Tag Archives: Islam

Disgusted: Paris and More

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Sometimes, it takes an event like the terrorist attacks in Paris to make people think about how completely screwed up the world is today. Paris is a reminder that this kind of thing is happening in many parts of the world. It’s not the deadliest attack by a long way, but it is very high profile, and it happened in a country where people should be safe. If it can happen in Paris, it can happen anywhere.

People are complaining that this is getting a lot of media attention while the attacks in Lebanon, Palestine, and Africa are getting little attention. The problem is, it’s always happening in those places, and we’ve become desensitized to it. When it happens in a place like Paris, everyone notices. But whether it happens in Beirut, Lagos, or Paris, all of the lives that were lost matter.

Look at the deaths due to terrorist attacks so far in November:

  • West Bank: 5
  • Somalia: 12
  • Egypt: 3
  • Lebanon: 48
  • Iraq: 31
  • Chad: 3
  • Cameroon: 4
  • France: 128+

These numbers don’t include the terrorists, only the victims. But look at October:

  • Philippines: 4
  • West Bank: 2
  • Turkey: 106
  • Australia: 1
  • Nigeria: 98
  • East Jerusalem: 5
  • Niger: 8
  • Iraq: 64
  • Yemen: 7
  • Israel: 3
  • Chad: 38
  • Cameroon: 9
  • Saudi Arabia: 7
  • Pakistan: 33
  • Bangladesh: 2
  • Afghanistan: 6
  • Egypt: 224

Really disgusting. I’m feeling pretty speechless by all of this.  It’s hard to put into words how I’m feeling.

I just wish they would stop. These acts of terrorism are done by people who have no compassion, no sense of what being human is. They have no capacity to understand people who are different than them.

And then I hear about people saying we should shut out all the Syrian refugees. That’s not going to help anything. More than anything, it’ll create even more resentment by the refugees, and will breed more violence. These people are running for their lives, running from the very same terrorists that want to destroy western civilisation. You know who most of the victims of terrorism are? Muslims. Most of this is Muslim on Muslim violence. And those terrorists are extremists. They represent such a small percentage of the population that they do not represent everyone. I know Muslims who are wonderful people.

What I can’t stand is people who are willing to discriminate against the majority of Muslims who are good people just to try to keep out extremists and terrorists. That won’t work. And I really can’t stand people who will tell Canadian Muslims to get out of our country when those very Muslims want nothing but to live their lives in peace.

Going to the even more extreme are the people who want to stop immigration altogether. Two of my grandparents were immigrants. My wife will be an immigrant. I won’t stand for that. Especially from people I know.

All I want is for people to stop their idiotic fighting and try to get along. If you can’t get along, then just don’t talk to each other and keep to yourselves. There’s no need to bother others and impose your set of beliefs on everyone. Obey the laws of the country you live in. Don’t try to impose your religious or personal beliefs on the government of the country you live in. Respect the law, and respect others’ rights to live their lives peacefully within the law. It’s actually a very easy thing to do. I don’t know why people have to make it so difficult.

This isn’t all about France, of course. This is about everyone. I long for a peaceful world where everyone can live without fearing who’s going to hate them for religious or cultural reasons. It’s a cycle that just keeps going and going. It never ends, does it?

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In Support of a Muslim Friend

I have a friend that I went to high school with who practices Islam. Actually, I’ve known her since we were nine years old. She wasn’t always Islamic, but converted as a young adult. She is Islamic, as are her husband and children.

Some people have been posting anti-Islamic posts, and she has seen them. They are friends of hers that are doing this. So, if they are against Islam, then they are against their friend.  My friend.  Someone I have known for nearly thirty years. Someone who is an honest person. Someone who is childcare specialist, and does a damn good job at it. Someone who is a Canadian. So, I say to those friends of hers, “If you’re against Muslims, then are you against your friend?”

I know, I know, you’ll probably say, “But she’s different.” How? How is she different? I hope you realise that the vast majority of Muslims in Canada are good people. And they are Canadian. They have every right to vote, to voice their opinions about how the country is governed, and to live peacefully with their neighbours. Want to know what’s great about Canada? Tolerance, acceptance, politeness, kindness. Sure, there are some who are none of those, but that happens in every country. And you know what else? Every Muslim I have met in my life has been a kind, generous, and all around wonderful person.

Muslims aren’t scary people who are trying to blow you up. The Muslims who are doing that are extremists. There are also Christian extremists who want to kill gay people. They’re a fringe. They’re not the majority. The vast majority of Muslims, Christians, whatever, are good people.

So, to my friend, you’ve got me, an atheist, to back you up. Religion doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is the person. And you are a great person. When it all comes down to it, most of us are just people who want to live a good life and make our communities better.

I wish others would think about this. Maybe I’ve changed someone’s mind. I hope so. We need more tolerance in this world. It’s something we’re lacking.

Have You Ever Created a Religion?

L. Ron Hubbard created a religion. He made a fortune off of it. He was a science fiction author. Like any new religions, it’s highly controversial. But what about in fiction?

It’s quite common for fantasy authors to create religions for their worlds. Since they are totally original worlds that usually have no link to our world, their religions are extremely likely to also be original. The author has complete creative control over the religions, and can make them as conventional, bizarre, or extreme as they like. And they’ll often form the basis of the world’s culture, magic system, and even interfere with what happens in the world.

In science fiction, real religions are already available, but over time, religions tend to change or branch off into cults or new denominations. It’s happened in the past, and it’ll happen in the future. Many of the science fiction novels I’ve read deal with religion of the future extensively (Hyperion with Christianity, Reality Dysfunction with multiple religions, and Dune with its far future mix of Buddhism and Islam).

What I’m doing with Ariadne is no different. There are three religions I have already created: a form of militant fundamentalist Christianity, a kind of mix of Christianity and Neo-Paganism, and something entirely new that develops out of an obsession with Earth.

Have you ever created a religion?

One Seventeen-Year-Old Girl Can Influence Millions – Malala

I’ve been following TheFineBros channel for quite some time on YouTube, and most recently, they posted an episode of Teens React about Malala Yousafzai.  If you haven’t heard of her before, where have you been?  She’s a Nobel Peace Prize winner (2014), only 17 years old, and one of the bravest and most amazing young women in the world.  Watch the video.

I like how some of the teenagers say they feel bad about complaining about going to school.  Once many people see just how hard Malala fought to be able to go to school, they often realise how stupid their own complaints about going to school are.  Millions of kids, especially girls, don’t have the chance to go to school because of poverty, and in some cases, religious extremists.  The Taliban don’t want girls to go to school.  I find that unacceptable.

I’m a big supporter of education, and I strongly dislike it when I hear teenagers say how school is lame, and that only losers go to school.  Must be wonderful to be too cool for school, huh?  I have to wonder how their lack of job is going.  If people are fighting to go to school, why is it we have selfish brats who think they don’t need school in their lives?  If they don’t want to go to school and don’t even attempt to graduate, then why should we pay for their welfare cheques?  Sure, some kids are deprived of an education due to no fault of their own.  Those kids need the support to be able to get their education.  But I don’t feel sorry for those who shun education and end up on the street with a very sad existence.  They brought it upon themselves.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that there were a couple of Muslim teenagers in the video.  They shared stories about how they or their families were targeted, with people calling them terrorists.  What sickens me is how this whole ISIS issue is causing people to turn on Muslims in general and call them terrorists.  For your information, ISIS is an example of an extremist organisation.  They do not represent Muslims.  This is much the same as the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church.  They do not represent Christians.  I am an atheist, and people like Stalin, Pol Pot, and Kim Jong-Un do not represent atheists.  I have Muslim friends, I have Christian friends, I have Jewish friends, I have atheist friends.  Do I care?  Not at all.  In fact, religion doesn’t even enter our conversations.  We are friends, and we respect each other’s personal choices.  That’s the way it should be.  We should not have religious extremists or fundamentalists imposing their beliefs on us.

I don’t care about a person’s religion.  I care about the person.  I care about people’s well-being.  I care about people’s right to a good education.  I care about healthy, well-educated societies.  I care about people getting along and celebrating diversity, not going to war over their differences.  And you know what?  This is something I want to show in my writing.

My advice to the world is this:  Let’s stop all this bullshit and just try to get along.  Stop with the idiotic antagonistic garbage.

Will they listen?  Probably not.  But at least I’m trying to do my part.

So Far from Canada, Yet Feel So Close

With everything that happened in the last few hours in Ottawa, I have never felt so close to Canada while being half a world away.  It’s strange.  I’ve been in Japan for nearly ten years, and for much of it, I felt a disconnect from my home country.  I’ve been living in Japan, I see what happens in Japan, and I feel a stronger connection to events in Japan.  However, this attack on Cpl. Nathan Cirillo by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau has brought my thoughts firmly back to Canada.

This has me angry.  The response I’ve seen from various people also makes me angry, as I feel a lot of it is misguided and potentially dangerous.  Some sources are connecting the shooter to ISIS and Canada’s announced involvement in the fight against them.  Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has even linked this incident to terrorism.  Zehaf-Bibeau has a criminal record related to robbery and drugs, and has had his passport revoked because he is a travel risk.  However, the terrorism link is not confirmed, and people should not start pointing fingers until we know what the motives were.

What I’m angry about seeing is that many people are condemning Muslims in general. I know some Muslims, and they’re all wonderful people who would never think of doing anything like this.  In fact, they would condemn this act.  So before people start attacking innocent Muslims over this incident, remember that most of them are as dumbfounded and upset about it as you are.  They are not the enemy.  Reactionary attitudes like this are extremely harmful.  That is all I’m going to say about this.

And to those of you trying to politicise this whole incident and make it a Conservative versus Liberal thing, shut up.  A man died.  All sides of the government are in agreement in this situation.

One thing I love about Canada is the tolerance people have for other cultures.  Please don’t let this incident turn into an excuse to exercise intolerance.