Tolerance, knowledge and understanding- things we dont have

Ive heard all kinds of innuendo and issues that people have with muslims- particularly in the mid east – and after I thought about it, I realised the problem is that there are many misconceptions about that part of the world and we assume we know enough.
For starters, in Afghanistan the Taliban took over the country and literally set them back in the dark ages; some people might remember the photographs that came through showing them doing things like making a huge mound of audio cassettes in the street and setting them on fire. Apart from that there is the fact that before the Taliban they suffered a wretched existance under the Russians. Not to forget the other former Soviet states that are now basically huge collections of nothing, which is pretty much what theyve been left with.

All these people have had nothing to teach them or make them understand how things have changed, they still rely on their old beliefs and ideals to see them through the dark days and nights. Also, like any parent tells a child whos scared of a wild animal – they are probably just as scared of you as you are of them. The problem is the people that teach them, they are the ones that distort the words of the texts to fit their own beliefs & this is a practice from which I have found no religion to be safe – save maybe buddhists who follow basically the 8-fold path.

A couple of things that might interest you by the way:

1. No one has the right to decide who lives or dies, NO ONE! thats the fundamental of religions like christianity.

2. In Islam the Jihad was created for desert bedouins who were very limited in number and the only way they could expand was by making war and thus bringing a new tribe into the fold.

3. Jihad always had very strict rules about the conduct of jehadis; they could not kill women and children, and they could not destroy homes and other structures.

4. To be fair about it heres a tidbit on Hinduism – in the old days you could not convert into hinduism, either you were born into it or not. The pandits used to make peoples lives into living hells by doing things like excommunicating and ostracising you and your parents if you married a non-hindu. It was only when the Mughals came and started doing mass conversions that the Hindu leaders decided to ‘allow’ conversions into their religion.

5. Last point promise – did you know that some years back there was a book that claimed that in the Kashmir region there was a training camp that was run by the Mossad and in it they were training Indian soldiers and Pakistani ‘terrorists’ side by side without either party having any knowledge of it… puts a bee in your bonnet doesnt it?

Basically what Im trying to say with all this is that it isnt really the fault even of these guys who we know as terrorists. Yes, they are wrong in what they are doing, but it is their methods that are wrong – not their faith; it is the teachers that are corrupt – not the religion.

I am not a religious person at all, but I have learned to respect the power of having faith; it allows us to reach unimaginable heights and survive the darkest depths. It is to our leaders and people in power that we need to look to for answers and we need to stop crying to God for everything, cos this is not Gods problem – when you have a problem and make a mess, you clean out your own backyard first. Or havent you heard? God only helps those who help themselves…

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