up by the proud successors to the Inquisition, the Islamist Criminals and others who create mayhem and kill indiscriminately in the name of their invisible friend. Again, get over it. It was 500 years ago, lots has happened in the world since then while you have been stuck in your medieval slow lane.

But do they actually believe this? Do they believe that what they do is ordained by whoever the voices in their heads are pretending to be this month? If they do have a true belief in whatever version of God they prefer, have they read the book that came with it? I know that sometimes these things are a little obscure, like a 70’s VCR manual, but come on people, try to pay attention. It’s not all death and mayhem. I fairly sure that somewhere in amongst all the colourful and often archaic language there is something there about not killing, maiming and destroying. Read it slowly, use your finger to follow the words if you must, but figure this out.

At the end of the day though it is impossible to argue against fundamentalism, the ‘I’m right – you’re dead’ attitude does not lend itself to rational thought or discussion. It is hard to find common ground with someone whose irrational intent is to kill you, somewhere, somehow.

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction Blaise Pascal

People wring their hands over this problem. All religions are not bad, all Muslims are not like this. Quite right, they aren’t but the use of religion in the name of violence is a disease, if it were an animal it would be a rabid dog and we would shoot it.

But we cannot. We try to understand and rationalise it instead, an impossible task. As I have said in the past these criminals need to be treated as such not as some moral or religious martyrs which they are most definitely not. They are the lowest of the low and need rooting out and destroying by everyone else.

In the end what they do is annoying, it will cause longer queues at airports and increased security everywhere we go as the security theatre takes over our lives. That is annoying, but what will be destroyed in the end is the very thing that they say they are committing the atrocities for: Islam. And the true, peaceful followers don’t deserve that either.

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