Wednesday, January 14, 2015


There are so many different kinds of Islam that the word Muslim can mean almost anything. There are also many different kinds of Christianity. There are no Christian ethics and morals. There are many different kinds of “Christian ethics and morals”. American right-wing Christianity and Liberation theology have nothing in common. Saudi Arabian Wahhabism and Sufism are totally different ways of interpreting Islam. It's meaningless to speak of Christianity and Islam. These words don’t mean anything. Being human, however, is to be human. To be a human being means something.

Designations, religious as well as political, can cause terrible wars and conflicts. These designations are not just covers to hide underlying motives. Sunni or Shia, Hutu or Tutsi, Catholic or Protestant, Serb or Croat, nationalist or liberal... A religious or political designation is not just a pretext to pick a fight. The designations are the causes of conflicts. We don't attack those who we believe are on our side, who describe themselves in the same way as we do. For those who live in Iraq the designations Sunni and Shia are extremely important, although all Iraqis really belong to the same group, humanity.

What distinguishes a Sunni Muslim from a Shia Muslim? What distinguishes a Jew from a Palestinian? Some believe in Santa Claus and others believe in the Easter Bunny? How can different beliefs be so enormously important?

Why is it so important with fictitious identities? Why is it so difficult to abandon a fictional character? Are you like an actor who doesn't change clothes when you go home after work? Are you sitting there on the commuter train as Hamlet or Ophelia? Why is it so hard for you to simply be human? Why is it so incredibly important for you to dress up and pretend to be someone else?

Is it possible for a human being, do you think, to not classify himself or herself, as something other than a human being? Is it possible to drop all religious or political identities? Is it possible to opt out? Why is it so difficult? I mean, you don't need to belong to any particular group in order to do the laundry or the dishes. Most of the day you totally forget about how you are labeling yourself. What makes it so difficult to extend this natural mindset to all of your day.

It's difficult to leave a destructive cult. I can understand that. You will lose all your friends. But it is possible. If you happen to be a Muslim it is even more difficult. A Muslim who wants to leave Islam is committing a serious crime and can be sentenced to death. The only option for him or her is to pretend to be a good Muslim, to go through the motions, to play a game, and try the best he or she can, to stay sane.

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