Terror in the name of God?

There is no doubt that we have a problem in today’s world. It’s a big problem. The strange thing is that apparently we don’t want to solve it, because we close our eyes to the problem and to its root cause. This closing of our eyes is officially endorsed by almost all governments in the world and is seen as politically correct. Naturally, there is no chance to improve things but it’s likely to get much worse.

The problem is a faulty, black and white mind-set of a huge chunk of the world population and the root cause is what these people were taught to believe as the truth. The founders and subsequent authorities of those belief systems claimed that the Highest himself has revealed it. This was an ingenious way to prevent any criticism of the whole belief system, including those aspects of it which were against common sense.

I have earlier written on how Christianity was the first to cleverly claim that God himself has given the full truth only to the Church and everyone must believe it at the cost of their lives. And Islam followed with a similar claim. Terrorism in the name of God started right then, by forcing “those who are wrong” into the “right” faith or killing them. Millions of people were killed – from America to India and beyond. In history lessons, Christianity and Islam were mentioned together with communism, fascism and Nazism in having caused the maximum number of human beings murdered.

In primary school I learnt that Islam expanded through “fire and sword”. I remember this because ‘Feuer und Schwert’ was a meaningless phrase for me as a child. Only later, it dawned that it involved tremendous cruelty. This cruelty was not restricted to Islam. The Christian ‘expansion’ and the Inquisition were equally brutal.

In the 1970s when I was in University, we debated why religion has caused so much bloodshed. The debate was only on ‘why’ not on ‘whether’.

In 2000, a change in this approach became apparent. When the Pope John Paul II finally acknowledged the cruelty of the Inquisition, and publicly asked forgiveness from God, he did not blame the Church but ‘sons and daughters of the Church’ who committed ‘mistakes’. He tried to absolve the religion and laid the blame on ‘misguided’ followers.

This same pattern is followed today regarding Islam. When Jihadis attack innocent citizens shouting ‘Allah ho Akbar’, politicians and media are quick to declare that those terror acts have nothing to do with Islam but are the handiwork of misguided or deranged individuals.

The reaction is meanwhile so predictable. The standard version is:

The attack is shocking, revulsive, a cowardly act, but we stand united, won’t allow another attack, won’t be intimidated but continue with our lives, we won’t let them win, etc…

Then Muslim representatives come on air stressing that they also condemn the attack. It is the act of a disturbed person, has nothing to do with Islam, there are 1,5 billion peaceful Muslims, which is proof of the peaceful nature of their religions, etc…

Then in major cities (provided the attack happened in the west) a landmark building is lit up in the colours of the country where the attack happened, candles are lit…

We have gone through these motions far too often and there is something fake about it. The pain of those affected is real. Others may be grateful that it had not hit them – at least not this time. Yet those, who are supposed to protect us, are not honest.

True, the attacks are shocking and revulsive, but they are not cowardly acts. The Jihadi kills because he is convinced that it is his duty to kill kafirs – and he is even ready to die in doing what he feels is right. This shows courage. All those terrorists are young. It is not normal, nor easy to risk one’s life by killing others, unless he is absolutely convinced that the benefit is greater than the cost.

And what does he expect as benefit?

Probably he was taught already as a kid or has read it later on the internet that killing Kafirs pleases Allah. By doing so, he can make his life truly worthwhile, and he will be richly rewarded: he will have a better status in paradise than those who did not kill Kafirs.

Now here is where we Kafirs are cowards. We don’t dare to point to passages in the Quran, which support his expectation, for example Q 4.95 and ask what it means if not what is written there.

*Those believers who stay at home – having no physical disability – are not equal to those who make Jihad in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their persons. Allah has granted a higher rank to those who make Jihad with their wealth and their persons than to those who stay at home. Though Allah has promised a good reward for all, Allah has prepared a much richer reward for those who make Jihad for Him than for those who stay at home. They have special higher ranks, forgiveness and mercy. Allah is forgiving, merciful” (Q4. 95-96).

Imagine a pious, young, hot-headed Muslim reads this – would he not be inspired to make his life worthwhile? Even more so, if he has phantasies of becoming a hero with a gun?  He probably considers dying as a small price for a greater glory. As Sultan Shahin pointed out, children in madrasas sing songs with the refrain “zindagi shuru hoti hai qubr mein” (life starts in the grave). See link at the end.

Curiously, old, sick Muslims don’t seem to be interested in the “higher status in paradise” when it would make much more sense for them. Does it mean, they are more mature and know that the Quran must not be taken literally?

Is it not their and our duty, to save not only the potential victims of future terror attacks but also the young Muslims who are ready to throw away their lives for a promise which may not be kept? After all, Christianity also claims that only those who are baptized can enter heaven.

We need to ask probing questions.

Those must the question: why is it that in areas where Muslims have become the majority, the number of minorities keeps dwindling till they become almost non-existent? The Kashmir valley is a recent example.

Yes, it is difficult to believe that terror has anything to do with religion. Religion is understood to be something good. It connects us with the Highest and is meant to make us better human beings. We want to believe that the cause for terror is something else. ‘All religions worship the same one God. No religion can possibly condone killing others’, those of us who have not been brainwashed into a dogmatic religions, will naturally maintain. But is it true?

We need to find out. If we don’t dare to do this, we are cowards.

Let’s imagine we come to the conclusion that indeed there are passages in the Islamic texts that condone terror against infidels, what will be the next step?

Then we need to bring in common sense and reason and debate on the meaning of life and enquire into the absolute truth. India has the knowledge and must take the lead in this, because the Christian west is handicapped. Both, Islam and Christianity, divide humanity into ‘us versus the rest’, which results in a divisive mind-set. Instead, another dividing line must be drawn which Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned in one of his speeches: It is the line between humanity and inhumanity.

Terror and hatred for other human beings is inhumanity. How do we know? Because we have a conscience which tells us what is right and what is wrong. This conscience must be the holy book for us. It is the voice of the Divine which guides us through life. If we listen to it, we realize that the whole of humanity is one family. The life in all of us comes from the same, most powerful yet invisible, source.

If somebody (including a religion) demands that we ignore our conscience and instead believe blindly what he tells us, he surely has an agenda. He wants sheep who don’t think for themselves and who he can use for his own purpose.

Suicide bombers are not cowards, but they are not smart. They got the purpose of life wrong.

By Maria Wirth

Very informative: http://www.hinduhumanrights.info/reforming-islam-a-moderate-muslims-appeal-sultan-shahin/

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34 comments

  1. Namasteji !

    thought this might interest that’s in today’s HINDU –

    http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/art/on-a-quest-to-india/article8736911.ece

    [http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/02896/17FRMIKAEL1__STAMM_2896691c.jpg]

    Denmark’s Mikael Stamm’s Ph.D in Saiva Siddhanta http://www.thehindu.com Philosopher Hume wrote that books on metaphysics contained nothing but “sophistry and illusion.” Most analytic philosophers were inspired by Hume’s condemnation of metaphysics. The logical positivists

    anantha http://ananthablahblah.wordpress.com

    ________________________________

    1. thank u, will go through it

  2. Hinduism is the only way of living with dignity and mutual respect, always insisting on peace and benefit of not just entire humankind but all living beings. It is often mistaken as weakness! No, Hinduism, the comprehensive and scientific way of living that also includes search for Almighty, faith and devotion as well as means to be complete (पूर्ण) and one with Almighty, tells one to be strong enough to be a deterrent to those who believe in violence and destruction, whether for material gains or in the name of their weird religions. World can be made peaceful and a heavenly place to live by knowing, understanding and following the path of Hinduism.

    Hinduism doesn’t preach to follow anything blindly. It demands one to use one’s own mind and follow only the logical things, rejecting the ones that are not logical even if told by the wisest of wise, thus युक्तियुक्तं वचो ग्राह्यं बालादपि शुकादपि। अयुक्तमपि न ग्राह्यं साक्षादपि बृहस्पतै।

  3. Srinivas · · Reply

    The concept of inclusiveness is required to be inculcated in all children. and also to use logical brain instead of blind beliefs

  4. Ma’am the field of policy making in ancient times was dominated by learned men all over the world. The decisions they took were based on principles and pragmatism not on the basis of populism. In the present world with the advent of democracy these principles have taken a hit. Short term benefits have taken precedence over long term harms. Populism, vote bank consolidation, canvassing, lying is the new world order. So the governments are expected to engage in such practices till the world is in complete chaos because of their actions. Its a gloomy future.

    1. i am afraid you are right…

  5. Unfortunately, Christianity and Islam have contributed a lot to the misery of the world. We only see the blatant violence from followers of Islam, but the soft violence of Christianity in India is overlooked. With money coming from overseas, evangelical missions are sprouting like vermin and they convert the weaker sections through inducements and brainwash them. Many states in north east, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, etc. Will soon have a Christian majority. The church covertly asks the converts to remain secret, so that they can avail benefits of reservation. They are also collectively influencing the voting patterns.

    So we need to tackle both hard and soft violence.

    The Mother of Sri Aurobindo ashram was once asked by her disciple on why Muslims are so violent. She said that they have Force. The world appears to be swaying to this Force, so much that we will denounce Trump but will concoct all justifications to shield Muslims even after a Paris shooting. Instead, I read reports of the UCLA student shooting as Hindu shooting. Even Europe has become weak. In India this has become a disease, where even speaking of Islamic terrorism will label you as a right winger. Who will bell the cat in such an environment of hypocrisy?

    Sri Aurobindo in one of his evening talks was asked how Muslims can be made less violent, and he said that they must be made to doubt their religion. The followers of all religions are sceptical of many myths in their religious history, but Muslims still literally and blindly believe them.

    However, even in this 21st century this blind belief appears to get stronger!

    I feel the solution should come from Indian Muslims. This is the only country in the world where Islam could never wipe out the indigenous culture and has had to reluctantly adapt, and has borrowed many elements of Hinduism. Not that it has been an easy experiment, but India is the closest to a pluralistic and syncretic Islam. Indian Muslims should speak up and play a bigger role in reforming outdated practices in their religion.

    1. oh, thanks for the info that Sri Aurobindo said that ‘doubting’ is the solution. i came to the same conclusion and mentioned it in this post https://mariawirthblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/can-we-be-honest-about-the-motive-of-isis-terrorists/

  6. Monolithic religions have been the bane of world problems. Being man made, those religions have its limitations and is confined to the exaggerated imagination pertinent to that particular era. Since violence and might is right was the fundamental logic of that era – that logic was predominant in their literatures and holy books. Being unquestionable and beyond progressive thinking, violence which was the fundamental essence of these scriptures got practiced to its core even in the 21 century — the only difference being where knives were once used, now, the most damaging and technikigically superior arms and armaments are used. Therefore, to absolve religion, especially the monolithic ones from terror would be nothing more than but fooling ourselves to ridicule ‼️

  7. The Impure Anumuya kosha due to eating of meat makes the pranamaye and the vigyanumuy kosha impure ,the impure intellect will bring spurious habits and thoughts followed by such actions

    1. Correct you are Sir

  8. Dr.Bapuji · · Reply

    Your quoting Modi ji makes it appear that you are his mouthpiece.And that that does not help him much either. Truth is the only thing that one must be interested in.There was violence between veera shaivaits and veera vaishnavaits in south India. Sunny and Shiites kill each other. Catholics and protestants were not kind to each other in the past. The present day Hindutva vadis distort the religion and want Hindus also to be barbaric. They want nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Why shd we be interested in NSG? Let our human heart guide us. No army, no weapons, no borders, no exploitative business.

    1. i quoted Modi because i thought it was a great thought (i think he expressed it on the Sufi conference) and it may be a way out of the’religious’ confusion, and i did not want to take credit for it.

    2. Surya, USA · · Reply

      Dear Dr. Bapuji,

      Without membership of NSG India will not have free access to nuclear raw material like plutonium etc from the member countries. Without it the nuclear reactors cannot generate electricity and without power the industry cannot function well. That is the reason India needs it. Not for nuclear weapons.

      Shiva and Vishnu followers may have had anecdotal skirmishes briefly in one era. The shia and sunni rift has been ongoing right from the birth of Islam. The now ongoing middle east turmoil in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen, is also faught between pro Shia iran and Iraq on one side and pro sunni Saudi and rest of muslim nations on other side. Google on each conflict and get information on them.

      You said “No army, no weapons, no borders, no exploitative business.”. That means you have learnt nothing from history. Hindus were slaughtered in millions in what termed as the largest holocaust ever happened in all history by muslims from Babur, Gajani era to Aurangajeb and later. Those who have lethal weapons are now safe from such barbarism afflicting them again. Credible Deterrence is the nuclear doctrine of Indian Government, not intimidation. China’s threatening posture needs to be countered. Did you know India had tabled a resolution in the UN for many decades for nuclear disarmament by all nations, no one listened to it. Hence India had weaponized it defense forces.

      1. Sucharita Nanivadekar · ·

        Very correct rebuttal of Dr. GANDHI whatever. Thanks.

      2. Dr.Bapuji · ·

        We have been working in the villages on fluorosis for the past 4 years. Around Gogi, karnataka abnormally large number of deaths are noticed because of uranium mining. Arsenic content in water shot up because of goldmine that was abandoned. Anyhow I notice a typical antagonism to rational thinking. Does not matter- spardhaya vardhate vidya – thru divergent thinking would knowledge increase!

      3. Dr.Bapuji · ·

        History showed me thru out that humans had been barbaric. Read Sri Sri – narajaati charitra sarvaswam para peedana parayanatvam” We have to come out of barbarism of the past. Nu clear power is unsafe and not needed. Go for other sources including solar- work more to make it economical. No nuclear power. Humans do not need it. Cut down your needs- live closer to nature- love it. No isms would help us save humanism. Let us not take sides with this fanatic group or the other.

    3. If someone quotes Modi or anybody, that does not make him or her a mouthpiece.
      Quoting has to be in ncontext and one must see the context.

    4. Balaji Krishnamurty · · Reply

      I agree with the “no exploitation” part but not with “no army”.

      “No army, no weapons, no borders” is a Utopian dream. It is the ideal situation, no doubt, but will every nation adopt this attitude? If only India gives up army and weapons, and its neighbours don’t, India will be gobbled up.

      Besides, your attitude is also an “ism” – it is absolute pacifism. Why do you want to impose your beliefs on others? The rest of the population wants to be safe and secure and feel protected.

    5. Anuj Pratap Singh · · Reply

      No army no weapons no borders and then get another 1000 years of slavery in free. People like you never learn from bloody history.
      As said by Chanakya straight tree are cut first.
      Country with no army and lethal weapons will be destroyed first by this blood thirsty world.

  9. Sucharita Nanivadekar · · Reply

    Very informative article. Thank you Maria Wirth

  10. Velayutham · · Reply

    No original religion tells people to kill or attack each other. The God monitors everything on the universe and the reward/punishment will happen in the judgement day at his/her court.

    God is everything, only that every religion depicts in different ways to make people concentrate on it to divert away from routine works.

    1. Yet another confused soul sharing wisdom for Maria & folks like me

      Don’t be so simplistic…. Work hard to get a “scientific temper” to know the world around you to a good degree… And then work hard to understand the heritage that our Rishis left behind for us to know the value if it…. Lazy minds oversimplify and swees itself away to bury it’s head in the sand… More so given imminent dangers…

      Kudos Maria for this candid take on reality around..

  11. […] via Terror in the name of God? — MARIA WIRTH […]

  12. P G Kutty · · Reply

    A wonderful, insightful article by Maria Wirth. She is obviously an enlightened person, which is why the article has the light of wisdom. This is what we must teach the young generation in our schools, colleges and universities, and not negativistic philosophies in the name of scientific thinking. Maria’s article is an example of rational thinking. “There can be only one Creator”. How true! Otherwise, we would have had as many Suns and Moons in the sky as there are religions. A religion is for enlightenment, and not for blinding or benumbing one’s senses.

  13. Hello Maria … I feel like laughing at your non-sense. I was a native hindu, I don’t need lessons about my ex-religion from a foreigner with a white skin … okay. If you want to take a position, then you should have covered about Casteism in your new found religion … millions of people over a thousand years were tortured mentally, subjugated and enslaved economically, treated worse than animals, women raped even to this day … Terror in the name of what? … Dharma?

  14. Wasi Akbar · · Reply

    Please reconsider and research the actual meaning of Jihad and situations where it gets changed. In this article you just quote and exemplify the meaning of Jihad. It would be nice if you start your article with explaining what actual meaning of Jihad is , what its origin, where in what situation it used. I hope you will look in to it and correct the misconception of the Jihad through your famous blog.

    1. Anuj Pratap Singh · · Reply

      Go and teach actual meaning of jihad to those terrorists who have been killing innocent on the name god and jihad.

  15. Interesting article Maria. Just an observation. You seem to be referring to Hinduism as a way of life. Manu organized Hindu religion and formalized rituals. The current crop follows Manu instead of what was prescribed as a lifestyle. Today, they can make your life difficult if you eat beef or carry anything made from cow leather. Today, Hindu religion in practice is slowly going the way other religions have gone. Do you know that Islam provides more rights to women then Hindu religion does.

  16. Terror is like a cancerous sore, unless you treat it or operate it out its going to gradually spread across the entire body.

    The reason why the big-shots of this world, particularly one Country who had vested interest and mechanised the birth of terror so as to control and subdue another mighty nation, does not want to address this terror menace through constructive action because it was their brain-child. And it continues to play a two-faced role.

    The other Nations including ours is keeping quite since we as a developing Nation has some strategic and economic dependency on them.Secondly, we have a very brain-washed childish neighbour who is pig-headed enough to host this terror groups to “teach” us a lesson at the cost of loosing countless children to their “guest’s” bombing. Hinduism is all inclusive, we do not divide and this concept compliments our constituion of Democracy. Which is why the Muslims in our country have a comparatively comfortable life. I can bet, that had they migrated to any pro-muslim country they would not be as happy and contented as they are in India.

    The fault is in also mixing Religion and Power. Using one to gain another. Either way – its essentially and fundamentally wrong. All those “ism” like communism, fascism and Nazism were basically tools to justify “genocide”. When this “tactic” was exposed as just a means to proclaim “superiority”, it was immediately given a more “holy” foundation by declaring it as “word of God” or “In the name of God”. Now, the Western Civilization had already understood its folly, so will not fall into the same trap again. Hence, a less “exposed” and more “gullible” “blind” and not so civilized people had to be used for gaining power. Afganistan, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Israel and some African states – are all economically backward, educationally weak and basically devoid of a “sustaining” infrastructure. Easy Targets for the developed Nation especially when they have Liquid Gold to exploit and bargain with.

    Have you wondered how these economically weak states who can barely feed their population, using the latest technology weapons to wage war? Where does the money come from? Who sells them this expensive weaponary? Certainly someone who has a lot to spare.

    Now coming to the “word of God”, here is a Religion, who is like a child whose eyes are blindfolded, gagged and has a high-tech machine gun in its hand. Its ears are, however, open and the only mode of communication which it has free is being filled with only one instruction – “Kill the non-Muslims”. It cannot see, it cannot speak, it can blindly let go of the “toy” in its hand.

    Think about a man, who has grown up in a country and environment of depravity. Where he probably had to fight for his basic survival, basic education and an exposure to what is happening in the world was unthinkable. Almost like a closed room with hardly any room to move, very little light and oxygen supply meant for 10 people but shared by 30. The only solace they could get was from the “Word of God” – a mode of escape from their harsh reality. Now, he will certainly choose suicidal “jihad” for a “better” yet “unvalidated” after life.

    Observe, what are the “benefits” advertised by “Speakers for God” – 72 Virgins, Life of opulance and luxury. What kind of God would draw a person to itself with these “benefits”. These are without a shred of doubt the ideas of “materialistic” man. Which will only aim at fuelling the “greed” of another for a vested interest.

    Bang on about older generation of Muslims! They know Quran is not to be taken “literally”. And that is why the Muslim family in Kerala reported to the right authority when their young men went missing and was traced to joining ISIS. We have some hope in India. I like to believe so.

    Such a family needs to be made an example of. I think the older Muslim generation must be very careful about who are influencing their younger generation. They must share their Wisdom though happy and welcoming chats with their younger generation. Focus should always be on encouraging their thoughts and gently correcting them when going wrong. The Younger Generation of Muslims should be made to realize the stark difference between the wisdom parted by their older generation and the external misguided influence.

    Coming back to the Political Background which was the primordial ground for the birth of Terror. We, as a Nation have to ensure at any cost that we try to tear off from this economic dependency that we have with this developed Nation or if the World Economics does not permit us to do so. We must at all cost ensure that our Nation is never, never, never reduced to the same state as that of Afganistan, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Israel and the African Nations. Here is how, Developed Nation feeds on the down-trodden.

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/09/sleeping-with-the-devil-how-u-s-and-saudi-backing-of-al-qaeda-led-to-911.html

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