There is a very uneasy feeling throughout the world regarding the perception of Islam. Like a blanket of grey cloud on a cold, dark, December day, it feels ominous and depressing. Common folks who quietly watched the news each night from the comfort of their couches and have kept their thoughts mostly to themselves and paid little attention to Islam, are now immersed in the wretched Islamic atrocities that have been increasing around the world in recent decades. The Islamic extremists who were once considered the fringe of Islam are now seen to be potentially everywhere and are perpetrating insane brutality in Nigeria.
As the atrocities mount, one begins to question what the Quran is really teaching and how the Islamic clerics around the world are interpreting it, especially some Ayatollahs (the supreme clerics) and other Islamic leaders in Africa, the Middle East and European countries. The Islamist men who fear and maim school girls and resent and prevent women from attaining an education think they must uphold some sick interpretation of Islam to suppress this apparent outrage (as taught by clerics). Their depravity allows them to kidnap girls to be sold into sex-slavery or to shoot them to discourage others and can force others into submission or kill them without conscience.
There are two very different and conflicting messages coming from Islam at home and abroad. We hear our local Islamic community condemning these groups stating it is not Islam and yet, on the other hand, it is the supposedly learned Islamic clerics who teach and encourage their followers to kill the infidels in the name of Islam. How can school girls and their education possibly or democracy be such an affront to Islam? This form of Islam is very twisted and sickening. As Ricky Ricardo would say, “Islam, you have some ‘splainin’ to do.”
In our free and democratic society we must accept all religions and allow free association to practice and worship. However, no religion has the right to supersede our charter of rights and freedoms and infringe upon human rights. All religions must worship and behave within the law and respect others. Our democracy respects the rights of others to speak freely and associate with like-minded people, such as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whose followers, the “pastafarians” wear the spaghetti colander on their heads as a religious symbol. (It is an actual registered religion in BC and some States – Spaghetti). Who are we to judge and tell them they are wrong?
Islamists, however do not accept this principle. Their mantra is, convert to Islam or die. It is when religion goes bad that things get ugly. Their ideology is as bizarre as the Pastafarians, but at the opposite end of the bizarre scale. The Islamist trample and kill and are simply evil, whereas the Pastafarians are a harmless satirical group poking fun at Christianity and enjoying the culinary pleasures of life. So when the Islamist suicide bomber shouts “God is great..”, as they pull the cord, perhaps they exploded too soon and the sentence was cut short. What they meant to say was, “God is grating cheese” in reverence to the Flying Spaghetti Monster; after all isn’t that just another interpretation of the same God just as Islam, Judaism and Christianity profess to worship the same God? Perhaps a nice plate of spaghetti and meatballs is awaiting the martyrs in heaven. And speaking of satire, is Islam so weak and fragile that it cannot withstand a cartoon?
The extremists appear to be living in the dark ages spewing ignorant, abhorrent and misguided ideology, afraid of school girls and cartoons. They do however, make one wonder which form of Islam is really the mainstream. Is this the true undercurrent of Islam waiting to surface? Is the ideology used to butcher people in Nigeria the ultimate form of Islam for the Caliphate and the world? I don’t think so. I prefer to believe that of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, these fanatical few are really the twisted and bizarre minority, but deadly in their ideology.
Just as the Nazis swept Europe while the world dithered, the evil in Nigeria is advancing unchecked. We stood and spoke in solidarity with France but what of the thousands (and counting) who continue to be literally slaughtered in Nigeria in the name of Islam? We cannot repeat our failure as we did by turning our backs on the Rwanda Genocide. I am expecting that we will hear about some action, military or otherwise, that the UN will sanction – but if nothing is done, then we have some serious soul-searching to do.
This is not a war with Islam. It is a war with terrorists who misuse Islam. So get off the couch and let your thoughts be known to our Governments and express the democracy that can change the world; “The pen is mightier than the sword”.
(p.s. I began the first draft just before the atrocities in France. It seems more poignant than ever now)