The author gives points on why Muslim culture tends not to "get up to speed" as other non-modern cultures have who had modern cultures and technologies encroach into their countries.
- Belief in Magic
- Belief in Conspiracies
- Lack of Innovations
- Lack of devotion to non-family/non tribal/non-clan organizations
- Lack of empowerment of women
- Lack of personal responsibility
- Lack of skilled labour
- Lack of meritocracy
The observance of Ashoura is one of the most important events in the Shia calender. Ashoura marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of Husayn, grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, in what is now Kerbala, Iraq. The death of Husayn was the beginning of the Sunni/Shia split, which persists in Islam to this day.In the past, many Shia men have demonstrated their devotion to Husayn by letting their blood flow freely from self-inflicted wounds. Today, however, many governments have tried to ban this practice, with varying degrees of success. In Lebanon, the practice is permitted, and a bloody commemoration of Ashoura takes place in Nabatieh every year.Most participants make a small cut on their head, and then beat the wound with their palm--or in this case a sword--to keep the wound open and bleeding.
Just more ancient practices. Not a big deal. Right?
Maybe not. But it's important to understand what these forms of mind altering practices lead to. We have to think clearly about following ancient practices, how useful are they, are they only useful to those groups? Or do they somehow further Humankind? Some practices are reasonable and do help move Humans as a whole forward. Meditation, for instance. But once you bring blood into it, something changes. Blood. Flesh.
The Catholic eating of the "Body of Christ". The transmutation of bread to flesh. Human flesh. Then eating it in a ceremony called "Mass". Catholics don't like to think about that. They don't see it as canibalism. It's a religious thing. God said, it his Human flesh. Really? Yeshua (Jesus) according to the Hearsay in the Bible, at the last supper, said to eat meals as if you were eating his flesh and blood, but over the centuries that wasn't good enough, and the Church, changed it into saying they were actually changing bread and wine into flesh and blood. Isn't that a telling thing? Magic, wouldn't you say? Or, is it the divine mystic's wishes?
Magic and magical thought really are what they seem to be. Belief in the unbelievable. Changing bread to flesh, wine to blood, is by definition, "Magic". Deal with it. That, is a fact. The belief of what you are doing, is not a fact. Magical thought is the belief in things that are not scientifically proven, or are not proven "facts". Not a "belief" in so called fact, but a proven fact. Saying that you have an ancient text and therefore because of your "faith" or "belief" in it, that therefore makes it a fact, is a belief in unproven scientifically supported evidence and therefore, by definition, you are believing in nonfactual, unproven, and it's a short leap of "faith" to arrive at the belief that those things are in some way, magical, or that at very least, you are participating in "magical thought".
So just how modern does that make you?
I wouldn't be so quick to laugh at these "backward" cultures, because we in our "modern" cultures, have enough of the backward still exiting among us.
When you support the belief in something that has no foundation in reality, or scientific proof, you allow the possibility for those belief's to go off in tangents, both for the good and the bad. We have also seen, time and time again, that "Historical proofs", has proven to be inaccurate and sometimes, completely fantastical. Remember that in many many cases, history is written by the winners during an era, or are self supporting in their contentions.
This was proven in great detail by the History book "A Distant Mirror" where Historian Barbara Tuchman went to the historical archives of bills of lading, showing what was purchased in certain events, thus "proving" (as best as possible and better so than using Historical accounts and hearsay as has been the case historically and in many cases, History books have cited History books, and so on, until coming to the beginning of the thread, you find it was based upon hearsay or common beliefs!).
Therefore, we see negative and self-serving elements within the Muslim community, terrorism, misconceptions, beliefs in conspiracies against them (some being accurate, or semi accurate) and leading to inappropriate responses to these beliefs.
To allow this kind of belief to be generally accepted, as in other religions, or any religion, then you allow these kinds of things to remain vital and alive. Therefore, Christians also has a responsibility in these terrorists actions. Any culture that believes in mythologies as reality, has a responsibility; Jewish, Buddhists (if they believe magical imaginings), whatever organized nonsense that is around. Like has been said before, if you're not sure what it is, you should be able to recognize it when you see it. But on the other hand, I don't expect everyone will be able to. Why? Because we have so many who are taught not to think critically, to believe in the imaginary. To believe in "magic" is a wonderful thing, to really believe in magic, is by definition, insane.
If they are going to retain their beliefs in questionable Historical events, then they should have a responsibility to do something about those other religions who are going about killing people. However, if you do then have those other religions taking action, you will have a religious war from opposing factions of Humanity. Something we certainly do not need.
So what is the one way to assure we don't have anymore screwed up beliefs in religious murders? That would be the elimination of organized and individualized beliefs in magic and mythology (that is to say religions, Christian, Islamic, Jewish, etc.); disbanding them, eliminating them, and then having people educated in logic, thought based upon reality, and an ethics of a Humane, Full World Community based view of living in a world of tolerance. At very least, it would take those who wish to believe, realize that they are having beliefs in things that are inaccurate or imaginary in some cases.
How can you say, if you believe in ancient myths, that the other guy over there, who also believes in ancient myths, is wrong? Even if they believe in a death based, murder based religion?
Because, what is the basis for saying they are wrong and you are right? Ancient texts with no basis in reality? That simply makes no sense at all.
Foolishness you say? If you cannot see who this is true, then perhaps therein lay the problems we face today with these religious fanatics who have diverged so far from their original intent that they have completely lost their way.
And long will be the road to fix it if everyone does not soon start to realize just what it is they are doing by believing in "facts" that are both questionable, and dangerous.