Hindu and Muslim Taliban are first cousins

In numerous earlier posts, I have been scathing in my attack against Islamic extremism. Piqued by the unabashed critique, some have counseled a gentler tone so as to not alienate “moderates”.  I have previously debunked the validity of that proposition and hence I will not being doing that here. Still others have urged me to consider that Islam is not the ONLY violent game in town and that there are others who deserve similar condemnation.

Religion is fundamentally divisive because it promotes an Us vs. Them mentality.

Although I fully agree that Islamic militancy is not the only plague of our times, the subject of those posts were specifically Islamic terrorism / militancy and hence I did not feel the need to dilute the subject matter of my post by including references to its virulent brethren. However, this time I would like to show that fascism is NOT the sole preserve of any one religion or any one community. Religious chauvinism has a common formula that is adopted and exercised by different practitioners. In doing so, they tweak the superficial elements (color: Green v/s Saffron or name: Lashkar v/s Sena) – but the basic constructs are *exactly* the same.

Toward that end I have assembled a set of pictures and I invite you to join me in exploring the similarities. Continue reading

Almost nobody truly believes in God!

When I started writing this article, I did not realize how loooong it would turn out. I toyed with the idea of splitting it into multiple posts but I’m unable to do it without fracturing the line of thought itself.  Consequently, I have put all of it in one post and I request your indulgence.

God - an all-knowing all-powerful Sky-Dude

God - an all-knowing all-powerful Sky-Dude that almost no one truly believes in

I’m given to understand (from all the polls) that America is full of religious folks (around 90%) and that atheists are a small minority. Even atheist books and blogs seem to carry the mentality of an outnumbered (though valiant) minority.

But I wonder if this is indeed true or are our cultural parameters for ascertaining “belief” misleading?  I would like to posit that most people DO NOT actually believe in God although they sincerely profess to.  And that’s what I’d like to explore in this post.

So – let’s start! I doubt any sane person actually believes in God. Not you, not your spouse, not your parents, not your devout cousin who is also a priest. Not even the Pope believes in God! Continue reading

Pakistan wants your money – No Strings Attached.

I had been working on another article for some days now. Its still taking shape as I mull over things – but this just cropped up and it is so patently absurd that I’m going to write and post it right away. If it sounds impulsive, its because it is.

How dare you tell what to do with your money

How dare you tell us what to do with your money. I'll protest by burnin my crotch!

I came across this article on the New York Times detailing the various heart-aches that regular Pakistanis are having about being told that there are conditions tied to the extraordinary aid (7.5 Billion dollars over 5 years) being doled out to them by the Kerry-Lugar bill. Apparently they feel entitled to an NSA (no-strings-attached) relationship worth $7.5B. They don’t just want your money. They want your love baby! Continue reading

The (poor) Case for God and Lisa Miller’s apologetics.

Out, Out, Damned Atheists (Sep 11 09)

Out, Out, Damned Atheists (Sep 11 09)

Its been a loooong while since I wrote on this blog (and yes… shame on me for that). I have little to offer by way of excuse or even an explanation.  It would be dishonest to say that I did not have time (although that would be partly true). But it would be more honest to say that nothing provoked me to sort out the threads of an argument and thus explore the truth content within them.

But that provocation has arrived. Albeit unexpectedly – but arrived nonetheless!

Lisa Miller recently wrote a Newsweek column raving about a book by Karen Armstrong called “The Case for God”. Frankly, the article is so full of bullshit that it took me a couple of days to ensure that my annoyance did not get in the way of my rebuttal.

Ms. Miller is effusive about Armstrong’s high-minded arguments in support of Religion and God.  However, it seemed to me that she was more thrilled at the prospect that a high-minded and noble-sounding answer had finally arisen to subdue (if not silence) the insolent atheists who ruthlessly flog religion and God.  It is NOT the strength of Ms. Armstrong’s arguments that seems to have swooned Miller but the tone of noble gallantry. In short, style over substance! I was particularly irritated by this segment :

Armstrong shows that for most of human history, “faith” and “reason” were not mutually exclusive and that even today all kinds people believe in a God that in no way resembles the God the atheists despise.

Faith and Reason are not mutually exclusive? What kind of drivel is this?? Faith is precisely the abandonment of reason! When you believe in something without evidence and despite contrary evidence – that is *faith*. What else does it mean to say that one has faith in a magic amulet or in the claim that world was created in 6 days? Continue reading

Jihad humor for the long week-end

Jihad Fail (source: Fail Blog)

Jihad Fail (source: Fail Blog)

Its been a long while since I posted anything new here. I’ve been a bit occupied with things like earning a livlihood and hence been somewhat busy. I came across this pic on the Fail Blog .

As you can see, this devout dude is fulfilling his pledge to Allah. For this act of bravado of standing up to the Jews .. er .. juice, he will surely be rewarded by Allah. And if he were to actually kill/harm the juice – say the way 9/11 hijackers did to the Big Apple – he will be handed his quota of 72 virgins.

If you don’t believe me, see the postcard sent by Mohammed Atta (of 9/11 fame) showing us his randevouz with the first of his 72. Continue reading

Moderate Muslims’ – state of denial

Moderate muslims' indifference

Moderates do not engage in Jihad but they also do not convincingly repudiate those that do.

I came across this cartoon and felt that this captured the essence of the conversation so far.

To avoid ambiguity, let me clarify that “Moderate Muslim” refers to people of Islamic faith who do not relate to the Jihadi sentiment and yet do precious little to denounce, deride and otherwise de-legitimize it.

In fact groups that purport to speak in the name of “enlightened and moderate Islam” often engage in verbal acrobatics to dress up Islam and attempt to stifle any examination of the Jihadi impulse. Nitwit Nastik had posted this excellent YouTube video in the comments section earlier. I’m re-posting it here. If you did not get a chance to check it out earlier, take a look at it now.

Continue reading

Does robust critique alienate moderate muslims ?

But it's OK to bash jews, christians, hindus and other infidels

But it's OK to bash jews, christians, hindus and other infidels

One of the pearls of received wisdom is that Muslim moderates should not be alienated in the process of confronting Islamic belligerence. I received a comment on an earlier article from Garreth where he has expressed this sentiment. I am including a quick excerpt below and you can see his full comments here and here .

“Will this (robust criticism of Islam) alienate the moderates and push more of them towards fundamentalism in the long run? Secondly, what exactly does forceful anti-jihadi discourse achieve?”

Garreth is certainly not an apologist for Islam but he questions whether it would be wiser to have a gentler approach toward moderates while continuing relentless attack on extremists. Firstly, I’d like to thank Garreth for this thought-provoking comment and then explore his question in this post.

Continue reading