Tag Archive | "Islam"

The Root Of All Evil


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From David Anthony Hohol… 

Hers is a sample of the Earthquake causers, stay clear at all times.

Here is a sample of the Earthquake causers. Stay clear at all times. Proceed with caution when approached by Va-jay-jays.

On April 16th, 2013 an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter Scale rattled Iran, causing millions of dollars in damage, killing 34 people and seriously injuring many more. The country in suffrage, the Islamic Republic’s Clerical Leadership addressed the nation to help comfort the wounds.

“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes,” said Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, a senior Iranian Cleric.

No, really. He actually said that. He actually said women who wear revealing clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes.

The rest of the civilized world will never look at the Middle East as a whole with anything but disdain and tragic humor until backwards, fundamentalist and misogynist drivel like this stops emanating from their highest sources of power.  It is even more tragic when considering that this writer, having spent time in Iran and knowing many Iranians, has never seen a people so far removed in their thinking from its leadership. Make no mistake – the Iranian regime is truly despised by the majority of its population. 

In a region where women are valued at less than half of men, even in legal circles (women are described as having a deficiency in reason and therefore cannot give testimony as a witness in any court. Only when two women testify together will their testimony be accepted) women are often blamed for the shortcomings of men. Now it has shifted to earthquakes. What’s next?  Volcanoes? Tsunamis? Global Warming? Unemployment Rates?

Women in Iran are required by law to cover from head to toe, but many, especially the young, ignore some of the more strict codes, wearing tighter fitting clothing and pulling their scarves back to show much of the hair. Holy shit, if that isn’t cause for an earthquake, I don’t know what is!

 

You nailed it Cleric, bang on the money, it's the women, the women that cause it all I say!

“You nailed it Cleric, bang on the money, it’s the women, those dam Va-jay-jays, that cause it all I say!”

 “What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble? There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes,” stated the highly enlightened cleric.

I truly feel it’s this kind of thinking, these kinds of laws, in countries like Iran and most especially in the vestibule of defecation that is Saudi Arabian Legislation, where Islam is most damaged. Even more than the recent Boston Bomber, people look at this kind of thinking as scarier than that of some crazed lunatic; scarier because it is calmly streaming from a point of so-called reason and from those in positions of power, influence and control. 

 

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My Fellow American


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From David Anthony Hohol…

The atmosphere of wariness applied by many to American Muslims marginalizes what once made The United States of America one of the greatest countries in which to live, and the very values the country was founded upon. I am not the only one who sees The USA as in decline in terms of its moral base, a base that once guided the world. It’s neighbor to the North, Canada and it’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, has replaced the American Bill of Rights as the constitutional document most emulated by other nations. Most of the world looks at the United States as complicating world affairs, more than helping them and overall, the American image has taken a tumble. The ugly nature of politics within the country since Obama’s election to the office of President has also revealed that racism and prejudice is an issue far from being settled.

I recently came across an interesting website, My Fellow American, that touches upon these very ideals. It was created to offer a new method of chronicling the tale of Muslims in America and to provide people a safe platform to discuss their opinions. The video above is their site promo.

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Top Ten Religious Figures Of All Time


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While politicians, military leaders and entertainers come and go throughout history, religious figures last for all time, millions still following, respecting or worshiping them thousands of years after their deaths. The list below does not just include what theologians would call prophets, but also lists figures who had a significant impact on real world religiosity.  The placing of Jesus Christ of Nazareth at number one and the Prophet Mohammad of Mecca at number two was based solely on the numbers of followers, and not because of one being less or more important than the other. Putting together a list like this will invite both controversy and emotion, but it is not the intention to annoy, bother or insult anyone. It is simply a look back on those who have most shaped our ideas about faith, religion and secular thought throughout the ages of humanity.

1. Jesus of Nazareth (circa 7 BCE-36 CE)

With more than 1.5 billion followers worldwide, Christianity remains the largest single religion on Earth, and is why Jesus of Nazareth sites atop the poll. Even if it wasn’t the largest religion, however, it is beyond serious debate the impact this itinerant rabbi from Galilee has had on the planet. What is especially remarkable about this is that his public ministry lasted little more than two years, he never had more than a few thousand followers during his lifetime, he left no personal writings, and was even executed for sedition by the Roman authorities, all of which should have made him little more than a footnote in history.

2. Prophet Mohammed of Mecca (571-632 CE)

It’s hard to underestimate the impact this middle-aged merchant turned mystic turned religious leader turned military commander has had on history and the role he continues to play in the lives of well over a billion people around the planet. Considered by one sixth of the world’s population to have been the last and greatest of all the prophets, he is best remembered as the man who penned the Koran, one of the best known and most widely read sacred writings in the world.

3. Gautama Buddha (circa 563-483 BCE)

We tend to use the term “Buddha” as a metaphor for spiritual enlightenment or wisdom, but there was a real flesh-and-blood person behind the mythology. Siddhartha Gautama ideas of enlightenment and nirvana thrived in his own day. Quickly attracting a legion of disciples, his teachings laid the foundation for one of the world’s great eastern faith structures, Buddhism, which as of this writing claims nearly 400 million adherents worldwide.

4. Krishna (circa 3228-3102 BCE)

Like the Buddha, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between historical fact and metaphor when it comes to some of the most ancient religious figures. Though Krishna didn’t actually found the modern religion of Hinduism—it’s basic tenets already being in place prior to his arrival—among all of the Vishnu avatars, he is the most popular and the one closest to the heart of the people, which is why he remains so venerated five thousand years later.

5. Confucius (551-479 BCE)

Confucius (the Latinized version of his Chinese name, Kong Zi) was not a religious leader per se, but more of a philosopher whose teachings on personal and governmental morality, justice, and sincerity deeply influenced Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese thought and life.

6. Zoroaster (Unknown. Anywhere between the 18th and 6th centuries BCE)

Zoroaster, also called Zarathustra, was an ancient Persian prophet who founded the first historically acknowledged world religion known, not surprisingly, as Zoroastrianism. According to the Zend Avesta, the sacred book of Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrian philosophy entered the West through Judaism and Platonism and has even been identified as one of the key early events in the development of philosophy.

7. Martin Luther (1483-1546)

While Christianity is wrought with dozens of individuals who played a major role in shaping its doctrines and making it the faith structure it is today, few men had a greater impact upon the fragmenting the church in general than this fiery German theologian from Eisleben.

8. Moses (circa 1391-1271 BCE)

While the history of Judaism is filled with famous prophets and leaders-from Kings David and Solomon to the prophets Elijah and Ezekiel—no one man had more impact than did Moses, without whose guidance and leadership the modern Jewish religion would not exist.

9. Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805-1844)

Easily one of the most controversial figures from the first half of the nineteenth century, it is difficult to imagine how one man, persuaded that he was a prophet of God, could start a religion—the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (officially the LDS but commonly referred to as the Mormon church)—practically single-handedly, that would one day grow to over fourteen million worldwide followers.

10. Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910)

Though the founder of Christian Science doesn’t have all that many followers any more (only around 30,000 or so as of late) her impact on American religious beliefs in the nineteenth century cannot be underestimated. Her controversial perspectives on everything from the illusory nature of the material world to her de facto rejection of a personal God and the concept of hell definitely put her somewhat outside of what is usually referred to as “orthodoxy”, though many of her ideas survive and can still be found in some New Age churches and other metaphysical and mystical traditions today

 

 

Source: Toptenz.net

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Mooz-Lum: An American Story


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Writer-director Qasim Basir is nothing less than compelling in his feature film debut, “Mooz-lum.”  In it he attacks Islamist extremism while giving moviegoers a rare and enlightening portrayal of life as a Muslim in America. There’s an indisputable strength to the raw melodrama of “Mooz-lum,” a tale from the heart indie that expresses itself in primary colors. A coming of age story of a Muslim-American college student in the midst of an identity crisis on the eve of 9/11, the plot will engender debate and curiosity once audiences leave the theater. The stellar acting from the very accomplished ensemble only adds to the list of reasons this film is worth seeing.

The LA Times says, “Having created rich roles for his actors, Basir elicits from them inspired portrayals. Well-crafted in all aspects, “Mooz-lum” is not only rich in nuance, but also an engrossing entertainment made with skill and passion.

We say, don’t miss it.

 

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Eyes Are Open


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From Larry Wohlgemuth…

Americans standing in solidarity with protesters in Tunisia and Egypt, and Egyptians sending pizza to demonstrators in Wisconsin. Amazing, since only five years ago a majority of Americans wanted to destroy Islam. How times change.

Zbigniew Brezinski has misjudged events, for this is not a massive global “political” awakening, rather it’s a massive global “SPIRITUAL” awakening. We’ve come to realize that we have far more in common with our neighbors in the Middle East than we ever imagined, and we’re ready to stand in solidarity against a common foe; materialists.

Don’t believe the materialists will go down peacefully, rather expect them to go kicking and screaming all the way. They like their possessions, and they are loath to share them with anyone they deem less deserving, and we’re all less deserving in their eyes. Expect a counter attack.

It begs the question, what form will this counterattack take, and how will we know it when we see it?

While hardly an adherent to modern-day Christianity, I do find bits and pieces of Christic consciousness in the Bible. This is found in John 17:11, 14-16:

11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.
14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

It was put more succinctly by St. Thomas who suggested that we, “Wear the world like a loose garment.”

The gist of it all is the physical is temporal, and not concerning us. Rather we should be prepared to gain an understanding of ourselves as spiritual beings, and that we are all one. The materialists are motivated by and committed to the things that are of this world. They’re happy with who and what they are, and they want to keep us connected to the world with them. The problem is, serious cracks are showing in that edifice, and I look for them to resort to desperate measures to quell this worldwide spiritual awakening that’s unfolding.

For years they maintained control through a church that blurred the lines between spirituality and materiality. However as people’s eyes are being opened, and heretofore sworn enemies are embracing each other as comrades, the bastardized message of the church no longer resonates. People aren’t confused over what’s spiritual and what’s material, so the materialists need to escalate.

War might be the most earthbound activity of all, where people of faith and conscience are convinced to pick up arms and slaughter their fellows. Carnage is a sure way to pull us back into the dark, and I believe the groundwork is already being laid for that eventuality.

Recently, US citizen Raymond Davis, allegedly a CIA operative, was arrested in Pakistan for the murder of two ISI agents. He’s currently standing trial for those murders, and the US has harshly warned Pakistan about it. Interestingly, Davis is accused of giving military secrets, as well as fissionable material, to Al Qaeda.

First of all, accept the fact that Al Qaeda cannot build an atomic bomb. However, with fissionable material they would be capable of building a dirty bomb. A bomb made with one pound of fissionable material that “accidentally detonates” somewhere in Pakistan, before it reaches its presumed target in the US, would provide sufficient justification.

Americans are war weary, and it’s going to take a significant threat to convince them to broaden the hostilities in the Middle East. Pictures of people in Pakistani hospitals suffering radiation burns, being treated by doctors in radiation suits, would suffice. We could create the auspices to invade Pakistan in order to “secure all fissionable material.”

Once that happens it wouldn’t be difficult to rationalize spreading the conflagration to Iran and any other Arab country that we deem “belligerent.” Gasoline reaching five dollars per gallon by the end of this year might serve as a tipping point, and cause the more fearful earthbound people to support military action.

A prolonged war with millions of people considering the prospects of killing and dying could serve to derail this new consciousness that’s among us, in their minds. Their problem is, in order to conduct a war of that magnitude would require reinstatement of the military draft. Having spent considerable time around people currently of draft age, the term resistance would be an understatement.

This newer generation perceives life differently, not nearly as connected to the attainment of power. Teachers will tell you that today’s young people are far less likely to engage in meaningless competition, and quick to question authority. It’s one of the healthier signs I’ve seen it in our society in a long time.

Coalescing this generation around the notion of a necessary war that justifies a military draft would be like herding cats. They’re not built that way. The only young people you see at tea party rallies are too young to have made the decision to attend. Their parents told them they were going. However, when you look at the people protesting in Wisconsin, Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere, you see people from their late teens to their early 30s. The demographic needed to widen this war is standing on the other side of the fence.

They don’t have many plays left, because people are waking up all over the world and understanding it’s a new day, a new age, and it belongs to us. Their attempts at brutality only serve to reinforce the collective will of the people demanding justice. In fact, should they try to widen the war or reinstate the draft, it might be the best thing for us. It would motivate those who still believe they can remain neutral.

Understand now fathers, were not just talking about your sons anymore, but your daughters as well. How are you going to feel when they come after your princess with the intent of placing a weapon in her hand to serve as cannon fodder? Mothers, how about your baby boys? Is that what you had in mind for them? It’s nearly checkmate for our side, and I expect the materialists to do something drastic. Should they choose to widen the war, it can only serve to strengthen our position.

They will attempt to thwart this awakening, but they will fail. Billions are opening their eyes, and they understand it’s our world. So do you want to be part of the awakening, or are you one that’s going to be convinced to cling hopelessly to the materialistic world and live in the shadows? Choose wisely, grasshopper, because you get to live with this one for a long time.

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Islam In America – An Experiment in Social Psychology


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How would you react if you saw a Muslim woman being mistreated in a store, not being served purely because of what she was wearing and the religion she follows?

ABC’s news magazine Primetime posed this very question and with the help of hidden cameras conducted a little experiment. The results are interesting to watch and at times, highly emotional. They show that while some Americans are prejudiced, most aren’t. The minority of those involved in the experiment who supported prejudiced behavior don’t realize North American culture as a whole is very much the New World, a civilization built upon the pillars of immigration and secular thought.

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Dear Americans


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From Saudi Arabia Corespondent Eman Al Nafjan…

I occasionally get Emails and comments from non-Arab people asking what they can do to help. Generally there isn’t much that can be done by outsiders as it’s my belief that sustainable change is only change that happens from within. However in areas where West collides with East there are things that can be done to either hurt moderate Muslims or help us.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an area that has a lot of impact on the growth and recruitment of terrorist Islamic movements. This is a previous post on how young Saudis come to hate the West as a result of it.

Now with the Park51 Mosque, things have come to a head. This is an area where you can help. To lump Islam as one single ideology and 23% of the world population as terrorists is a grave mistake. To fight Islam in general is the single best backing position for the West to take in aiding fundamental Islamists. When you don’t support people like Imam Rauf and Tariq Ramadan, then in effect you are supporting people like Osama Bin Laden.

When outsiders  lump Islam into this one narrow interpretation that must be fought, they are playing their part in Osama Bin Laden’s world stage. Fundamental Islamists, from the nonviolent to terrorists all use the same effective argument to recruit Muslim laypeople. It goes along the lines of “see, see they hate us. They want to wipe us off the face of the Earth. Where is their freedom and democracy?”

They use as examples for this argument America’s support for Israel, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and discrimination against Muslims in western countries. The opposition to and cancellation of Park 51 looks like a future addition to the list alongside the burning of the Qurans in Florida.

Put yourself in the shoes of someone born in a Muslim country who only speaks the language of that country and who has never been anywhere besides that country. Your religious leader, your school teacher or any other person you might have reason to be drawn to tells you about the Palestinian plight illustrated with photos of maimed children and refugee camps. He then talks to you about the innocent civilians killed indiscriminately by American tanks and bombs. Iraqi women raped by American soldiers. He shows you pictures from Abu Ghraib. He talks to you about how Americans hate Muslims and illustrates about how thousands of Americans opposed the building of a mosque and how an American priest is going to burn the Quran. How would you feel?

Do Americans really want to feed into that argument? Islam is the second largest religion in the world, second only to Christianity. It’s not going away, you either help moderate Muslims or you feed into the fundamentalists’ view of the world. Who do you want to be proven wrong?

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Islamophobia for Dummies


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Islamophobia can best be described as an irrational fear of Islam and Muslims. The term was originally coined in the late 1980s, but became commonly used after September 11, 2001. Much has been said about the so-called “Ground Zero” mosque proposal in New Your City as of late.  RELATIVITY Online’s The Brady Report has seen Kyle Brady chime in with his own well-informed position on that matter as well.

What has often been left out of all the discussion is that the mosque is in fact already there and has existed for decades, pre-dating the former World Trade Center Towers themselves. Such is an example of how the malleable American public has been force fed a fear campaign by those who oppose much of anything to do with Islam and many are swallowing it whole. With that said, there are those who see the opposition of the mosque for what it is; most notably The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart. The Jewish Comedian turned trusted news source has championed the effort to reveal the ridiculousness and hypocrisy fueling all those who oppose the mosque, which is actually being renovated into a cultural center. Once again, Stewart reminds RELATIVITY of why we see him as America’s best News Anchor. Wonder if we could convince to do a guest editorial?

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Raiding Saudi


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From Saudi Arabia Corespondent Eman Al Nafjan…

Ok I took a break and I learned something about myself. I’m a polygamist, I’ve married this blog over the father of my children and now I’m attached to it and cannot stay away too long from my spoiled second husband, let alone two months. If I try, I just miss it more. I knew it all along but I had to give it a try.

Now that’s out of the way, I have to tell you what I was up to last night. My very dear friend Tine has finished her time here in Saudi and is leaving soon. Unfortunately, being cooped up in expat compounds; she has never had a chance to see muttawas in action. These lions of Saudi morality are a staple mark of life here so I couldn’t let her leave without the experience. That’s why we went on a muttawa safari. We headed to their natural habitat, shopping malls. And we weren’t disappointed. At Riyadh Gallery, a mall that opened about a couple of years ago, they had the World Cup match on this humongous TV screen that you can watch a mile away. I’m not exaggerating; people on all three floors were watching the same screen. There were about three hundred people there.. Halfway through the match the muttawa came in and ordered the TV off. There were two muttawas and one police officer escorting them. They strolled around this crowd searching for men without women. Because it is illegal for single men to go to a shopping mall. They have to be accompanying a wife, mother or sister. Every once in a while they would stop young Saudi men and ask them where their women were. One guy they didn’t believe had to drag a little girl over to the muttawas so she could verify that he was related to the group of women he pointed at.

Before the muttawas came in it was noisy and men and women stood next to each other looking up at the screen. At every highlighted moment in the match there was either a collective roar or groan. The atmosphere was electric. Then the muttawas came and everyone knew that these three men had come in long before seeing them stroll by. Even Tine remarked on how these muttawas must be feeling this power they had over the people. No one objected to having the match turned off. Women went scurrying off to find seats in segregated areas. Teenagers headed the opposite direction that the muttawas were coming from for fear that they would be stopped because of their hairstyles and low worn jeans. Everyone was silently glancing around, looking for the muttawas and guessing who their victims might be.

We decided to follow them, albeit from afar to see who would they take. They focused their energy on young Saudi men. They even went into the bathrooms looking for hiding offenders. Before we lost them, we had witnessed them apprehend two men. They made the two offenders come along as they continued with their morality raid.

Both Tine and I were angered by how passive people were. It’s as if they really believed that they were guilty of something. Hundreds of people shaking in fear of a couple of bearded men. No wonder that things remain the way they are. People believe they deserve to be treated this way. It took the muttawas about twenty minutes to finish their raid and just like when they came in, you knew that they left. The match was turned back on and everyone relaxed and became noisy again.

Before they left, I took Tine outside to show her how arrogant muttawas are even in the way they park. And sure enough, their jeep was parked on the pavement right next to the automatic doors. You would think they were an ambulance.

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72 Virgins… Really?


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From Larry Wohlgemuth…

72 virgins is the going Islamic rate to get a man to drive a car filled with explosives into a group of Americans. It must be true, it has to be true, because that’s what our leaders have told us. They want us to believe it’s about the deviant sexual desire of a Muslim, nothing more, nothing less.

I’ve wondered about who would believe that. Amazingly I hear it from people who occupy high stations in life, and not just from the ignorant, wallowing masses. I’ve heard doctors, lawyers, preachers and teachers repeat this claim; totally convinced of its truthfulness. It begs the question, do people become suicide bombers to cash in on a promise of an eternity frolicking with 72 virgins?

My first adult experience with propaganda was Idi Amin. His brutality was never in question, however during his rise to power it wasn’t mentioned in the Western press. His ascension was supported by Western forces eager to get their hands on rich Ugandan mineral deposits. We needed “our son of a bitch” in charge, and only when his demands for a larger cut became inconvenient did the Western press refer to him as “the Butcher of Africa”. Rumors that he was a cannibal were part of the plan to demonize and remove him from power.

In 1990 Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait for slant drilling into Iraqi oil fields. He’d received the okay from George Bush I via April Glaspie, who said the United States viewed it as strictly an “Arab matter”. Immediately upon the invasion we spread wild rumors about 300 babies in incubators being removed from hospitals and killed by Iraqi forces. This was the justification used for the first Gulf War. Known as “the Butcher of Baghdad” (sound familiar) he was eventually hunted down and killed.

There are others, like Manuel Noriega and Augusto Pinochet, but the story’s the same. Empowered by the West to facilitate the theft of resources, only to later be demonized and deposed. The reality is that they got greedy and demanded ever bigger shares, and the West dispatched and replaced them with men willing to work for less.

Fast forward to today’s rhetoric and it’s obvious things have not changed. Outlandish claims are made about the Islamic people in the Middle East that we are expected to believe. They hate our freedoms” and “72 virgins” are the most used. It’s a carefully orchestrated propaganda campaign, courtesy of Edward Bernays, designed to influence your beliefs about Muslims. It works because people are too lazy to consider its irrationality. Given that the American Taliban can get one of their unhinged members to walk into a church and shoot a doctor, anything must be possible, right? But let’s consider an alternative.

In the 1953 coup in Iran the CIA helped overthrow the duly elected Mossadegh government and installed the Shah and his American trained SAVAK secret police. A 1963 CIA-backed coup in Iraq brought the Baath party and eventually Saddam Hussein to power. There’s the first Gulf War in 1990, a decade of bombings in the no-fly zones in Iraq throughout the 90s and finally the second Gulf War. As a result millions of Muslims are dead and tens of millions have been injured or otherwise damaged. I can’t imagine what it would be like on my wedding day to see my family and fiancée all lying dead as the result of a bomb. Or my door being kicked in and my wife being dragged away by a secret police force to be beaten, tortured and raped. Or digging through a pile of rubble to retrieve the lifeless body of my three-month-old baby. (WARNING: Graphic Content)

When I was a young man my blood would boil; either for sex when I was horny or revenge when I had been hurt. You could have promised me 72,000 virgins to no avail, but if I had just buried half of my family someone could have convinced me to strap a bomb on my back to kill the people responsible for my pain. I lived for revenge, and I don’t think people in that part of the world are fundamentally any different than me in this regard. They kill because we killed first.

Our government wants us to turn people into cartoon characters, stereotypes, so we won’t consider the ramifications of our actions. In World War II they were called the Krauts and Nips, in Korea it was Chinks, Vietnam was Gooks and now it’s Hajis. The government spreads stories about 72 virgins, but you can’t convince me that they’re any different than we are. They want to fall in love, get married and raise children in what they hope to be a better world, just like we do, and anything else is complete and utter nonsense.

They’re just like us because they ARE us; we’re all one. If our leaders can’t get us to see them as subhuman we would no more pick up a rifle and kill them than we would our own parents, grandparents, spouse or children. By reducing their status it validates our entitlement to exterminate them. Don’t let them do that to you. Your humanity is your birthright, and no one can take it away without your permission.

When we realize we have more in common with the people we are shooting than the people instructing us to do the shooting, then we will own our humanity and the world will know peace, and not before. I say the time is now.

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