Just back from Stockholm: a complicated journey – tunnelbana, flyggbus, plane, train, tube, train, taxi, all the way dragging a case full of heavy Xmas pressies – which always leaves me pretty shagged out. I arrived to find a request to write a piece for the LRB in just three days, including reading the book, which is pretty tight. Hence no posts. I should finish the review tonight (the deadline), when normal blogging service will I hope be resumed.
In the meantime, Facebook reminded me this morning of a message I posted there three years ago, which I thought worth re-posting here. It may be thought provocative. I should perhaps hasten to add that I’m against all monotheisms, which insist that their Gods are the only ones, and so indulge in proselytising or worse. That’s the underlying problem of ‘religion’. I’d like to be free to choose mine – and everyone else to choose theirs – off the shelf, to suit us individually, from a panoply or Olympus of Gods; like the Greeks, the Romans and the ancient Nordics – all far superior to us in this regard.
Here’s the original post.
‘I’ve never bought into the idea that Islam is a religion of peace and freedom which is being perverted by a few extremists. Here are two good posts I found on a Guardian blogsite this morning [11 Jan 2015]:
The problem, is that many followers of Islam (the majority in fact according to many polls) believe that the Qur’an is the one and only interpretation of God’s will, and to suggest otherwise is blasphemy, punishable by death.
This seems pretty unambiguous:
Qur’an (33:57) – “Lo! those who malign Allah and His messenger, Allah hath cursed them in this world and the Hereafter, and hath prepared for them the doom of the disdained”
Qur’an (33:61) – [continues from above] “Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter.”
Islam needs a reformation of its holy text to remove such sentiments, ironically, moderate imams and clerics who advocate change of it are gunned down/killed, whatever.
Ironic really that the country of Diderot, Bayle, Voltaire and Descartes, leading lights in the age of Enlightenment and Reason should be plagued by the forces of darkness, intolerance and ignorance.
‘Of course this applies, in varying degrees, to all dogmatic religions or ideologies. It’s just that today it’s Moslems, or self-styled Moslems, who are representing “the forces of darkness, intolerance and ignorance”.’
Today, three years later, one might add Trump and his like.