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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Realm of the Damned

On a late summer afternoon in a hotel lobby in Athens, I sat waiting for the heat of the day to abate before I stroll alongside the marina. I've been going there late in the day to hear the harmonious sounds of a sail catching wind and the gush of bleeding froth from the scarred face of the sea. Relaxing in a corner, I was watching people go by. Eager fresh bodies coming to Greece to bask in the sun and laze on her sandy beaches. Tired long faces burdened with the insipidity of personal lives or the stink of business deals gone rotten. The banal display of emotions and the happiness and misery of total strangers filled me with a foreboding loneliness. I have learned a long time ago that I am most lonely when I am in the middle of a crowd. However, I have come not only to accept but to embrace my solitude as a trusty friend and entertaining companion. My eyes were deciphering the flickering images and sending them to my brain, saturating it like a sponge with forming notions. I was ripe to write. A seemingly innocuous apparition can trigger an avalanche of words. A sexy and rotund butt for instance would toss me in bed after midnight. I would strew the words into an improbable script, wrap it around my nakedness and scribble it in between the folds of the white sheets. Yet wickedness has its own iniquitous way of stirring me as well, of shaking me up considerably and forcing me to venture into the realm of the damned. And, this is the turn my mind took in Athens.





The sliding doors split open admitting a whiff of suffocating and sticky air into the cool lobby. In walked a man of the cloth, a thirty something years old Greek Orthodox priest, dressed in mourning black from head to toe, beard uncouth, eyebrows hawkish and ugly features wreaking of oppression and hoariness. He eyed the patrons haughtily half expecting them perhaps to kneel in reverence and servitude. I was, I suspected, the only one who took notice of his presence and in no uncertain way he was aware of that too. He stood in the middle of the vast hall waiting for something to happen.





Does he have an appointment with God, I wondered. Well, there was a bunch of cute North American chicks with supple white legs and full swaying breasts gathered in one corner. Take a look Hideous Father, may be something would stir under that sooty robe of yours. Or what about the middle aged couple there, huddled so close and holding hands, afraid of wasting a single moment away from each other. Perhaps they can teach you a thing or two about the love you never knew. Nah, my day was destined to be ruined completely when an older bowed priest followed in. The wear and tear of years have turned his hair and beard into one giant white broom. The miserable sexagenarian hurried without vacillation toward the repulsive younger cleric then.... then for God's Sake bent down and kissed his hand.





God's obsession with robes and uniforms and his distaste for nudity and permissiveness are fascinating and intriguing divine aspects to my humble mind. What went wrong after he created us nude and sexy and made him change his conviction? Why does he want women to dress like sacks of potatoes and men like idiots? What about his fetish with hair? Why does he insist that women should cover their heads?





What if a woman shave her hair? Does she still have to hide her scalp? Is the top of her head too erotic for innocuous men not to get wild and ejaculate in the middle of the street? But most importantly is the question about the differences and the common ground between all the major religions. Why do they vary so much in the definition of the divine being to the point of being fully contradictory to each other while they, by and large, agree about oppressing women, limiting sex, rationing pleasure and forbidding certain practices? Was it an inherent design fault that slipped the mind of God? Didn't he consider that a woman's butt might prove too attractive to a horny man? Was woman in her present glory and allure an unfortunate accident? Did he intend her to be a utilitarian reproduction machine, a closed Dodge Van of a sort, but instead ended up with a Red Hot Ferrari?





These questions and many more were never in fact directed to God by me. They are, however, intended for the dimwits who have been meddling with our ethos over at least the last two millennia. As I disgustingly observed an older man bowing and kissing the hand of a younger one I couldn't help but reminisce that the Greek Orthodox are not the only ones promoting hierarchy and advocating the inherent favoritism of God. The Catholic Church is notoriously imbecilic in its public and secret practices. Jewish Rabbis and Muslim Sheikhs (and now as if we didn't have enough tomfools the new wave of Muslim Sheikhas: Priestesses even if they vehemently deny being so) are as guilty as their Christian colleagues in their thirst and quest for earthly power on account of their special ties with “upstairs”.



A gentle westerly wind stirred the leaves in the trees of Athens as I walked by the marina. It was still quite hot and muggy but the young men and women knew how to undress properly for the weather. They gingerly exposed their suntanned bodies for the seagulls, the boats and for me to see. Some of which were pretty hot babes but amazingly I didn't jump anyone. I stood at the edge of the breakwater watching the sun disappears behind the masts. It took the Greeks a little longer than their European neighbors to give their religious establishment the finger. How many years before the raucous wave crashes on our shores, I wondered. Not too long I know, for the winds of change are steadfastly blowing.

50 comments:

Dubai Jazz said...

I'll just grab the honor of being the first comment here, I'll be back for more....:)

Dubai Jazz said...

First, Abu Fares, allow me to congratulate you on the master piece. The turning point where wickedness starts to emerge from your word is so palpable that I almost pulled my face away from the screen ..:)…. You're the best when it comes to putting emotions into words. That's a priceless talent in itself.


As for the subject matter, and having been somewhat religious person myself, I can understand why it would be hard for a believer to find fault in the clergy. It's a complicated relationship. Some people find comfort in the presence of these people and I can't fault them or blame them for that, or maybe I could blame them only to an extent. And some religious figures, especially the humble and down-to-earth type, take the rule of community leaders when there isn't anything else to fall back upon. It's basically a societal need. And even in countries with quasi-secular government like the united states ..etc.. you'd find people sticking around priests and evangelical preachers like crazy.. and btw, I'm sick and tired of Christian evangelism even though I'm living thousands of miles away from it's physical boundaries. My satellite receiver gets 15 english speaking channels on Hot Bird, 14 OUT OF THE FUCKING 15 ARE CHRISTIAN EVANGELICAL CHANNELS. There are couple of arab speaking Coptic channels as well. But I'm still lucky I don't receive Nilesat or Arabsat. Because as I hear they're both ripe with Islamic religious preaching, and Imams giving endless fatwas and scholars of different sects taking on each other in heated debages, each declaring the other to be the epitome of apostasy…etc... Whenever I want a reminder of this headache I'd turn to youtube; see couple of segments and remember to value my collection of porn.

Gabriela said...

"God's obsession with robes and uniforms and his distaste for nudity and permissiveness are fascinating and intriguing divine aspects to my humble mind."

I always prefer to leave religion, politics and football aside in my conversations.
But I have to say I disagree with you only in one thing: I guess it's not God's obession. It's humankind's obession. God is all love and forgiveness, and I'm pretty sure he wants all of us to be happy and to live full of joy. I guess that's why he'd never admit those kind of thoughts from us.

As usual, you gave us a wonderful post.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Gabriela that "Humans" are the ones obsessed with everything related to our bodies and clothing!

I do not believe in God, so I wont contribute with anything else...

w.b. yeats

abufares said...

@DJ
The honor is all mine that you were here first, although I've known more beautiful commentators, lollll.

I agree that generalizations are what they are. Not all teachers are good or bad, not all doctors and not perhaps not all clergy. But it's not a job to start with. It's a parasitic attribute in an individual that makes him a preacher or a politician. Well that's my point of view anyway and I'm sure most people would disagree with me. But can you imagine calling what you do a job if you believe that your boss is God!!! The whole notion is weird and in a perfect society, with the absolute absence of religion, so too the preachers must disappear.

abufares said...

But Gabriela and w.b. yeats!!!
I swear you Latinas are always so short tempered...

My next paragraph started with:
"These questions and many more were never in fact directed to God by me".

You see I strongly believe that Religion is a human invention. And, myself being a humanist, I give credit and blame only to other humans for our grand achievements and our miserable failings.

Katia said...

Dear Abufares,

If only more people were able to see and admit that Religion is a human invention... The fact that every religion has a superiority complex of unmeasurable seize, making none of them truly righteous, should be enough of a proof, but unfortunately people tend to be blind to that.

Just a few days ago I had an argument with a Syrian acquaintance of my dad about the exact same issues you are discussing in this post in an all men setting, including my dad. That fool insisted that Christianity brought the concept of humanism to Europe, and his main example was women's rights, as he was targeting me, saying I should be proud of that! Of course, my answer was along the way of what you said, "...they (religions), by and large, agree about oppressing women,..." and that Europe actually started to show some sort of humanism exactly when it decided to dump its freaking clergy. While I normally am a pretty calm person, I had steam coming out of my ears as the discussion went on, ending it by basically telling him to shove his principles up his ass, that no patriarchal religion whatsoever has given women any decent rights and that no religion will ever get past humanism in my opinion.

So yeah, Neo-Christians, Neo-Muslims, Neo-whatever, we should shut them all up!

abufares said...

Dearest Katia
That's the least I can call you after you called me dear :-)

Isn't it amazing that there is more than one religion? (of course assuming they are not of human origin). Your dad's acquaintance represents the vast majority of people who do not question. I can't understand how lucky I am to be born to the right religion while all the others will rot in hell. Isn't the notion so silly and absurd? Yet it's awesome in its power. Neither the school of life nor the highest of college educations can scratch the surface of this powerful taboo that is religion unless we are really honest with ourselves and free of fear.
Freedom from fear... the greatest achievement of the human mind

Yazan said...

Always a pleasure ya Abu Fares. Reading your posts is like a fine meal with an exquisite glass of wine, the only thing you want to do afterwards is to sit silent and enjoy the feeling. Which might explain why I've been lacking in comments here lately... I simply have nothing to add.

It's funny ya abu fares how every image of the deity is painted along the lines of human characteristics. Every name of Allah in Islam is nothing more than a human characteristic, albeit, at its absolute. One wonders if they really don't see how insulting that would be to God (if there ever is one). We make out god to be nothing more than a mighty prince, we give him trivial characteristics that we would sneer at in our own peers. We make him out to be a big bot playing a little board game, a sick mind who created everyone in order to be worshiped, and who brought down vengence on those who (using their god given "freedom") decided not to worship him. And, the list goes on...

KJ said...

I was just commenting on someone's blog about how we need to stop instilling the concept of control-through-fear to our kids, so that future generations no longer need to grow up with the idea.

My take on religion is reserved to me alone, and I do not wish to praise nor bash God or religion or the followers. I would gladly share it with you in private if you wish. But when it comes to religious arguments, I honestly feel that just like religions like to claim superiority to each other, people like to claim superiority by their understand of their and other's religion or complete lack thereof.

It's therefor ironic to read a post and comments on such a topic that exactly mimics the very faults presented. In a TED seminar (I can give you the link if you wish), such things were discussed and effectively named "memes", derived from "mime", in that ideas replicate independent of genes, and people replicate those ideas with their genes to give fruit to hierarchical classifications as well as "separating camps". It goes on that the strongest memes survive, following the Darwinian approach, just like genes, though memes are more of social implications than mechanisms of physical survival, and these memes - since they can't be attributed "fit" or "unfit" or right or wrong - do indeed pose a great threat to our race.

You can interpret the above in lots of ways. I leave it up to you to choose which one.

abufares said...

@Yazan
Oh, but I too agree with almost everything you write on your blog and often find myself short of words to comment, but I do. And, I like it so much when you drop over here.
You know that you're my first friend on the Blogsphere and this is too important to treat casually.
Take care and please try to write more often.

abufares said...

@KJ
I love the way you beat around the bush. I would've done exactly the same thing at your age. Alas, I'm too old for this shit now and I have to call them as I see them otherwise I would be over-burdened with my own hypocrisy. I can't do that anymore, to myself at least, to my children who will come back and read me one day. I only want them to remember one thing about me and that is I was honest with myself :-)

KJ said...

touche

Anonymous said...

"You see I strongly believe that Religion is a human invention. And, myself being a humanist, I give credit and blame only to other humans for our grand achievements and our miserable failings."

"These questions and many more were never in fact directed to God by me".

I understood your asseveration perfectly. The point I was making is that I do not believe in God so why direct or NOT direct questions to a non-existing entity in the first place...

w.b. yeats

Anonymous said...

sorry that I posted the last comment twice...

w.b. yeats

Anonymous said...

Abufares, as you know i´m atheist,and i have just one question, HOW DO WE BELIVE IN THING THAT WE DONT SEE, AND DONT SEE THINGS WE TUCH EVERY MOMENT LIKE WATER AND AIR,
there is only one way to make life better (GREEN SEX)sex with no babys, at least no many babys,

Anonymous said...

AS THE BIBLE SAYS (AND GOD CRIATED HUMANS AS HIS IMAGE)
AND I SAY (AND HUMANS CRIETED GOD AS THEIR IMAGE)

JGM said...

فالج لا تعالج أبو فارس...Like cancer in its varied forms or a root in the dark that can only produce ugly weed; societies, high and low are infested with the likes: miserable and brainwashed human sized phallus naked of understanding...God, is only an excuse.

Anonymous said...

@ JGM

Well said!

w.b. yeats

Gabriela said...

Don't get mad at me, Abufares.
;)
It's just that I have always thought that God must not be believed to be the same as religion. And that's how I mistakenly understood your text.
:D

abufares said...

@w.b. yeats
What I was trying to convey, apparently with little success, was that religious notions of (a) god are self-defeating. Well this is too complex to fully discourse in a comment, however, in a way, what I'm saying is that the mere existence of religions negates the presence of god, if god is indeed what they claim "him" to be.

abufares said...

And w.b. yeats
I took care of your duplicate comment. I'm trying to remember if you always said the same thing twice, lollll.

abufares said...

@lê
I got in bed last night and turned the light off then... my iPhone buzzed announcing a new email.
Well it turned out that I received KJ's, w.b. yeats' and your comment at the same time.
I tell you what, I was in a somehow subdued and melancholic mood until I read your Green Sex idea to make life better and I burst out laughing for minutes on end. Thank you so much my friend, I really needed that.

Green Sex anyone???

abufares said...

@JGM
Yes my friend, how many died in the name of god, how many are still to suffer and die.

abufares said...

@Gabriela
I can't get mad at you even if I try :-)
I fully agree with you that we can believe in god without any need for religion. They are not only completely independent, they are exclusive of each other.
In fact those who follow your example are the only true believers, in my book. And, you, I can deal with anytime :-)

Anonymous said...

Abufares, when i have some dout about my (PATRIA) or about fath i ask my GURU´S advice(my guru is an old Syrian about 90 years old that fought aginst french colonizatino, when french were put out he found that his ideals were not accepted in his owne cunty, he was put in jale by the french, he was put in jale by the syrians, anD finally he was exiled,
when i mentioned to him about your post, he said to me,
ASK YOUR FRIEND IF WE CAN DEFEAT OURE ENEMY BY PRAYERS

Anonymous said...

الله يرحم أبو العلاء المعري الفيلسوف السوري العظيم اللي قال من مئات السنين: اثنان أهل الأرض جاهلٌ متدين وآخر عاقل لادين له
وهناك بيت شعر ثاني ليتني أعرفه كاملا يقول شطره الثاني
وتساوت في الضلالة الأديان.

Isobel said...

Spirituality is the freedom of personal belief and guidance. Religion, in my opinion, is about power and control over spirituality and stripping the believers of their individuality. Imagine people thinking for themselves and divining their own destinies. The heads of religion would have us believe there would be chaos...eh? I say to them...f**k off!! The world would be a better place without you! :) In other words, Abu Fares, I completely agree with you!

abufares said...

@LÊ
I have no idea whether your Guru will appreciate my answer nor not.
My answer is NO. Prayers can't defeat anyone. Science, work, art, confidence and a simple slingshot can defeat the largest army. If the prayer of 1 per 1000 was heard the world would've been such a perfect place.

abufares said...

@Anonymous
Syrian Abu Al Alaa Al Maari is perhaps one of the most significant philosophers in history.
We were never good promoters of our own culture. We collectively pray then yell at the top of our voices that we, with the aid of God, will break the fucking infidels' necks. By the end of the sermon, we praise our munificent leaders and kiss ass thus getting blessings from above and below.

abufares said...

@Isobel
I hate just to say I agree with you now that you are here and the world is a more beautiful place :-)
So here we go:
I agree with you. You are so right. Absolutely spot on. Way to go girl. Oh wonderful Isobel. I couldn't say it any better.I'm with you. You hit the nail right on the head. I rest my case. I like so much that you're here. Thank you :-)

Batoula said...

Proudly always walking against societal flow.. I don't quite agree to this lol but agree to the underlying idea. Some people are religious by name and image yet to themselves are fraud.

This by itself ruins the image of any religion. Constantly "malpracticed", mis-interpreted and biased to excuse-self with. Religion when misused is just a dumb excuse to an even dumber action.

I am a true believer that each to his own and that "lakom deenkom wa lya deen (or perhaps no deen at all). Nonetheless, the freedom to express is a wonderful thing Abu Fares.

JGM said...

@ w.b. yeats - Thank you

abufares said...

@Batoul
Although I take great pride in my freedom of expression I don't care much whether I'm swimming with or against the general flow. I follow my convictions and sometimes they coincide with society's.
Everything else you said is so true. I could've not said it any better :-)

The Syrian Brit said...

Abu Fares,
What you are saying about religion is completely in line with my own way of thinking.. but that will probably not come as a surprise to you!..
What I could not understand is the relevance of the picture of the pregnant lady, beautiful as she is.. Am I missing something?..

abufares said...

@Syrian Brit

Welcome back. It's been a while. Most importantly, I look forward you returning to blogging. We miss you around here and sometimes I feel as if I'm growing old all alone:-)

Ah, the picture of the pregnant lady! I was looking for a nude picture which in a way conveys natural beauty, inherent modesty and contrasts sharply with the monstrosity of rags, veils and robes. I wanted a nude woman who is more chaste than one covered from head to toe.
I found her by chance and the fact that she had sex and got pregnant added more meaning to the image. She stands majestically nude, eternally beautiful, a woman like she was meant to be.

Az3ar's Fan said...

I am chuckling.

abufares said...

@Az3ar's Fan

I'm chuckling too :-)

Anonymous said...

Boy oh boy is this a good post! I guess it struck a cord with me, because I have been pondering these issues myself.

I have been thinking about this very subject for a while now. I am not sure I have it down, but so far my thinking is- there must be something in human nature that drives us to believe in something beyond our linear existence. Evident by looking at the various deities, and what mainstream understanding refers to as "myths", in so called "primitive" societies. It seems to be that certain people have taken advantage of this internal and private divine connection to subjugate and control the masses. Religion is politics cloaked in faith.

At any rate, thanks for the great read! I've been a silent fan of your blog for a while.

dana

abufares said...

@Dana
Hello there and welcome "my" silent fan. Well now that you finally left your maiden comment the whole world sounds and looks nicer. Please come again.

Religion is indeed the father of politics. It's also the brother and husband. It was incest from the very beginning and it still is.
We are what we are because of the hoofs of religion/politics pushing us to the ground, rubbing our faces in the mud and forcing us to accept following "leaders" and "3oulama2".
Can you fathom the meaning of the word "3oulama2" علماء the Islamic clergy use to call themselves? Literally it means "scientists" but in their adulterated Arabic it means the "Knowledgeables". What a disgustingly abused notion, to bring knowledge to such low and despicable level by a bunch of men who have been regurgitating their obsolete and archaic knowledge for centuries. What a sad world we live in where the mass majority of us still eat, drink, breathe and fornicate under the trepidation of guilt and fear, under the benediction of the omnipresent posters of enlightened despots and the stinky robes of debased Knowledgeables.

Dana, I need to write about something more fun for you to comment again and for me to welcome you as you truly deserve.

Anonymous said...

Abufares, you already write amazing pieces. I first discovered your blog in the summer of 2006. I was planning on going to Syria later that summer for an extended stay. I grew up in the U.S. for the most part, but my family is from Damascus. I wanted to experience Syria as an adult, you know something beyond the summer visits of my childhood. Reading your posts made me even more excited about the decision I made.

I intended to stay for 6 months, improve my reading and writing of Arabic, cure olives, and maybe figure out makdous. I ended up staying for 2 years!! I loved it!! However, I could not access your blog there. I am sure if I looked into it further there would have been a way. I came back to the States a year ago to work on my Masters in Education. A few months ago I was feeling the pangs of nostalgia for my time in Syria. I remembered your blog and was very happy to rediscover it. I have been looking at "Vintage Abufares", I read your post as a reprieve when I am in front of the screen writing papers on educational theories- you have been quit a distraction. :)

Sorry for the long "comment", but I am making up for lost time. In short, thank you for the time and effort you put into this blog, I truly enjoy your writing.

Oh, and I have to tell you that one of my most memorable dinning experiences in Syria was in Tartous. The side dishes, olives and such (the things I love) were amazing! :)

dana

abufares said...

@Dana
Well I'm glad you found your way to my blog again. In fact, I'm honored.
Too bad we didn't get to meet when you were here in Syria and especially when you dined in Tartous. I hope that there will be a next time for you and I would be glad to get to spend sometime together. Just let me know.

shameema said...

It's amazig how your writing captivates even when i disagree with what you are saying. Thank you for giving the rest of us this gift of your words.

What people do in the name of Religion has soured many. But there are those who belive in religion, who believe in spirituality, who believe in mankind and who do the right people. To paint them all with the same brush of the people who abuse in the name of religion is not fair.

I am a woman, I follow the religion of Islam, I made a choice at the age of 23 to wear a scarf on my head and dress more modestly. Making that choice and following the religion has been the best thing for me as a human being, It has helped to guide me to be a better human being.

So for me, every person must find what it is that guides them to do good but to more importantly find that peace within. I cannot tell you that what I believe is the right way and I have no intention of doing that to you or anyone.

I believe that we need to keep isolating the crazy people but I think we need to be careful when we condemn something that others hold such value to. Perhaps it,s my naivete and it probably is.

Be good abufares and may you have a long life to keep us entertained with your powerful words

Maria said...

The only religion I believe in is to be good to people, animals and earth. We all know what good is, so don't let the clergy convince you that you don't know and that they will teach you. They all sound like sales men selling their beliefs.

As I believe in being good to people, part of that is to allow them freedom, and freedom of faith is undisputable. So good for them they believe in something. But why do they have to wear their faith on the outside? Ok .. to give a quick presentation of their ideologies at one glance to the on lookers .. ok but why do they care if the others know? Is it to attract their likes to feel less lonely? less afraid? But that doesn't make any sense ! Supposedly they are on the right track and that will guarantee their salvation .. so what are they afraid of????

abufares said...

@Shameema

First of all I must thank you for disagreeing with me so elegantly and eloquently.

My rant is squarely directed at the modern Islamic clergy (Sheikhs and Sheikhas, men and women). As a human being, I have an issue with them. I do not agree with their patronizing, pushy and below-the-belt methods in spreading their beliefs, even if they were the instructions of god. My son Fares of 9 decided to attend Friday sermon some time ago. I was very happy that he did because I wanted him to experience life to the fullest and makes his own decisions. After a few weeks of becoming a regular at the mosque he was approached, repeatedly, by youngsters and elders reprimanding him for wearing a thin golden chain with the Quran as pendent. HARAM (Forbidden) they told him. It will be a chain of fire around your neck on judgment day, they warned him.

Then one day as I dropped him in front of the mosque (I decided a long time ago that it's not for me)
I heard the beginning of a sermon. The sonofabitch preacher(and do excuse my language) started his sermon with a Hadith (relayed by Zeid Ibn Haretha) that if a woman goes to bed and her husband is angry at her she will go to hell, makes the angels mad or whatever... I stopped and listened to part of the sermon in my car. It was all about how women should be sexual slaves to their husbands. I felt so pissed off that my 9 year old son should listen to this trash. What kind of man will it make him if he believes that it's his god given right to treat women as such. Granted, Islam is not this sonofabitch preacher, but who is stopping him from brainwashing our kids and adults every week with crap? Who is stopping the Kubaiseyat, on the other hand, from instilling in young girls' minds that sex is for reproduction only and that women should never accept oral sex because it defies proper human nature? Who would make a Hijabed teacher shut up and not tell a 13 year old girl that although she is such a good girl she needs to wear the Hijab or she will go to hell and burn forever there?

Religion as an organized and collective movement is very dangerous. As dangerous as millions of whores and pimps let lose on the streets, in schools and public houses and allowed to preach their doctrine. Mass hysteria is the same regardless of where it comes from and organized religion is mass hysteria.

As such I never have any objection whatsoever how any one woman (or man) decides to dress and believe. But when they want to convert others to their way of thinking under the pretense that god said so... then I can't keep quiet.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post and my reply to your comment. You must be a wonderful woman to take the initiative and engage me in this fascinating discussion. I'm humbled and privileged.

abufares said...

@Maria

Thank you so much for coming over.

Your simple questions are exceptionally hard to answer. Why would a religious man or woman wants everyone to be like him or her? May be not all, but most are exactly as you described them. They have an insatiable urge to preach and correct wrongs. Unfortunately, when they attempt that they trespass on the rights of others to be left alone. To be Free. To be Sexy. To be Gay. To Drink. To Laugh Loudly. To Not Believe. To Believe in Something Different.

When I didn't find answers to my basic questions below I decided that no religion is good enough.

If Religion is the word of god then there must be one right and all the others wrong (because there are huge and fundamental differences). If that is the case, why is HE still causing babies being born to the wrong religion? What's the point of giving them a much harder exam? Why watch them fail and fall into hell without moving a divine finger.
Why?

Maria said...

If I had the answer to any of this I would have had a faith of any form.

The trouble is that our likes are the unhappy ones and those with faith have a much smoother ride.

But to expand the blanket of the urge to preach and lure others into one's own beliefs is prominent in human nature. You get it in all forms of life style choices; dietitians, fashionistas, exercise trainers, politicians, bankers ... the list is limitless. There is always an incentive: Love, business, alliance and most importantly is power. What stronger word is there to scare the weak than “GOD”? How can the weak cross examine the truth when the words are spoken on the behalf of “GOD”? By establishing the hierarchy and the closeness to godliness they guaranteed fellowship.
Like any battle in life the leaders have strategies and tactics that with time and experience they perfect. Often their target recruit are the young virgin minds, that are easily swayed specially when the most powerful tool is used, Fear. Hell that we don't know if it really exists. And if it does aren't we living in it already???

When you ask a question that nails the truth such as the question you asked, the answer is that we are being “tested” … As someone dear to my heart once said to me we have been bad students  Even babies can be bad students and are doomed to hell for being born in the wrong religion.

shameema said...

To say I didn't know who you were referring to would only be me deluding myself.

Yes I know all too well about those kinds of people but I guess for me there has always been another side.

Before that, I am so ashamed that Fares and every other person visiting that mosque that day had to listen to such nonsense. It truly does make me sick to the stomach.

Also Maria, I agree with what you and my respected Abufares says about the power hungry, and the status and the threat of a God who will punish. There is much truth in both of your words.

I was born into a Muslim family and I guess I was raised "Muslim". As a young girl, I was raised to believe I could be anything my brothers could, I was raised to believe my religion gave me equality that sometimes society didn't give me. My brothers were raised to respect women and I guess I'd go even further and say honour us. We were raised to be what I hope are good human beings and we were raised to respect others and their beliefs.

As a teenager I was very curious to know about God and if I was following the right religion. My parents helped me and encouraged to me explore every different avenue I wanted and let me make my own decisions. I explored and tried and I made my way back to Islam.

I need to make myself clear again, that I don't tell you any of this to try and convince you to believe what I believe or convinc you that religion is a good thing, I know that this is my choice for my life.

I just want you to know that in other parts of the world, religion and Islam is taught in a different way, there is alot of beauty in it, there is equality, it is not forced on anyone and it truly advcates for both humanity and peace.

I hope that through my life and my actions I can display that :)

abufares said...

@shameema

I agree with everything you wrote. I was raised exactly like you and was taught that I'm equal to my sisters. No, in fact since I'm the youngest I was brought up to respect them even more.
The wave of fanaticism in Syria is recent. In the last 15 years the government decided to turn a blind eye to organized "apolitical" Islam. And now it's flourishing like mushroom. Some of it is good while on the other hand the rest is pure poison.
Freedom of choice, in the way we dress or don't dress, in what we believe in or don't believe in should be our highest goal. Realistically, only through total separation of state and church/mosque could this be ever achieved.
Then we could proclaim: "Kel Min 3ala Dino Allah Y3inoh". To each his own.
Again many thanks for your visit. Please come again.

abufares said...

@Dana
Hello there and welcome "my" silent fan. Well now that you finally left your maiden comment the whole world sounds and looks nicer. Please come again.