Religion is Harmful - Islam Edition

Introduction

In previous installments in this series I talked mainly about the harm that Christianity causes society, primarily focusing on how it harms and even sometimes kills, children. I had, at the time, planned on doing the next installment about gay marriage however gay marriage was made legal by the Supreme Court and so it seemed unnecessary to talk about and this series was scrapped.

I've decided to bring the series back and focus on a subject that some atheists in the West seem reticent to talk about, namely Islam. Now personally I don't talk about Islam much because I was raised a Christian and escaped from that religion, so I believe I have some insight and know what I'm talking about when it comes to Christianity more so than Islam. However that doesn't stop me from condemning or speaking out about the details I do know about certain brands of Islam.

A Religion of Peace?

Just like with Christianity Islam bills itself as a religion of peace while it's holy scriptures and history tell a story of conquest, bloodshed and hatred. The difference between Christianity and Islam today is that while secular Western society has castrated the once blood-thirsty and torture-happy religion of Christianity and brought it into a new age of reason and enlightenment the same cannot be said of Islam. Even mainstream Muslims often support morals and teachings that seem utterly abhorrent to us in the West.

Usually these practices and morals are protected behind the veil of multiculturalism however that is because the meaning of multiculturalism has been diluted over the years. Originally multiculturalism was the belief that cultures could come together under one set of laws, under one government, and exist in harmony with it. We wouldn't judge the Irish or the Chinese for their odd customs as long as those customs fit within the law of the land.

Now America has always struggled against xenophobia, racism, and ethnic tension but over the centuries we have become a melting pot of cultures and ethnic backgrounds. But modern multiculturalism, often preached by far left progressives, seems to put forth the idea that we are not allowed to judge another culture at all, under any circumstances, even if what they are doing flies in the face of everything we stand for and is objectively horrific in it's results.

Naturally I reject this, because it is this doctrine, along with political correctness, that is used to label anyone who criticizes Islam as an Islamophobe or racist. Islam, Muslims, are not a race or even a single ethnic group so it is genuinely nonsensical to say that anyone criticizing Islam and Muslims must therefore be a racist. Such tactics are meant to shut down the conversation shielding Muslims as if they are some severely oppressed minority.

Terrorism

Of course the main harm that Islam does in in inspiring terrorism. While yes the causes pushing people to terrorism might include sociopolitical ones or even the invasion of those countries by people they want to expel but it would be naïve to ignore the part that religious identity and religious delusion play in terrorism. Often times members of terrorist groups will cite directly verses from the Koran openly admitting that part of their hatred stems from the religious delusions they have come to believe.

The Bible is, of course, also filled with bloodshed and directions from God to do horrendously evil things but as I said, with the exception of a few fringe groups, Christianity has left those verses behind. Modern Christians reject those calls to violence and tend to focus on other more positive parts of scripture. While some Muslims also do this, the liberal and moderate Muslims, there are millions and millions who do not.

The Koran has calls to smite the necks of infidels which inspire acts of barbarism such as beheadings. Yes, in the 21st century, we are still dealing with people so evil and sick that they would behead another human being. We are dealing with an ideology that drives young Muslims to blow themselves up often times targeting other sects of Muslims. In this way Islam actually does more harm to other Muslims than it does to people from the West. It is other Muslims which suffer most under the insanity of extremist Islam.

Spilling Over

But the violence and cultural depravity of certain brands of Islam are spilling out into the West as migrants come to Europe. While some of these migrants are people seeking refuge and safety from their war torn terrorist haunted part of the world some are not so innocent. And even those who are merely fleeing, or those born in the West, can sometimes find themselves seduced by the extremists. We have seen a number of people from the Western world self-radicalize. There have been stories of citizens in Europe who go off to fight for Isis.

Unfortunately the authorities in European countries are hesitant and afraid of condemning certain acts committed by Muslims even those which seem to stem from clear cultural differences. There have even been stories of sexual assaults and rapes being all but ignored by authorities who feared being accused of racism if they arrested the Muslim suspects.

This is scary and is clearly caused by the overly politically correct fear of condemning Muslims. I'm not saying that Islam itself condones abusing girls, although Islam certainly does not condemn hitting your wife, but that FEAR of speaking out against Muslims is a way in which this religion is doing harm to the world. Fear of accusations of racism and fear of terrorist reprisals are beginning to impede investigations of crimes and infringe upon the right to free speech across Europe.

Cartoons

Even here in America we have had attempted terrorist attacks. A right wing group hosting a “Draw Mohammed” exhibit to exercise their freedom of speech and expression was the target of a terrorist attack that ended with the two would-be Islamic radicals shot dead. While you may utterly disagree with what this right wing group stands for and believes I would hope that anyone who believes in free speech would support their rights to draw cartoons of the prophet Mohammed no matter how heretical, insulting or profane.

Yet not everyone in the West seems to agree with some of the far-left throwing people that Draw Mohammed under the bus as if they were ASKING FOR IT. Some even call such blasphemy hate speech, as if in a country with freedom of speech and freedom of religion we are not allowed to blaspheme a god we don't believe in.

Of course in Paris there was also an attack on the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo which sparked a great outpouring of support from around the world. However again there were some who acted as if they had it coming and there was the disgrace of nearly every news report in America blurring out and censoring the drawings of Mohammed when they aired the story.

It is disgusting and morally outrageous to me that Islam holds the world in such a death grip and that certain people on the far-left will defend the outrage of Muslims as if it is justified. Islam, like Christianity before it, needs to join the modern secular world. It is not hate speech to insult someone else's ideas or someone else's religious figure. In America we don't blink twice when Jesus is insulted. When Jesus shows up on Family Guy we don't get outraged and go and shoot Seth Macfarlane or call for his death or his job or his arrest.

For us to bow to the superstitions of Muslims and cower in fear at their threats at the cost of our freedoms is SHAMEFUL.

The Kool-Aid man meets a pirate?
The Kool-Aid man meets a pirate?

Treatment of Women

Women are thought of very differently in Middle Eastern cultures and cultures touched by Islam. There are many places, for instance, where large percentages of the population believe that a woman should be beaten or even executed for cheating on her husband. A Pew Research poll, for example, found nearly 89% of Muslims in Pakistan liked the idea of stoning as punishment for adultery. It is shocking the way women are treated in certain Muslim countries which have a genuine patriarchy set up.

Not only are women in some places in the world kept covered at all times, in some places from head to toe, but in some areas they are not permitted to go to school or learn how to drive. Women are literally kept “in their place” in these societies and apparently within the teachings of these branches of Islam, that place is an inferior and uneducated one. In some backwards countries women even have their genitals mutilated although this can include certain Christian countries in Africa as well. The reason for doing this is to reduce the pleasure a woman can have.

This sort of barbarism is frightening to me especially in this modern age of technology. And what scares me is how many people will preach that criticisms of Islamic doctrine are somehow indicative of racism or generalization. The 0.8% of the American population that is Muslim may not be so primitive as those in countries who want homosexuals stoned to death. However even in Britain somewhere around 71% of the Muslim population do not think homosexuality should be tolerated.

It is one thing to say that their culture is different but when it is genuinely oppressing people and supporting horrifically barbaric ancient laws all grounded within their religious belief I think it would be stupid NOT to condemn them. Multiculturalism does not mean that we allow horrible beliefs to hurt other people and it doesn't mean we cannot criticizes the beliefs of people half way across the world.


Conclusions

These are just a few of the ways that Islam is holding back our species from moving forward. It is even lagging behind Christianity in almost every way, from the treatment and tolerance of gays to women's rights and of course Islam far out performs Christianity in terms of global terrorism. To make matters worse it is often other Muslims that suffer under Islam be it from car bombs and suicide bombers or from being oppressed and not allowed to go to school or show your face in public.

Even here in the West the dangerous influence of Islam rears it's head through self-radicalizing terrorists and attacks on those who freely criticize or insult Islam. To make matters worse fears of being called an Islamophobe or racist have frozen some members and institutions of our societies and stopped them from speaking out or acting when Islamic radicals do horrific things.

Of course not all Muslims or Islamic ideas are the problem but that should not stop us from speaking out about the millions who do hold to dangerous or oppressive beliefs.

We must condemn religious extremism and oppression wherever we see it. We must be free to speak out against superstitions and beliefs that we see as harmful or wrong in some way. It doesn't take years of study to see that Islam has a profoundly negative effect on the world today and that hopefully by engaging Islamic ideas and speaking out we can tame Islam the same way that Christianity has slowly been tamed and then some!

Thanks for reading!

More by this Author


Comments 8 comments

lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Titen

I've spent a few years in the Islamic world and can tell you every country is different! In Egypt most of the folks there wanted to 'throw off the shackles' but were afraid (this was twenty years ago). When they did in the 'Arab spring' the Muslim brotherhood (extremist islamic group) took over and said they'd protect the minorities, within weeks churches were being burned and anyone who disagreed thrown into jail (Egyptian prisons are your worst nightmare!)

A year later the Army stepped in, arrested the government and restored a secular regime where minorities were protected! The West wanted to put sanctions on Egypt for getting rid of a 'democracy' but they need them to fight Isis!

The Kurds in Iraq when I was there were Muslim but are sick of the hatred and tears, as one Kurd told me "We've had Islam for a thousand years and all it's ever given us is bloodshed, hatred and tears!

Thats why they're fighting back!

By the way if you look back right to the very beginning Christianity was preached by people who really did want to practice the 'golden rules' but got hijacked by those who thought to use it for their own gains!

Really enjoyed this hub

Lawrence


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 10 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Thanks for the comment Lawrence.

It is sad that the victims of the more extreme versions of Islam are often the peace loving Muslims in those same countries. Hopefully the Muslim youth will not succumb to extremism but will instead lead a peaceful revolution to change the faith from the inside out in order to make it more tolerant and discard the vile and violent part of the scriptures.

"By the way if you look back right to the very beginning Christianity was preached by people who really did want to practice the 'golden rules' but got hijacked by those who thought to use it for their own gains!"

Indeed, the bigger a religion gets and the farther it spreads the more people will use it for their own means and yet, ironically, the bigger it gets the more validity and social acceptability it gets. Most people seem opposed to smaller cults but although cults don't always have pure or morally good foundations under them there aren't nearly as many hands in the pot as there are with full fledged organized religions.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

I think you 'hit the nail on the head' Its when religion gets 'organised' you get these things. For me, even Jesus had real problems with 'organised religion'


rjbatty profile image

rjbatty 10 months ago from Irvine

We happen to be living in a time where there is a clash of cultures -- this seems inevitable. You cannot have part of the world living in the 12th Century and another part in the 21st. Unfortunately, some groups such as ISIS picked up or bought 21st Century weapons, so the wars going on in the Middle East are truly horrific.

I do not regard ISIS as a genuine Muslim forefront. I think most of the guys in the group are simply disenfranchised and angry as hell. We can trace their roots to the Iraqis (specifically the Republican Guard) who were just kicked out of their jobs. They use the Koran as a calling card, but it's a ruse to help recruit and solidify their mob mentality. They are keen on making money, holding onto it and even perhaps earning some territory of their own. Even groups such as Al Qaeda have denounced ISIS, and from what I read, fight them when they can.

But trouble is definitely bubbling. With the huge influx of refugees (and ersatz refugees) fleeing to Germany (and other EU countries), there has already started to be a backlash. While Angela Merkel holds her arms wide open (along with an astonishing number of followers -- even now), the situation is only bound to reach a tipping point.

Maybe I am looking at the whole chaotic situation pessimistically. Maybe this strange infringement of Middle Eastern people will glance around and start to question their own values -- that would be a positive. But, I just don't know if ethnophobic Europeans will tolerate this mix up much longer.

Not long ago the French were up in arms about Muslim women wearing burkas. Now, what are they going to do?

The US is only allowing a few thousand "refugees" into the country. Well, we wouldn't tolerate more. How many is Switzerland letting in -- probably zero.

I'm not a Donald Trump fan, but he does raise a point by asking, why aren't these people fighting for their homeland? Why the mass exodus from Syria? Sure, no doubt, the country has become a complete hell hole, but I question -- why not stand your ground even if the Russians are bombing you to pieces? What motivated the people of Syria to decide to take the long trip to Germany? Was it out of a sense of self-preservation or an opportunity to leech off Germany's cradle-to-grave kind of society? And didn't this exodus motivate other dissatisfied Middle-Eastern and North African people to mass toward what they believed to be a better life?

If we have many more mass rape episodes, you can bet the Neo-Natzis and other far-right groups to start burning refugee camps and committing who knows what other sorts of atrocities. Merkel will be pulled into the streets and dismembered or hung on a pole like Mussolini.

None of this will bode well for a melting together of Muslims and Christians.

As you stated the majority of Muslims are not for us. They consider our civilization as decadent and destined for self-destruction because of our liberalism. A good faction of them hate our guts -- not just because we appear decadent but because we had the audacity to invade their sacred lands. It's hard to get concrete statistics on this, but the divide is very real and alarming. When you get widows willing to become suicide bombers, you know you've got a real problem.

Eventually, the more technologically advanced culture will dominate. Even using human shields will not save ISIS from its ultimate demise, although it may take many years. We can't "carpet bomb" them, we can't even use cluster bombs because the group doesn't line up in regiments. I suppose we have enough conventional weapons to turn the entire Middle East into a moon-zone, but we still care about civilian lives, while they do not. We have one hand tied behind our backs because we are impelled to take the moral high ground.

This is sort of odd in a way when you think about WWII and the atomic explosions over a mostly civilian population over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The object of war is to win -- as expediently as possible. I've read that it would take the lives of a million Marines to take the Japanese homeland. Dropping the bombs was horrendous, but ...

I'm not advocating anything here. I don't have any easy answers or solutions. The way I see it, this clash of cultures will be a long, ugly battle because a radicalized religious fanatic, a zealot, will always be able to evade our security, and we will consequently have to endure losses -- some large, some small.

It's a hell of a time to be alive. Jeez -- why are we still playing Cold War games with the Russians? We have our disagreements but at least they are living in the 21st Century.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 10 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"It's a hell of a time to be alive. Jeez -- why are we still playing Cold War games with the Russians? We have our disagreements but at least they are living in the 21st Century."

Good point, Putin seems to be committed to ridding the world of Isis and is much more cavalier about the use of force. Whether that's a good thing or not I don't know but it seems to have stirred up some antagonism between us and the Russians. It kind of reminds me of a detective who has another detective come in and start working the same case, trying to catch his bad guys. America wants to police the world and when Russia steps in to do it for us we get a little pissed.

If Muslims want to earn the trust of even the more xenophobic in the West they need to do what the Chinese and other ethnic minorities did before them and adapt to the law of the land and the prevailing culture that they come to. I feel that the Islamic ideology, especially regarding Sharia, makes it difficult for them to see themselves as part of a new culture rather than as a separate entity simply living inside. This separation makes them easy targets for the alt right and white supremacists and the plain old xenophobes who just don't know any better.

In the end Islam must become more moderate and these cultures must, as you say, join the 21st century. Unfortunately for us in the West there is very little we can do other than stay informed and speak out when necessary, the reformation of Islam will have to come from within, bombing them to hell can hurt far far more than it helps and tends to radicalize even more people.


rjbatty profile image

rjbatty 10 months ago from Irvine

Russia's involvement in Syria is up for grabs. According to most Western media, Putin seems more concerned about flattening any opposition to Syria's president, Assad. This is a strategic interest, and the US has admitted it isn't really sure which tribal groups are radicalized terrorists and which are not -- both of whom may be anti-ISIS. So we indiscriminately offer them weapons.

The Russians seem to be bombing any group that isn't pro-Assad and some have speculated that they aren't really that concerned about ISIS -- this according to US intelligence (take it as you will). Supposedly, the US and Russia are trying to agree on which groups are actually terrorist-related and those that are just trying to overthrow the Assad regime. Good luck on this endeavor.

I'd rather see Russia building its sphere of influence on a global scale (and let them take on some of the policing) rather than worry about some maniacs blowing holes in jets.

The US HAS to give some leeway here with countries like Russia and China. They want their piece of the pie. We can afford to let them have it. It's costing us a fortune to be the principal police force for the entire globe. The Cold War is over (or was supposed to be), and our country could save a fortune by dismissing that countries like Russia present an imminent threat. It's ridiculous.

But returning to your main point -- something MUST happen to trigger a different mindset upon the Islamic people. Lopping off heads, stoning women, etc., just isn't going to fly in the modern age. Although some portion of this population would prefer to see the West reverse course, this is a futile hope. They can send their zealots to conduct selective bombings, but this isn't going to change our entire culture. Most people still feel comfortable sitting at an outside cafe even if there is a small risk of some maniac ready to blow up his motorcycle beside them.

You can kill thousands of us, but it won't change the way we think or behave. It's just an impossibility. Even if this group of maniacs were to unleash a dirty-bomb or expose some portion of the population to a chemical/germ type bomb/virus, it still wouldn't alter our thinking. If anything, it would cause us to become more militant, more ruthless, less discriminating in a reprisal. So, they have everything to lose and nothing to gain.

But, you know what it's like for a zealot to capitulate.

My stupid answer to the quandary is to parachute in several million working iPhones into a combat zone and let the populace start communicating with themselves and with others in the outside world. It would be cheaper than the cost of a single fighter jet, and just might be a bigger difference than dropping bombs that sometimes land on hospitals.

Drop them old issues of Playboy magazine (not the new ones) and let them go nuts over things they may have only fantasized. In short, "bombard" them with our decadence and see if it doesn't have a certain persuasion. Certainly, the clerics would declare this as "evil from above," but I tend to believe that this "evil" stuff might cause a small shift in the average man's thinking. Liberalism is ... liberating. If you can expose people to it, it can enlarge the mind -- or at least cause it to create a schism.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 10 months ago from Houston, TX USA

USA TODAY Monday, January 18, 2016 7A

Pope visits synagogue, rebukes violence

Speaking to a synagogue in Rome, Pope Francis said:

"Violence by man against man is in contradiction with any religion worthy of that name."

Judaism, Christianity and Islam should adopt the above principle and place it in their Holy Books. The only way out of a violent world is to teach Peace.

We personally must learn to reconcile with our families and neighbors. Collectively it would produce peace.

Very good article. I invite you to read Hub, "Cartoons to make you think."


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 10 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Thank you for the comment Jay C OBrien!

Islam has catching up to do when it comes to helping secure peace in the world. The wealthy and opulence of the Catholic church comes from centuries of violence and abuse and it too has a lot of work to do in helping the world move forward for all the centuries it set us back.

I'll be sure to check out your hub when I get the chance.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working