truth is stranger

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

what we need to understand about islam and terrorism

I am not sure why, well correct that... I understand why people, which would include the media, politicians and many, simply uninformed, individuals would look at islam and muslims with a simultaneously awkward and hopeful gaze. It is a hard subject to approach on a number of levels, not the least of which is factually.

However, when scrutinized with an unflinching eye for facts one simple truth is revealed. islam and the koran promote intolerance, murder and subjugation of sexes and non-muslims. Is this all the koran espouses? No, of course not! Yet the most dangerous despots and harsh political systems of history have never achieved success and the ultimate depravity they have unleashed through single-minded origins.

One of the key elements that people mistake in approaching this subject is the core understanding of what islam truly is. Many Westerners view it as a religion, in fact, numerous weak-willed leaders refer to it as 'a great religion of peace and tolerance'. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Muslims and apologists will deny this by showing parts of the koran that do, indeed, advocate peace and tolerance. What they will not show you, either through ignorance or deceit is the portions of the koran that were written later than these early more tolerant elements. The latter portions of the koran invalidate these earlier writings - literally and instead promote murder and oppression.

Islam is not a religion. It is a religious political movement with the goal of creating a world Caliphate where sharia law is the law over all and non-believers are either killed or made 2nd class citizens.

This would be akin to a Christian world government except the love thy neighbor part is changed to offer them a chance to convert then either kill or subjugate them.

Imagine how those who would consider this writing to be intolerant might react to the concept of a Christian government!!! Oppression they would scream! Backwards, bible-thumping idiots! And while I might agree with them in many ways and express the same opposition to such a notion, these same people/organizations will bend over backwards to simplify and minimize, even deny the truth that islam is a far more dangerous reality than the notion of a Christian world government.

How terrible! How intolerant! How racist! will be the cry of the unaware and pseudo intellectual elements of society. They will turn away as if at the site of blood or something unbearable to witness and all will again be well in their world of hybrid cars and NPR. (both of which I like by the way).

How wrong will be the cry of most muslims who will be either a)ignorant of their koran or b)all knowing of these truths and simply denying the obvious.

How true! will be the far smaller voice of former muslims or those with enough fortitude to wade through the cesspool of painfully awkward and sad truths that make this post factual.

For those that have been able to get this far and want to know more - the strange truth is out there and plain to see. If you are a peaceful muslim and pained by this writing I offer you my sympathy - I hope your side wins but your religion is lined up against you and you know this.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

the road less traveled

Recent discussion of "Into the Wild", the Sean Penn film of the true life and death story of Chris McCandless has stirred some thoughts that have been long left in the attic of my younger mind.

  For those caught unaware, this film, based on Jon Krakauer's novel of the same title, tells of the journey taken by a fiercly idealistic young man in the prime of life from the wealthy suburbs of D.C. to his death by starvation on a long abandoned bus in the wilds of Alaska.
  Two suggestions - 1) Read the book... 2)Find the last self portrait Chris took, emaciated, holding his death note and study his eyes and his smile (this is not that photo but one of him earlier at the bus)...

I don't have a copy of the photo - I hear it is in the September issue of Men's Journal - which I will get - but I do recall seeing it years ago, somewhere, a magazine perhaps, and it struck me to the core then, as recalling it does now.
note: Now I do have an image(see below) but it is not a full size image.

This young man and I had a lot in common at that age in life - clearly a mystery to anyone who has read some of my bile-like blog drivel. But to avoid self promotion in light of what I percieve as this kid's saintliness, for lack of a better word, I wont blather on about myself.

I wont spend many words, either, on those who call him an arrogant fool who got what he deserved, ending his life by walking into wilderness with no maps, a 10 pound bag of rice, a gun and some books. These people seem inexplicably trapped in some sort of shallow and sad version of pragmatism - that or just stupidity.

What I do want to say is that Chris, in complete contrast to the Grizzly man of more recent death-in-the-wild fame, stands out still, as he did when I first heard of him, as a heart-breaking yet awe-inspiring example of the beauty and tragedy of youthful idealism - a testament to the noble heart juxtaposed with the raw truth of nature.

Chris McCandless has become the stuff of folk-lore that should be celebrated. And while it is said the movie Penn made is only kind and glorifying of him, I see nothing wrong in that at all.

One of his last acts was to take a photograph of himself, standing near the bus under the high Alaskan sky, one hand holding his final note toward the camera lens, the other raised in a brave, beatific farewell. He is smiling in the photo, and there is no mistaking the look in his eyes: Chris McCandless was at peace, serene as a monk gone to God.

His note reads: I have had a happy life and thank the Lord. Goodbye and may God Bless All.

Original 1993 aritcle by Krakauer from Outside Magazine.
Men's Journal September 2007 aritcle.
interview with Sean Penn about the film