musings on music, travel, books, and life from Southeast Asia

Religious Massacre

By now everyone has read about the latest violence in Egypt. Yesterday’s “clearance” by security forces in Cairo resulted in the deaths of several hundred — some estimates say as much as 2,000 — protesters. But buried in the back pages of yesterday’s news — on Page 10 of the Bangkok Post — was a short article detailing the deaths of 44 people at a house of worship. Think about that; 44 people shot dead while they were praying. Didn’t you hear about this slaughter? If it had been 44 Christians killed while praying in a Baptist Church in the US this would have been front page news, and subject to non-stop coverage on all TV stations. The populace would have been outraged. Even here in Thailand, if this had happened at a Buddhist temple it would have sent the country into a state of shock.

But instead, this horrific act occurred at a mosque in Nigeria, so it’s relegated to the pack pages. Not of much significance. It was only a bunch of poor black Muslims, so it obviously wasn’t that important to the international media, right? Hey, I’m not sticking up for Islam. The fact is, those religious fanatics scare the piss out of me. But something tells me that the low level of coverage about incidents like this says a lot about the state of the world today, and the underlying reasons for the surge in violence and hatred.

The really odd thing about this mosque attack in Nigeria was that it was reportedly perpetrated by “suspected Islamic militants wearing army fatigues.” This group, known as Boko Haram, has also attacked Christians outside churches, along with teachers, students, and government and military targets, so they are obviously equal opportunity thugs. What, no gays and lesbians targeted either? Maybe that’s next on their list.

Honestly, I don’t know what to make of all this. Part of me, says; go ahead and let all these religious idiots just kill one another. Maybe when all is said and done it will benefit the rest of us. But the fact that such religious fanaticism only breeds more violence and intolerance makes me very angry and frustrated. Why does religion always turn people into intolerant, superstitious fools?

But as much as I find the behavior and attitude of Muslims to be most disturbing, you can’t help but look at things from their perspective. They have been kicked around for years and continue to be vilified and condemned by the Western world, while the “morally superior” Catholics, Jews, and Born-Again Christians are forgiven, if not encouraged, for their own bizarre behavior.

Short of a few well-organized purges, is there any way to stop this spiraling insanity?

 

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