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Paris Slaughter & Secularism

So they butchered journalists and cartoonists in Paris in the name of Islam!  But could they really kill them? It would be a great mistake on the part of those assassins to presume that they killed others. The idea of journalism and cartoon survives the attacks of those misguided youth. They were themselves killed and could not live any longer to demonstrate their achievement of any goal, since the whole exercise was facile. They were victims of misinterpretation of religious dogma. In fact, religion, of any brand, is incomplete in itself. How silly of man to think he is capable of defending God? Is man more powerful than God? Anybody who thinks so is a sinner and must undergo penance. Nobody is as powerful as God. Misconstruing scriptures, twisting their meaning and putting interpretation on it serving hidden agenda of individuals or groups is ill-informed way of human edification. They are no different from those who use political jargon to push their agenda or economic rhetoric to entice the innocent. In fact, every branch of knowledge from religion to politics to economics, preys and thrives on the innocence of the innocents. What had these assassins achieved by butchering innocent unarmed people except playing into the hands of those who are pursuing an agenda of self-gratification? It reveals a conflict even within the Muslim community as the religious bureaucracy feels it is losing power to the state authority represented by the ruling class, including the military leaders, who enjoy all the fruits of material wellbeing of the community. In fact, many of them hold religion in great contempt if their actions are critically examined but use religion to give the impression of being devout. The question is: who is superior- the head of religion or state? The clash is between these two streams, because they often come in conflict with each other.

Why is it that the world calls them terrorists and their activities as terrorism? Is it lone wolf activity happening occasionally or a well- designed long term war? Why does the west shy away from calling it a war? New York is terror, Paris slaughter, London attack, but Bombay (Mumbai) was something else? When barbaric acts are qualified by carefully chosen adjectives, humanity is loaded with the price. Slaughter, massacre, arson, bombing, are no acts of bravery. Killing children as in Peshawar or women as in ISIS is not manly but cowardice. Destroying the seed in the womb is Devilish. Using the ingenuity and rhetoric of the Devil to justify all inhuman acts is self-deception. Because the question is always:  what is right  and what is wrong? Who decides it? What constitutes right or wrong? The success of Muslim aggressors in the past had made them draw a wrong conclusion that their cruelty to human beings was the best instrument to establish the superiority of their religion. It is flawed. The acts of terrorism inspired and perpetrated by their descendants in modern times disprove it. New York has not been frightened, Paris will not be, nor any other place or people. Once civilized societies arrive at the conclusion that the terrorist mind is impossible to change, it can return the same fire with greater ferocity. That is what happened after 9/11; that is what is going to happen in Paris. Liberal societies will watch the members of the whole Muslim community with suspicion, just for a few hot headed terrorists!

Is war essential for human existence? Or is peace alone essential? Before the Muslims, the Christians had their full quota of violence. The Muslims carried it further. Both religions pursue actively the mission of conversion of people of other faith or without faith to their form of religion. Inducements, threats, bullying etc. are weapons in their religious armoury. But it creates conflicts. Had these two religions not indulged in conversions, the world would have been a more peaceful place to live in. Hinduism never practiced conversion. So did Buddhism. It is civilized to profess your religion and welcome those who are attracted to it. But conversion is futile. The better course is respect for all religions or Sarvadharma Sambhav (which translates to same feelings for all religions). No religion should be considered superior to other because there is only one superior- The Supreme!

Life is constantly in a flux. So, conflicts too will be there in life. It is bound to affect everyone, whether one chooses to participate actively or remain neutral. Why else would the slaughter in Paris shock the entire civilized world, including Muslims? Why would people feel disgusted by the massacre of more than 2000 people in Nigeria? Why don’t people forget 9/11? The entire human society feels traumatized by acts of terrorist violence. Hence, solution needs to be found to end such violence. The only solution lies in stopping misconstruction of edicts of the scriptures e.g. “martyrdom/qurbani/jihad”. For that purpose the state has to establish institutions to deliver correct annotation of words and expressions; interpretation of scriptural texts; promoting human values. Killing of innocents never was nor shall ever be the value of any God-loving society.

Advanced societies need to check their governments whenever they adopt violent means to suppress, repress or aggress other societies they consider their opponents. The Devil should not find a safe haven in such societies in the name of democracy etc. The world has suffered many unfortunate wars, it should not actively cause another. After the end of the Cold War, it was expected that peace would prevail. Did it? No. Rather everything was done to create problems for others after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Chechnya, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq…it went on accumulating and ultimately culminated in what has come about to be called terrorism. Human society has to take the same moral ground for action in similar situations. As stated earlier, conflicts are bound to be there but ethics alone should guide the participants and not their personal considerations of gain or loss. Today the ISIS presents that kind of a conflict before the whole human race: should the barbarous acts of the ISIS be ended immediately by all those forces against any form of barbarity or it be left to itself to do whatever it wants to do?

In so far as God is concerned, human beings need not exercise their wits in defending Him or His Order in the cosmos. He is available to all. Those interested in meeting Him can do so, those wanting to feel Him can do so, those wishing to touch Him can do so, those who want to hold Him can do so. It is so because He has a form even as He is formless at the same time. He is immortal- not born nor ever died because He exists. He can’t be harmed by any weapon or cut into pieces or burnt by any fire or dried by any wind. He is omnipresent. He is omnipotent. He is not under human command though all creation is under His command. It is His world. We are only one of the millions of species created by Him to make His world lovely. Therefore, all those religious services providers, who claim sole selling rights of Divinity, are living in a world of mistaken belief of their own creation. People don’t need their services to meet God. He is their God and they are His babies. The sky is God. Touch, feel, hold your God in your palms or arms. You can’t see the whole sky for limitation of vision, so you can’t see His totality. But interacting with Him, communicating with Him and conversing with Him will give you the opportunity to see Him through His miniaturized images visible as His creations in the entire cosmos or the whole cosmos!

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