Why aren’t we asking these questions?

Do illiterate people actually need reading glasses?

Can you incarcerate people who break the law of gravity?

Is peace possible with cultures that have words like JIHAD in their vocabulary?

How long do you think our economy would last if EVERYONE had the ability to raise their own pay like Congressmen?

Is it possible to change your mind AFTER a lobotomy?

Do clowns turn to Courtney Love for fashion tips?

If there are 7 Deadly Sins, are there also ones that just make you sick for a few days?

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5 responses to “Why aren’t we asking these questions?

  1. i feel i must say something about “jihad”. the word itself means “challenge” or “struggle”, a form of resistance – what all of Western media and vicious fundamentalist groups keep repeating is how jihad really, is just another word for war + violence. where jihad was once seen as a positive word, it is now associated with insurgents and suicide bombers. the very definition of the word jihad is multi-faceted. teaching yourself another language which can be difficult is a form of jihad, getting out of bed and living life as best as you can when your legs have been amputated is a jihad, loving and caring for a Down’s Syndrome child is also seen as a jihad. fundamentalist groups are essentially non-Islamic on the most important fronts – suicide + killing innocent people or those disadvantaged (unarmed or unwarned) are big NO-NOs in Islam. terrorism is essentially political and those at the top of the pyramids are banking on misconceptions, lack of education and the disgruntlement of the people they hire and brainwash. it is unfortunate that today, most of us choose to see the “easier” definition of Islam, that it’s a religion rife with violence and filled with oppressed women when the truth is, most Muslims are moderates and frown on these terrorists giving Islam a bad name and women are held in high esteem in Islam – but whether Muslim men themselves treat women with respect is a different subject altogether. culture + religion are two absolutely different things, although we can argue that today, they are intermingled. some cultures come from a place where women are not respected and this is often misconstrued as the Islam we see on the news. these women everywhere, whether Muslim or not, they have their own jihads. and even when these moderate Muslims try to voice out again and again how all this is just wrong, wrong, wrong, their voices are drowned out by the explosion of another suicide bomb by another misled ‘Muslim’.

  2. It is entirely possible that my impression of the word JIHAD is based on altered information.

    First, I do understand that some practitioners within a faith can hold beliefs that are more extreme than others within the same faith. I also understand that the media present what sells rather than what is real at times. In the U.S., we have religious believers that express their faith by dancing with snakes, speak in tongues, faith heal, and a variety of non-mainstream activities. We even have televangelists that get busted with prostitutes, gay masseuses, and methamphetamine. These would be the ones who perhaps weren’t happy with having inordinate amounts of money from their viewers, demonstrating a less-than-church-like opulence that does not befit their position. We even have pro-lifers who rationalize blowing up abortion clinics, or get entangled in plots of murder and deceit (see Jeff Lundgren of the Mormon faith circa 1991).

    Unfortunately, the difference between the fundamentalist and the general believer seems to be greater in the Middle East. The expression of violence over there seems to involved a great deal more explosives. Yes, the U.S. has gang-related violence and the large cities have things like drive-by shootings. We even have the occasional riot where it seems racial tensions are high enough to cause serious problems with brief disruptions in civil obedience. However, it seems that Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other countries have citizenry who put up with gunfire in the streets and suicide bombers in market places as if they should be normal parts of a daily commute to work. Granted, those indulging in pyrotechnics hold extreme religious beliefs…some may have been brainwashed or convinced that they will be martyrs to some cause…or maybe their families will be paid for their efforts. The bottom line is that it seems this violence is engrained into their society. The violence also seems to have gone on perpetually as well. With the governments unofficially supporting the violent groups who support their personal agenda in economies that support bribery and corruption, I am not sure that there would be an easy way for moderation to come to the spotlight. The bad news is that those of us outside these countries that experience this; we get a different perspective.

    Our independence as a country does involve the act of war, complete with the use of military weaponry and soldiers. We stood up to England and paid a price to be our own group. Perhaps the dynamic in the Middle East can’t collectively fit the same mold to win their own freedom, but it would be nice for everyone to experience peace like most Americans enjoy. I seriously doubt that countries like Iraq could ever experience a democracy, but there must be some form of government that allows everyone to have a voice. The thing that I see holding most of that area back is that there seems to be a perpetual sense of revenge. People lose loved ones in some mindless act of violence and all they want to do is return the violent favor. I think that this tempers the perception of words like JIHAD where it may have a noble meaning but appears to be interpreted as “let’s kill because some of our side was killed.”

    I don’t know if anything can be accomplished externally. I think the answer lies within Muslims to collectively stand up, speak up, and do something about those who can only express faith by killing.

  3. do we have to answer all the questions?

  4. I get all my fashion tips from Courtney. I think I’ll give myself a pay-raise.

  5. absolutely! revenge killings, argh, what happened to thou shalt not kill? i don’t want to touch much on how mid-eastern govts are somehow fuelling terrorism, whether directly or indirectly (through corruption, bad governing, disgruntlement at unemployment, etc), but you’re absolutely right, the moderates’ voices are being drowned out. but i’d like to believe, that one day, no matter how far away, that we can go the right way. only felt i had to say something about jihad because i believe, correcting one opinion or showing a different perspective to a misunderstood concept is very important. small steps – they count. just like locking yourself up in a room alone with a mosquito, you will still be touched by it.

    by the way, do you wear concrete underwear whenever you see “S. Johannson” lady?

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