Monday, 11 July 2016
Off-Topic: My head is exploding
They say that a picture tells a thousand words. This is a picture that tells a million words. Let's say ten million words, because the recent report written by Sir John Chilcot about the Iraq war is over two million words long and says nothing that people didn't already know. What an awful waste of taxpayers' money! The Scum Manifesto is only 11,160 words long, but it's the most important document of the 20th Century. The Bible is about 700,000 words long, depending on which translation you read. The Bible says a lot more than the Chilcot Report, but it contains much less wisdom than the Scum Manifesto, so maybe less is more after all. I'm anxiously waiting for a new version of the Scum Manifesto, updated for the 21st Century. A year ago I was sent a preliminary version, for which I suggested a few modifications, but I'm still waiting for the final version.
So why is my head exploding? I can't understand the stupidity in the world. In America someone shoots policemen who are doing their job, protecting peaceful protesters. Any sane person would take that as a signal that America urgently needs stricter gun control. But the reaction is the opposite. People are saying that more Americans should carry guns so that they can shoot people before they kill policemen. One thing I've heard a few times is, "The only protection against guns is bigger guns", but I know something that Americans don't: criminals always have the biggest guns.
We live in a crazy world. Things are deteriorating fast. America is leading the way into madness, and England isn't far behind. The American presidential candidate Donald Trump says that he won't allow Moslems to visit America. Despite my outspoken criticism of Islam, he's wrong. He doesn't understand Moslems or Moslem culture. I've lived in a Moslem area for more than 14 years, so I claim to know more about Moslems than Donald Trump or any of his advisers. I have Moslem friends and neighbours. I have had hundreds of conversations with Moslems about religion and other topics. The biggest problem with generalisations about Moslems is that you can't generalise. They all think differently. However, I would divide Moslems into three main groups:
1. The extremists. These are the Moslems who kill in the name of Allah. They crash planes, they shoot unbelievers and they beat up gays because they're gay. I don't know how many there are, because I've never met any. I read about them in the newspaper, and some of them even live in Small Heath near to me, but I've never talked to them. For instance, the bombs used in the 7/7/2005 terrorist attack were made in Heybarnes Road, five minutes from my house. Maybe 5% of Moslems fall into this category, maybe less.
2. The moderates. Please note, this is my personal definition of "moderate" that doesn't quite match what other people call them. For me a "moderate Moslem" is someone who believes in Allah and the Koran but wouldn't carry out acts of terrorism. They have an ambivalent attitude towards terror attacks by the extremists. They might disapprove of terrorist attacks, but they accept the terrorist attacks as brothers and have more sympathy with them than the victims of terrorism. This was most apparent to me after the 9/11 attack. One of my friends said that it wasn't too bad, because everyone who died in the World Trade Center was going to Hell anyway. Another friend said that the terrorists made a mistake, but Allah will forgive them because they had good intentions. I would estimate that about 40% of Moslems fall into this category.
3. The unbelievers. This is a controversial category, because no Moslem would admit that he belongs to it. According to Islam, anyone who gives up the faith is an apostate and has to be sentenced to death. Because of this pressure, people in Moslem communities who don't believe in Allah will never admit it. They continue pretending to be Moslems, even though they never read the Koran or pray, and they rarely visit a mosque. They keep outward religious signs like fasting at Ramadan and not eating pork just to convince their friends that they're still Moslems, but they aren't. They're unbelievers. They make up at least 50% of "Moslems", maybe more.
Usually when people talk about Moslems they lump the last two groups into one and call them all moderates. However, the two groups are so different that they need to be treated separately. Donald Trump is too ignorant to realise that the third group, which makes up the majority of Moslems, is totally harmless. It's the first group, the small minority, that he needs to worry about. The second group is more difficult to judge. They're not dangerous in themselves, but they might donate money to extremist causes. Of the three groups, the first and the third are clear cut. You either belong to one of them or you don't. The second group, which I call the moderates, is a vague group which contains everyone not in the two other groups. The attitudes can vary from completely accepting extremism to completely rejecting it, but the majority are somewhere in the middle.
P.S. If you don't know where the picture is from that I used at the beginning of this post you must have had your head buried in the sand for the last 900 years.