Paris, the Koran, fear and violence
In the light of yesterday’s Islamic State terrorist attacks in Paris the vast majority of people are asking, “How can such monsters hide behind a religion?”
Having read the Koran (in English) from cover to cover I can make a number of comments with some knowledge. The Koran, it seems to me, is even more based on the premises of fear and vengeance than the Bible’s Old Testament, and that book is bad enough. Islam, as expressed through the Koran, as a religion that is based on fear (despite the fact that it claims predestination – everything is determined or arranged and nobody can change the outcome willed by God)
is such that I personally would not follow it, on principle, even if I believed that it was absolutely true! I would prefer to be damned into their hell and retain a modicum of self-respect.
The element of and use of fear is the only connection that I can see between the Koran and the present day Jihadi terrorists. The Koran does not advocate Jihad, other than in defence against direct [violent] attacks on the believers. Likewise, there is no mention of bourkas and hajibs. There is even no prohibition on the consumption of alcohol. At one point the prophet makes a remark that those that drink would like the wine available.
Amongst its almost endless repetition of paradise being a garden of flowing streams with all manner of goodness, fruits and other consumption the Koran does mention that the believers will be seated with bright-eyed maidens in paradise. I am not sure what the female believers were supposed to be seated with. The endless repetition of the Islamic holy book also includes endless repetition of the description of hell – endless fire and pain, endless thirst with nothing to drink that will not make the thirst worse. Cynics might say that it is a prophesy about global warming, but one that will only take place after death.
I will admit that there are other writings followed by Muslims. These recount the words and actions of the prophet and those of his immediate followers. These writings may contain bans on alcohol along with many other things [I haven’t yet read them] but they are only the words of Muhammed and his followers. THEY ARE NOT CLAIMED TO BE THE WORDS OF GOD (Allah) and are thus not eligible to be considered “inspired.”
From my reading of the Koran I can see that a lot of its words are somewhat vague, both in Arabic and in translations. Perhaps this vagueness is what the Jihadi extremists are using to advocate their vicious view of life and death. Nonetheless it is amazing that this all powerful Allah cannot make entirely clear revelations. Likewise it is unbelievable that the Jihadi terrorists think that they need to kill, destroy or do anything! Their all-powerful god surely is quite capable of taking any necessary retribution and acts of violence by himself. The Koran itself, is full of examples of God taking destruction to historical disbelievers.
While the Koran itself does contain a healthy respect for death (we all die) and some decent values – helping the poor, honouring parents etc. etc. to me it seems to be the work of a warlord (possibly schizophrenic) who came up with these “revelations” to cement his power base and frighten adversaries. It is notable that amongst the prophet’s contemporary opponents were some of his own immediate relatives. (Koran)
The question that begs is this: “Would so many impressionable young people join this violent and abhorrent nihilism if the power brokers (and many of the leaders) of both the Middle East and the entire world were not so obviously corrupt, self-serving and short-sighted?
Perhaps some of the appeal of the Islamic State is that is NOT a country or a nation. Impressionable and naïve young folk might imagine that it is devoid of the corruption endemic in the world powers. In reality such corruption seems to part and parcel of the human condition.