I must confess that the last few days have been difficult. At the weekend two people in the town where I lived lost their lives to an explosion which wrecked their house (and those adjoining too), the cause is yet to be identified. Added to that my dad isn’t in the best of health lately and its causing some concern. For me personally though, my body blow came on Tuesday. I saw an eye specialist/surgeon who basically told me I probably will lose my eyesight prematurely because of a problem that cannot be resolved by surgery, in fact in some respects its just a matter of time. Travelling back home on the train I felt detached and numb, the current problems I’m having with my sight made me even more conscious of matters and it made me realise how truly vulnerable we are in this world. I think in the past I’ve relied on surgeons and medical help but the truth of the matter is they cannot cure everything. The news took some getting to grips with but will not deter me from living life to the full, though I face a problem, as the great Carthaginian general Hannibal once said “I will either find a way or make one”, and that’s how I view the current obstacle in front of me.
Then yesterday came those dreadful events yesterday in London in which a soldier lost his life to extremists, that alone made me realise how lucky I still am. Today David Cameron made a statement saying this had nothing to do with Islam despite the fact the killers had shouted “Allah Akbar” when decapitating the unfortunate soldier who they’d ran over in a cowardly fashion before doing so. The scenes on the news were shocking. It turns out one of the killers was a Christian before converting to Islam. A fleeting thought passed through my mind that you don’t see Christians killing people in this fashion but then images of Charles Manson, David Koresh and Dena Schlosser filled my head (among others).
Many cultures are underpinned by religion and when you have a multicultural society then religious views only serve to increase friction which ignites as they clash. Take away religion from multiculturalism and you’d not have nothing near the same problems. The prime minister obviously chose his words carefully on the news and so did various Muslim leaders on different news platforms because quite rationally nobody wants to incite more trouble but as we know violence breeds more violence especially if fuelled by racial or religious hatred. More bizarrely today the BBC published an article which said immigration was down, was this purely coincidental among current tensions?
Politicians and religious leaders chose their words carefully because words are power tools, whilst they tried to swerve away from Islam the blunt truth is the killers would have been inspired by words from the Koran that encourage violence, here’s some quotes of Muhammad;
“Slay the idolators wherever ye find them”
“Fight those who believe not in Allah… nor acknowledge the religion of truth”
“Smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger tips off them”
“O prophet exhort the believers to fight”
The thing is, people still believe this stuff and similar rubbish in the bible and its time we grew up mentally and consigned religion to history. As for the greater Muslim community here, I know most of you are peaceful and yesterdays tragic events aren’t representative of all but I think your religion is backward and repressive. If we look at its sources its basically borrowed much from Christianity and added other bits, Muhammad’s main goal seems to have been conquest and conversion whilst he was alive and of course that continued after and is still continuing. That said, Muslim fundamentalists and Christian ones, they are all the same – aggressive.
Getting back to the title and point of the thread though, the reality is life is often very cruel, just take the recent Oklahoma tornado for instance, would any Christian like to try and justify that to me in a God sense? Many of us shy away from the reality and cruelty of life because it disturbs us but sooner or later reality comes knocking. nature and life are cruel at times and nothing sums it up better than this Gary Numan quote I found the other day;
“If nature is proof of God’s amazing creation then I have truly seen the light, and the light is black. Nature is genius at its most cruel and savage. No benevolent God could have come up with such an outrage.”