One of my favorite television programs is “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO. This week, one of the members of Maher’s panel included CNN’s Fahreed Zakaria, whose news magazine programs I usually find very intellectually honest as well. However, on this occasion his unusual display of anger at Bill for telling it like it really is about Islam really caught me by surprise.
The two of them only found one point of common ground that they shared on the program which actually was further off base, that being that ISIS, Al Qaeda and other such fundamentalist Muslims are somehow a separate “cancer” inside the religion of Islam. I think if Bill thought more about this, he would realize that is not a proper characterization.
ISIS, Al Qaeda and other similar “radical” Muslim fundamentalists are simply putting into action exactly what the KORAN teaches and commands of them. How can you call such devotion to the core teachings of Islam, sick as they are, a separate or somehow deviant cancer from the rest of the believers of that religion?
Fortunately Bill did close the topic of discussion out by making the absolutely correct observation that just because hundreds of millions of Muslims are not currently joining in the beheadings and mass killings of others outside their beliefs, that DOES NOT mean they do not believe that such a fate is justifiable under the teachings of Mohammed in their Koran. Recent major PEW research polls of Muslims worldwide have born this fact out.
If I may use the same metaphor, the “cancer” as it relates to things spiritual that we as a human race are dealing with is on a much broader scale…It is the cancer of “organized religion” overall, and the hate and bigotry that it institutionalizes, plain and simple.
To be clear and fair, Islam does not corner the market on such hate and bigotry written by men, ostensibly in the name of God. Christianity and Judaism are just as guilty of being such a cancer, and these main three organized religions have been the overwhelming reason mankind has not been able to create peace on this planet together.
These “Big Three” as they are called, have only served to divide and condemn throughout history, continuing to this day, instead of uniting each other in the true spiritual understanding that we are ALL brothers and sisters, all equally an active part of what “God” is, never having been separate or “lost” or “condemned”.
But “condemned” is what all of them teach is the case for all those who are not of their religion. This is man-made horse sh#t – or excuse me, maybe more accurately called CAMEL SH#T – and that is the cancer we’re dealing with!
The cancer is not a devoted group within Islam that is carrying out the true orders of the Koran for an Islamic caliphate with the goal of worldwide sharia law under Islamic dictatorship. This is what the Koran teaches, and make no mistake about it, this IS what ALL Muslims actively believe.
Hundreds of millions of Muslims DO NOT DISAGREE with the fate of “infidels” being that they deserve to meet a violent death at the hands of “holy soldiers of Allah”…Hundreds of Muslims understand that the Koran calls for death by execution and condemnation for gay people, and the same fate for those who commit adultery or leave the Muslim faith, thus becoming a heretical infidel.
Fahreed Zakaria jumped all in Bill Maher’s case because he had the guts to point some of the above truths out on his show. Zakaria kept wanting to say that to say such things is only going to offend Muslims. Since when did it become un-American or wrong to “offend” those who teach hate and bigotry? Isn’t that what Dr. Martin Luther King gave his life trying to stand up and set an example for?
But the biggest problem is not even which religion is currently engaging in violence in the name of God…The BIGGEST problem, the source of the cancer, is the fundamental teachings of condemnation of all others, found in both the Bible and the Koran. That means we have to be willing to offend members of BOTH the top 2 organized religions in the world.
Because just like hundreds of millions of Muslims do not disagree with the fate that the Koran teaches for “infidels” that is currently being practiced by ISIS and Al Qaeda, hundreds of millions of Christians believe that all others outside their faith are condemned as well.
And by the way, Christians also believe in a similar “Jihad” of sorts, that being that ultimately the fate of all others outside their faith is to be destroyed by the “army of Jesus” upon his return from the sky, riding a horse on a cloud, etc…etc… (So maybe we are back to “horse sh#t” being more appropriate after all.)
Bottom line: The cancer is much more the man-made hate and condemnation found in organized religion, not just who is currently being violent in the name of God/Allah. The cancer of hate and condemnation, rampant in organized religion, is the large “tumor” blinding mankind…keeping mankind from opening their eyes to the understanding and real healing power of true spirituality.
True spirituality does not condemn, it only loves, heals and forgives. Unconditional love by nature cannot have any teaching of “condemnation” of others…Forgiveness by its nature also cannot condemn. To condemn is the ABSOLUTE OPPOSITE of forgiveness.
It is time we stopped being weak, conformist sheep, and started being willing to OFFEND those who teach hate, bigotry and damnation “in the name of God”, whether they be mainstream Christians teaching that man-made message which is rampant all throughout the Bible’s scriptures, or whether they are mainstream Muslims teaching that man-made message found all throughout the Koran.
The cancer is ALL those who believe such teachings in the name of God/Allah…it is ALL who choose to adopt the bigoted belief that their religion is the ONLY one, and all those outside of it are not equally their spiritual brothers and sisters.
(Check out all of Connie Bryan’s editorials on her blog atconniebryan.com)