How to Stop Terrorism? Explore: Definition of Tolerance, History of Muslim Religion, Freedom of Religion in America, Benefits of Critical Thinking, Terrorist Ideology, Middle East Facts.
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How to Stop Terrorism? Explore: Definition of Tolerance, History of Muslim Religion.
Muslims, a Danish Cartoon ... and Me
Over the past few years, I've found myself, over and over, thinking about some of what I've noticed happening re the Muslim religion. Actions were happening that didn't make sense to me. The action that triggered me to write: the massive response to a small Danish cartoon. The cartoon showed the Muslim prophet with his turban turned into a bomb - and Muslim rage was detonated worldwide. Something burst open within me as Muslims raged and protested, demanded that all Danish products be taken off shelves, burned an embassy.
Muslims: millions of Muslim women - 75 million, worldwide, I have read - with their genitals mutilated, many of these women as a consequence dripping urine all their lives. Muslims: suicide bombers and Muslim death squads murdering thousands and thousands of Muslims in the name of the Muslim religion. Muslims: repressing non-Muslims in country after country - so that in Egypt, which prides itself on its supposed religious tolerance, the number of Christians has dropped dramatically - from 40% to 10%, or so I've heard - over the past half century.
Muslims: finally moved to outrage by something truly outrageous, a tiny cartoon in a small publication in a tiny country.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON MY JOURNEY.
Islam, a Danish Cartoon ... and Me
Why the Muslim outage over a small Danish cartoon?
My quick answer: it shows the truth. The Muslim religion is - or anyway, has been turned into - an instrument of destruction and violence.
While some have written that the truth shall set us free, anyone telling an unpopular truth (civil rights activists in the 1960s, feminists in the 1970s, gay rights activists even now) is likely to be heralded with rage by the majority. Outrage blocks exploration.
But Muslim rage has another powerful fuel: Western sympathy. Instead of shattering the mirror, the West has generally reflected enraged Muslims back to themselves as they wish to be seen - poor hurt victims.
The West is just as good as the Muslim world at not looking at reality. Most recently I turned my eyes on that - seeing the Western emphasis on unthinking tolerance as a poisonous ingredient. Imagine saying live and let live - or all cells are equal - to a cancerous tumor. One has to take a good look at what is happening.
There's also my journey - there's a huge distance from thinking something, to putting the thoughts into words, to deciding to put them out into the world, and then, to daring to do that when all around one hears of the horrors done by Muslim terrorists.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON MY JOURNEY
Western Mental Blocks, All Opinions are Equal
Virginia Satir wrote of 5 fundamental freedoms. One is the freedom to see what is here - not what was, should be, could be, will be, might be. A powerful message from much of Islam has been: we are enraged if you criticize, and we refuse to change. That message has been met with enormous compliance from the West: all religions are equal, you have the full right to be offended, not to think, not to be shown as you are. So for the West, there is no freedom to see and explore.
The current widespread Western taboo on thinking, exploring and seeing is a dangerous taboo.
Just be accepting - it sounds like the milk of human kindness. It curdles the blood, the mind.
So, next come explorations of Western nuttiness, starting with Stupid Opinion Number One - the opinion that all opinions are equal, and from that, that all religions are equal.
I also look at some ingredients of good sane thinking.
And again, there's my own journey. I came to write after I had dealt with some of these walls in class after class. No threats. But still very tough to deal with: a thick wall, often thicker than the inpenetrable thorn bushes outside Sleeping Beuaty's castle, solid within many of my students. They wanted tolerance for everyone and everything - could not see their own intolerance of good thinking. I knew I wasn't facing only them, but all the teachers who had taught them, and the society that had formed those teachers.
Click here for articles on Western weaknesses
Is the Muslim Religion a Religion of Peace? -
And then, back to the exploration of Islam, the the quest for solutions.
Over and over I've heard that the Muslim religion is a religion of peace - with no quotes given to back up the assertion. On the other hand, I've heard many Muslims quote the Koran to show it's not a religion of peace.
For myself, I believe that actions speak louder than words - and I keep hearing of Muslim violence (of course, neither committed nor approved of by many Muslims). Still, stories stay in my mind - like the case of a CARE worker in Iraq murdered by Muslim captors after she had spent more than 30 years helping poor Muslims in Iraq. Her Muslim husband was on the air begging for her safety. There was no Muslim worldwide protest of her murder. Thousands of imams did not raise their voices against her murder. The outrage, once again, was saved for a small Danish cartoon.
One small question: if Islam is a religion of peace, why am I bothering to explore how to stop terrorism? Zen Buddhism - known as a religion of peace - does not elicit explorations of terrorism.
For those of you interested in looking at religious texts, I provide more of an exploration as well as links to websites of people versed in the Koran.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE EXPLORATION OF THIS QUESTION.
The Role of Muslim Moderates
One big question I am left with is: why are Muslim moderates not protesting en masse? Why are millions of Muslim moderates not taking to the street worldwide, week after week, voicing their outrage at Muslim atrocities? Why do I so often hear Muslim identifying as moderate insist that the Muslim religion is a religion of peace - and yet I only hear most of them voice outrage over the Danish cartoon, and not the many Muslim violations of peacefulness.
Over and over I have heard Muslim moderates speaking out against anything they don't want to hear about the Muslim religion. I have heard far fewer look closely at what is happening, and speak out against what they disagree with.
Urgently needed: change among Muslims moderates.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE EXPLORATION OF THIS QUESTION.
MORE IDEA PIECES:
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AN ONGOING BARRIER - FEAR
"You have nothing to fear but fear itself." It's a famous quote. It doesn't fit all situations. It certainly doesn't fit what is happening with Islam. Death threats. Actual widespread murdering.
Plus there is the internalized fear instilled into many of those within the religion, those who believe, that if they go against what they are told they will be punished by their deity. Hell. Fear - a very powerful tool for keeping people in line, supposedly faithful, actually too scared to think - like rabbits frozen by headlights. (Christianity has also used this tool enormously well, more in the past - but wonderfully, love is replacing fear in many branches.)
The list of those menaced by Muslims is long - menaced by violence, by murder, by the horror of hell after death. The Danish cartoonist is just one of many of those menaced. A plot to murder him was recently foiled. (Religion of peace???!!!)
I have taken a long journey here. I would also like to ask you: where are you on this journey, in every area of your life?
CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THIS EXPLORATION.
There is a lot of ground for hope. There is something called a tipping point - when all of a sudden things change. I don't know what it will take to break the hold of the kind of Islam so prevalent these days - or the hold of the mental barriers so prevalent in the West.
I know that here in Quebec, Canada, the tipping point came quite suddenly about 40 years ago, when suddenly the rigid Catholicism that had held sway for centuries seemed to vanish, as if something seemingly rigid and solid had evaporated. The tipping point, of course, can go away from good things (as democratic Germany, in 1933, tipped over into Nazi Germany) as strikingly as it can go toward something better.
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WHAT DO I WANT?
I would like the walls to come down - the walls around so many Western minds and so many Muslim minds.
For myself, I want: to see accurately, to think well, to speak truthfully.
I think of a story, The Emperor's New Clothes.
I also come to what I see as a core quality, blocked easily in humans. Easy to stop its formation, and essential to a world of far greater deep peace.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON WHAT WE NEED TO DEVELOP.
There's more of everything - of each of the topics touched on above. There are also lots of individual idea pieces. The menu is on the left - for pieces on everything from:
I wish you good thinking,
copyright Elsa Schieder, 2008, 2011, all rights reserved
How to Stop Terrorism? Explore: Definition of Tolerance,