The purpose of this essay is to bolster the contention that while various religions are transforming themselves to meet the needs of a changing world, some cults hang unalterably to the past like a dinosaur that refuses to disappear. For example, Islam is unalterably addicted to violence when attempting to convert worshippers who behave obstinately, stubbornly, steadfastly, unwaveringly, fixedly, obdurately, inflexibly, or unyieldingly. Normally, a conversion is achieved by faith through conviction, assurance, reliance, or devotion or it is gotten abnormally in ways that are clearly brutal. The normal is amicable or good-humored while the abnormal is truculent or bellicose. A thing is unalterable if it is like a woman's longstanding pregnancy that refuses to end soon or be delivered so everyone's anxiety is extinguished. There is a reason for this.
Perhaps, Islam should not behave as a sadist, a man who derives extreme pleasure in inflicting pain on self or on others. Doesn't a boxer float effortlessly around the ring with intricate leg work while throwing and receiving blows? There is a thin thread running through pregnancy, sadism, Christianity, Islam, and the boxing champ: they all enjoy the attention of a wider world. Islam is like a boxer who steals into the opponent's training camp just to yell and rain expletives designed to intimidate and weaken the opponent's resolve. Islam ought to get rid of the unhealthy habit of seeking attention by holding the world on sleeper hold or as captive audience ostensibly to authenticate, convince, justify its existence, or inspire terror.
It is no coincidence that people who believe in religious teachings like Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Epicureanism, Taoism, Scientology, Rastafarian have lived happily with each other. It is not surprising that aside from the historical land dispute between Jews and Arabs, those who profess Judaism are happier and fare better than Arabs who continue to wallow from one war to another, leaving behind a trail of bloodshed and misery. The world needs a system of beliefs that embellishes a smooth process of life on earth, a philosophy that provides anchor and facilitates man's transitional journey through "the valley of the shadow of death" in frightful environment. It is reasonable to believe that religion has helped man to answer such intricate questions as: Who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going? What's my purpose in this life? Where do I go when this life expires?
Everyone on earth believes there if God. Not believing in the existence of God is by itself a religious belief. Religion has helped people to hold on when there is nothing in them except the wlll that says "Hold On For A Solution is Coming!" Religion provides the will that keeps us marching on until....whatever happens in the end. Religion helps us to rationalize and hope for a brighter tomorrow. The problem is not with what religion we profess; the tragedy is with how we profess that religion. Do we live in a harmonious, peaceful coexistence, or shall we end up dead on a perilous, precarious planet? For the truly true to life few, religion calls for faith in God who is omnipotent, and omnipresent. The overriding purpose of religion appears to pull people together in their pursuit of life, health, wealth, and happiness while life lasts. And religion draws people closer in their times of mourning.
The history of Islam is the history of a people at war on more fronts than there are men to man. Can we name any Muslim nation that is enjoying peace and whose citizens enjoy human rights without all those stoning and beheadings? Becausethe Muslims are perceived as "unpeaceful" and prone to frequent outbursts of barbaric brutality, they are barricaded as farm animals under autocratic regimes ruled by strongmen in war-torn Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Arab Emirate, and Yemen. Islam must transform or be crippled as a religion of anathemas from anachronism and irrelevance.
There is so much confusion in the world stemming from animosity between sets of brothers, (a) between two half-brothers Isaac and Ishmael born to old man Abraham; (b) between two full brothers Jacob and Esau, twin sons of Isaac son of Abraham. Ishmael behaved violently toward younger sibling Isaac who was the child promised to 100-year-old man and his 90-year-old wife. Ishmael who suffered a banishment to the hot desert with his Egyptian mother Hagar, is now rearing a spiteful head of avengement.
The result has been war between brothers: descendants of Isaac (Jews) and Ishmael (Arabs). Jacob the trickster outsmarted Esau the porridge eater and defrauded him of the coveted first-son birthright. The consequence has been seen in the enmity between the children of Jacob (later named Israel) and the descendants of Esau whom we now know as the Arabs. His advice is for wise parents. Beware of encouraging sibling rivalry and jealousy. In the final analysis, Islam may find it expedient to change or be crippled. Christians may find that accommodation is more efficacious than arrogantly galloping alone .
As you may know, Jews have successfully used the argument they are the chosen people of God and the chief partakers of the promises God gave Abraham. Jews take the promise so seriously as to befuddle their enemies. Having acquired nuclear capability just to prove its point, Israel works hard to ensure nuclear technology doesn't get into Arab hands. Jews have been able to convince the Arabs with the argument: "we are better than you because God has favored us over you."
While the Arabs have believed the Jews and accepted the subordinate role, they operate from a disadvantaged position, from a position of weakness. Arabs have never made it a secret they deeply resent their brothers and desire to obliterate or wipe out the Jewish State from off the face of God's earth. Will God allow that to happen? Will the world stand by to see that happen? Because Jews have always managed to be united even under the most crushing regimes through their long exiles, persecutions and near extermination in Nazi Germany, Jews are determined to always be ahead of the Arabs in self-determination and measures of development.
For one thing, Jews are a superpower with nuclear capability. Ever wonder why Israel which is surrounded by hostile Arab nations is unafraid to sleep as peacefully at night as a lamb does in the den of fierce lions. Arabs should think it wise to recognize the existence of Israel as a sovereign nation. You cannot spill the blood of one Jew and expect no retaliation from a people whose existence has been threatened for centuries. Call it the instinct of self-preservation.
Enmity between Jews and Arabs can be traced to poor parenting skills of mothers who preferred one child over the other: Isaac vs. Ishmael; Jacob vs. Esau; Joseph vs. eleven brothers. There are the usual elements of sibling jealousy and competitiveness. Preferred kids often seem to do better than siblings not so well preferred because of the principles of self-fulfilling prophecy. X performs better than Y because X is convinced that he is superior and Y is inferior, and Y performs worse than X because Y is convinced that X is his superior. Jews and Arabs are two brothers hostile to each other but coexisting side by side. Better than and worse than are conjectures determined by strength of the mind.
The Muslims appear to be at war with the whole world on many fronts because the Arab nations believe the world supports Israel. This war would continue for many decades until the Arab world duly accepts Israel or changes its official policy. Islam and Muslims shall stop chanting religious slogan of bigotry and blood to get the support of a vengeful God. Islam and Muslims shall have to transform from the 7th century farmland to the cosmopolitan village of the 21st century. No man wants his kids destroyed in unintelligent nuclear catastrophe of the type into which North Korea is dabbling.
COPYRIGHTED 05/05/2013. DIRECT COMMENTS TO ESSYIST