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The minority spoil it for the majority

Reader comment on item: [Pakistani Christians and] A War Against What?
in response to reader comment: Kafir...not an abusing word + 9/11

Submitted by Simon G (United Kingdom), Nov 14, 2008 at 05:20

I am an agnostic, so I do not have a religious agenda. My opinions are therefore probably more objective than either a Christian or a Muslim.

The very existence of a word like Kafir is a good example of how religion creates division. To make a distinction between Muslims and 'deniers of Islam' only serves to create an 'us and them' situation. How can that possibly be seen as a positive thing, either socially or morally?

All political leaders and religious leaders have their own agendas. This has been demonstrated innumerable times, and to think otherwise is to deny the realities of human nature. the expression 'power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely' is so true.

Therefore, it is inevitable that the people who edited and copywrote the wording that eventually ended up as the books we know as Bible or the Kuran had an agenda. The Christians had a vested interest in promoting certain beliefs to ensure that the church maintained its political strength, its control of the people, and therefore its financial wealth . No doubt whoever edited the Kuran had an agenda too, and most likely, their motivations were similar (seeing as history tells us that men of power almost exclusively lust after more power, more control and more money). Religion is, let's face it, the most effective propoganda, marketing and control tool ever devised.

In order to create a feeling of unity in the followers of Christianity or Islam, it probably helped to suggest that non-followers of the respective religions were 'bad' or unworthy people. Both religions seem to share the same view of non-believers. Therefore, words like Kafir were used to instill this feeling of division.

No rational person disputes that fanatical Muslims are in the minority, but the fact remains that some Muslims are fanatically opposed to non-Muslims.

Some Christians are of the deluded, arrogant, belief that their view of religion is the 'correct' one, and that everyone else therefore, by definition, must be 'wrong'. Thus, they are anti-Christian as well as anti-muslim (and anti-Buddhist and anti-taoist etc. etc.).

As in all walks of life, both Christianity and Islam have their extremists. The main difference, as I see it, is this;

The most opinionated, self-righteous Christians state that their particular view of religion, and in fact their specific view of Christianity, is correct, and that everyone else is wrong. However, they do not tend to condone terrorism, and do not tend to indiscriminately kill people simply because they do not share their religious beliefs. Hundreds of yers ago there was state-sponsored killing of non-Christians (The Crusades and The Inquistion), but it does not happen anymore. However, some extremist Muslims do still kill people in the name of religion (and when buildings or planes are blown up, surely they must kill some of their own?). For me, that is the most fundamental difference between the two sets of religious extremists.

I am not in a position to say how much media reporting in the West distorts the actual truth, and perhaps there are groups of Christian extremists who plant bombs and try to blow up planes that I haven't heard about, but I would be surprised if this was the case.

Surely there must be more effective ways for religious fanatics to achieve their agendas, unless of course, like me, you believe that using religious belief is simply a way of justifying something that is not actually justifiable in a civilised world, and that the actions of Islamic extremists has absolutely nothing to do with Islam at all........

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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