Hundreds of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, flog themselves to mark the festival of Ashura on Wednesday. The festival marks the martyrdom of Hussain, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, in the battle of Karbala in Iraq in the year 680. Shia Muslims mourn for a month as part of the festival.
And as if it’s not bad enough that a large percentile of the population flog themselves, there is of course the obligatory loss of life:
SANAA (Reuters) - At least three Shi'ite Muslims were killed on Saturday in a bomb attack targeting the first public commemoration of the anniversary of the death of a grandson of the Prophet Mohammad in the Yemeni capital in half a century.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but al Qaeda and its affiliates, comprising Sunni Muslim militants, have targeted Shi'ites in the past.
I wish I could say that such events are surprising, but sadly they are not. It is hard to respect the opinions and beliefs of any person’s religion, when the inevitable result is bloodshed, horror, and oppression. When children have bombs strapped to them and women are slaughtered or horribly mutilated by men based on the merest misinterpretation of a look or conversation.
At the risk of tedious repetition: religion is the shadow in which the psychopaths cloak their nefarious deeds, where they conspire to force their fellow humans to wear the shackles they deem are necessary, where they sharpen their knives with bloodlust all the while insisting that their imaginary friend is whispering in their collective ears.
No more shadows. These people, these lunatics, should be shown for what they are and roundly shouted down, not mollycoddled for their sociopathic belief system.
And all I can really hope for, is that our species survives this century. That billions of words written on millions of blogs, along with petitions, protests, and the spread of education, will some day finally, in this long tedious war of attrition, raise the headstone of religious belief, as the primitive anachronistic religions are finally laid to rest on the shelves of history, to be only looked at and chuckled over, not taken seriously.
Till the next post, then.