Friday, January 09, 2015

I Pity The Fool

I’d wager Bill Maher is going to have a fatwa on his ass by this time tomorrow, after the new-season debut of his political talk show tonight on HBO. He’s already in trouble with Ben Affleck—not to mention many in the Muslim world—for postulating that of all the world’s religions, Islam boasts a following peculiarly interested in and actively carrying out acts of heinous barbarity, specifically in pursuit of their faith.

Most Christian sects are peaceful, in that when their believers do terrible things it is not in the name of their God or their faith, it’s usually just business, or bad decision-making. Or garden-variety crazy. But rarely so crazy that they believe God wanted them to commit their crimes. And when they do think God told ’em to do it, they still make headlines. They think it was God in their ear; we know it was just plain old Crazy talking.

I Googled up the top ten world religions and it reads like a Who’s Who of pacifism. After Christianity and Islam, you’ve got Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and at least two or three other “isms” I’ve never even heard of before, none associated with violent practices.

Judaism comes in at number 6, and while the state of Israel is generally not considered anything like pacifistic, they don’t export their military wrath without non-God-based actionable intel. One may or may agree with their policies, but we can all agree they’re based on pragmatic and strategic considerations, not carried out in the name of their God.

So yeah, among religions, Islam is the one thing that is not like the others. I refuse to Google up the gory details, but I was watching the CBS news last night and Bob Schaeffer ran down the appalling number of civilian murders by fanatic Muslims in the name of jihad just this week. It was in the hundreds and included whole villages that have been massacred. IS is still overtaking and terrorizing its corner of the world. Boko Haram is still committing mass atrocities to scant media attention.

And the list went on and on. Every single one of the criminals self-identifying as an Islamic sect, acting in the name of their God and holy war against the infidels.

There is a violent, metastasizing cancer in a number of radical Islamic factions, and it’s spreading the world over. Why shouldn’t Bill Maher be able to say so? Why shouldn’t anybody?