Sunday, 11 March 2012
QEDcon panel talk: A Question of God
The panel had D J Grothe, Ophelia Benson, Maryam Namazie and was chaired by Paula Kirby. I felt that there was one area this talk really hit home for me, which is below.
Islam is a word used in the same context as the western use of the word Christian with regards to church goers, people who believe in the certian doctrines, who believe in a particular god, or profit/saviour, or who perhaps chose not to believe in some bits, etc. It's a loaded word that can mean so many different things to so many different people.
Islamism is a term that is ascribed to those who wish to push their particular orthodox views of Islam into the realm of politics, and to force these views upon a population. This is a political movement that favours a theocratic approach to government.
Muslim is a term that refers to an individual who practices Islam. There isn't really a correlating term in Christanity. A person who practices Christanity is called a Christian.
You can be a Muslim and oppose Islamism. Just as you can be a Christian and support secularism (keeping religion out of politics).
With this in mind, criticising Islamism and viewing it in the light of being one of the most horrific ideas in modern times is essential. If we thought it was bad when Christianity had theocratic power with the witch hunts, burnings, state murder for believing in the wrong things, etc, this is exactly what's happening to our fellow human beings across the world at this moment. We shouldn't be silent in our criticism to such a terrible regime of malicious superstition. And we should understand what is going on over there, and the distinction between the terms above.
And most of all, we should stop trying to rationalise away the problem. The humans that live under such vitriolic theocratic rule do not want this. We must listen to them. And we must understand that they are human just like us. Would we wish to live under such conditions?
Maryam Namazie really drove home these points for me. And I feel ashamed that I didn't really understand the above until listening to her.