Taliban Behead 17 People at Party

What is it with medieval maniacs beheading people?  Here we are again, with Taliban lunatics cutting the heads off people for attending a party.

What’s that about?  What is wrong with those who use religion to impose a miserable, life-hating point of view on normal people?

I think it has nothing to do with the particular religious ideology they claim to follow, and everything to do with a sort of societal insanity.

Right now, the focus is on Muslim lunatics, thanks to GW Bush’s War on Tourism, although anyone looking at the United States would wonder which is the more extreme religious fundamentalism, Islam or American Christianity.  After all, while extreme Islam has been responsible for murdering three thousand people in New York, you might argue that extreme Christianity has killed many times that number, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Let’s remember, Saddam Hussein had nothing whatever to do with the 9-11 attacks, and yet a big lie was sold to the American public by the likes of Cheney — an insinuation that the Iraqis had somehow attacked the United States.  This was a doubly-ironic lie, since most of the attackers were Saudi and represented the views of the most vile, hypocritical and extreme Islamic ideology on the face of the planet.

Irony upon irony.  Hypocrisy piled on top of hypocrisy.  It didn’t suit GW Bush’s media machine to acknowledge that he and the Saudis were tightly bound up with each other in business, just as his Vice-President was.  And it didn’t suit the Saudi royal family to admit that they have no interest whatsoever in religion, and that, once they arrive in the West, they drink and whore just like any other Middle-Eastern billionaire.

A scapegoat had to be found and that scapegoat might easily have been trained in Despot Central Casting.  Saddam Hussein ticked all the boxes of the Vile Dictator test, apart from one: he was not religious.  In Saddam’s Iraq, you were free to follow any religion you wanted.  You were free to be an atheist if you so chose.  It was no handicap to be a woman: you could follow any career you wanted, regardless of your gender, much like you could in Bashar al-Assad’s present-day Syria, as long as you didn’t oppose the government.

And yet, in insular America, Saddam was portrayed as an Islamic extremist terrorist.  On that basis, every redneck in the States saluted the flag and got behind Our Heroic Boys as they marched on those bad guys who attacked New York, even though those bad guys had nothing whatsoever to do with the events of September 11.  Thus we had an army of young men defending the United States from an enemy who had never attacked it in the first place.

It was I Am Legend made large.  An entire nation failed to understand that it was the bad guy.  And back home, the Baptist congregations continued to Praise the Lawd, while remaining completely oblivious to the fact that they and the orthodox Muslims they hate are exactly the same.  Does it just come down to a difference in presentation?  If you machine-gun civilians from an Apache while playing the Killers, is that somehow better than setting off a suicide bomb while reciting the Koran?

Religion and State are separated by constitutional guarantee in the United States, and yet there’s no chance of being elected President  if you happen to be an atheist, or gay, or even unmarried.  Why is that?  If that restriction existed in the Middle East, what would we call it?

I have no time for religion.  I think it’s a form of mental illness, and in saying that I include Islam, Christianity, Shinto, Judaism, Buddhism and all the other disorders.  But at the same time it’s true that religions go through cyclical changes.  In the 21st century, certain Islamic factions are engaged in murder, as are certain Christian sects, including those who currently hold power in the United States.  In Palestine, the homicidal and insane Hamas is in power, giving the Israeli army an excuse to crush the ordinary Palestinians in the world’s biggest concentration camp. In the 12th century, Richard the Lionheart, as he came to be known, saw no difficulty with slaughtering Muslims in the Middle-East, yet despite that, he earned the respect and honour of all Europe.  More recently, on our doorstep, we saw the Croatian Ustasha, one of the most evil regimes of the 20th century inflict genocide on their fellow Christians, the Serbs, and on the Jews, during the second world war.  And of course, we witnessed the German extermination of the European Jews, a monumental crime with few parallels.

I’m appalled at the behaviour of the medieval Taliban beheading people in Afghanistan.  But I’m also appalled at the behaviour of the US armed forces destroying Iraq, a country that never attacked them.  And I’m appalled at what the Nazis did to the European Jews.  I’m appalled at the Turkish genocide of the Armenians.  I’m appalled at what the Hutus did to the Tutsis in Rwanda. I’m appalled at what the Israelis did to Gaza.  I’m appalled at the ignorant Islamic idiots who who reacted as they did to the Jyllands-Posten article.  And I’m appalled at the sectarian murders on both sides of the conflict on this island, carried out by people who were either evil or ignorant.

Sometimes I lose patience with people who make comments on this site, as one did recently, reminding me that Muslims wouldn’t put up with my attitudes the same way Catholics do.  It’s usually accompanied by a reminder that Catholics don’t kill their critics these days.  This is an extraordinarily uninformed comment, combining a slur against Muslims with a physical threat against me.

Here’s what I think about religion.  It’s insane.  It caters to people’s need for a little bit of magic in their lives, but it doesn’t mean anyone needs to be a murderer.  Most people, whether they happen to be Christian, Muslim or atheist, just want to lead a quiet, peaceful life without lunatics stirring things up.


43 thoughts on “Taliban Behead 17 People at Party

  1. You’ve managed to condemn all the atrocity-mongers. That’s balanced comment agin ’em all. You wouldn’t get such balance in the op-ed pages of The Sun or the Irish Independent.

  2. Nice post. One point tho’:…I think it has nothing to do with the particular religious ideology they claim to follow… I think it has. Even very very religious quakers don’t chop people’s head off.

  3. Personally I think religion is like a superstition that’s been woven into your dna by your family. Personally I’m not superstitious, thanks Mom and Dad, no time for that rubbish at all. Some people have a tougher time shaking it , kind of like cigarettes. I gave them up too, but some of my friends can’t , so I just don’t mention smoking in their company.

  4. The Taliban aren’t religious, they are an effective tribal political entity, they trade in fear, a local version of “shock and awe. They don’t “do” mutual respect; they understand brutality and admire it. They are struggling to maintain morale, the Jihad isn’t going well, many of their leaders are being systematically targeted and they are struggling to sell their brand of Islam to an increasingly secular World. These beheadings will serve their purpose locally, terrorise anyone who promotes non traditional ways and is probably tied up with some grimy protection racket. Yes folks the people who brought you “The commitee for the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice” are quite happy to peddle heroin to our “unbeliever” children whilst denouncing the “Evil and Decadent” west. Oxygen thieves, the lot of them.

  5. Hmmm, isn’t that image considered blasphemous is certain circles?

    The seems to be something about the ‘human condition’ that drives us to conflict. The question – if religion didn’t exist would we have less war, or is there something in our evolution that makes (or made) it a necessity?

    Is religion not being used by vested interests to further separate objectives? It’s a handy way of putting a uniform on those you want to enlist, or control.

  6. @Mick, that’s an interesting question about less war if there were no religion* – I personally believe the answer to be no. Religion* is just a tool, a convenient flag to rally the poor under as you send them off to their deaths. If there was no theistic religion*, it would be something else – freedom, justice, “democracy” – and they themselves would then effectively become religion. Even as far back as the crusades, which we know now had SFA to do with religion* except in that it provided a useful excuse to go to war, and all to do with halting the expansion of eastern empires (which just so happened to be islamic), whilst hopefully scoring some sweet loot along the way (although most of them didn’t).
    In other words, an elite ruling class sending the masses to war so that they (the elite) could continue to enjoy their privileged positions of power; it is the same thing as is happening today, it’s got fuck all to do with territory or oil or weapons contracts or any of that – it’s simply a desire by those who benefit the most to maintain the status quo.
    And it’s important to remember in all this, that as bad as the “west” is in terms of doing crap like this, the other crowd as just as bad.

    *by religion I mean organised religion where some guy in a dress tells you what to believe, as opposed to personal belief in a deity of some form.

  7. A couple of points:

    1) We’re genetically predisposed to spirituality. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn7147-genes-contribute-to-religious-inclination.html

    That said, we’re also genetically predisposed (as a species) to rape, murder, polygamy etc. etc. The fact that we still exhibit some genetic vestiges a once useful trait is no excuse to indulge its manifestation. Spirituality & religion were useful when Cro-Magnon man was at his neighbours throat; a belief in a “higher power” might assuage the most brutal aspects of our being for a while. Hence evolution selected for people who have a religious bent.

    2) Not all the conflicts you mention above, Bock, were religious in nature. Yes, perhaps the perpetrators and the victims happened to have differing beliefs, but the Turkish genocide of ethnic Armenians wasn’t a religious persecution. Similarlu the genocide in Rwanda (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_Genocide#Civil_war) had nothing to do with religion per se.

    3) You’re right about one thing though, religion and religious beliefs are bollocks. Believing in [a] God is a wilful refusal to use your natural intelligence to figure shit out. If 99% of the “believers” actually took 5 mins to critically assess their beliefs they’d be atheist in the time it took to boil a kettle.

  8. Even the Quakers had their moments – many served with ferocious effect in the New Model Army. The core theology probably doesn’t matter as much as the wider environment – people can usually manage to justify whatever it suits them to do.

  9. Bock …do you deny that you are related to Canon Wulfran Lebocq who with others of his order has purchased the ex-Jesuit church in Limerick? http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0828/1224323097469.html
    I see that it will be a venue for Latin masses ( I dunno what they have against the original Aramaic ). I also note they are counting on significant extraterrestial assistance with the purchase as “with Gods help we will repay the loan”.

  10. Damn. It’s impossible to find discreet henchmen these days.

    The real truth is that they’re going to cancel the entire national debt by negotiating with the Troika in Latin.

  11. Unmissable doc about Islam on channel 4 for anyone who wants to delve further. Written and Presented by historian Tom Holland. Judging by any of the books of his I’ve read so far this should be a cracker. On at 9 O clock this evening. You re welcome in advance. :)

  12. Our man in Armagh would be an ideal messenger of peace to Afghanistan; he’s well versed in carrying out impromptu investigations, has that air of authority which the Taliban love and he could swear everyone to secrecy.

    I’d say he would go down well with the bearded mystics in Helmand and I doubt the Taliban despite all their recent practice would have come across a hard neck like Seanie’s.

  13. Come to think of it, if the bould Seanie were to become unstuck, we could send the entire Fianna Fail front bench to Afghanistan on ” de Guvermint jit ” all expenses paid of course to rescue him. I’m sure they would do a fine job (The Taliban)

  14. Well said, Sir Bock, well said indeed. I couldn’t have put it better myself. In fact, I know I couldn’t. I’d raise a pint to you if I had a pint to raise. As soon as I come across one I will.

  15. “….religion. I think it’s a form of mental illness”*
    (*from BOCK I–Aug 27 2012)

    Interesting when you think of Scientology.

    L Ron Hubbard–grandson of Old Mrs Hubbard no less!–invented this malady with a book (Dianetics–The Modern Science of Mental Illness )!!

    Is it okay if we believe in you Bock?

  16. Hi Bock. Typical leftie moral equivalence posing as wisdom. I plan to write about you as follows:

    Bock says he condemns the Taliban, but his condemnation rings hollow since he also condemns anyone who fights the Taliban.

    He does not admire the brave Americans who sacrifice their lives fighting the Taliban and other jihadists. He has contempt for them. He says they are the same as the Taliban. He declares they are war criminals:

    “back home, the Baptist congregations continued to Praise the Lawd, while remaining completely oblivious to the fact that they and the orthodox Muslims they hate are exactly the same. Does it just come down to a difference in presentation? If you machine-gun civilians from an Apache while playing the Killers, is that somehow better than setting off a suicide bomb while reciting the Koran?”

    He doesn’t bother to provide any evidence for this extraordinary claim – that Americans machine-gun civilians from helicopters. Bock imagined it, or saw it in a film, so it is so.

  17. That’s a shaky grasp you have on logic, Mark, but look, if you manage to get through life with that limitation, well done. Who am I to try and help you?

    Did you notice that this is a post about religion, not politics? If you try to derail it onto your own personal agenda, you will be prevented from doing so.

  18. @Mark: “He doesn’t bother to provide any evidence for this extraordinary claim – that Americans machine-gun civilians from helicopters. Bock imagined it, or saw it in a film, so it is so.”

    Well I am sure he is a busy man so I will oblige: : http://www.collateralmurder.com/ (don’t bother attacking the linked source either, you can find the same video on a multitude of sites)

    So, it does happen, and there is your evidence – or does the fact that the US Military deemed that in this case the “rules of engagement” were followed means that it actually didn’t?

  19. You believe the lies and anti-American propaganda put out by Assange and Wikileaks. Their story of the attack has been debunked.

    That was an attack on a group of insurgents carrying an AK-style rifle and an RPG launcher. And no, I am not talking about the camera gear. The weapons are clearly visible in other shots before the attack. See photos on my site below. After the attack, the AK rifle is clearly visible on the ground next to the bodies. Ground troops also found two RPG launchers with the bodies.

    The journalists were apparently working for the terrorists. How else do you explain the recon photo they shared with them?

    The van driver was probably an insurgent too. His behaviour makes no sense otherwise:

    Wikileaks lied, and you believe the lie.

  20. Mark. Are you completely dense?

    I already explained to you that this post is about religion. Will you please show some respect and not try to derail the thread? If you fail to show that respect, I’ll have to impose it on you, but I’d prefer not to do that.

  21. Write away, Mark. Both of your readers will be enthralled.

    It’s a waste of time arguing with this level of dishonesty.

  22. If I may add to this thread–actually I am anyway.
    Marks 2 readers are probably relieved they are Braille users He sounds like a boor and not worth your efforts Bock.
    But on the other hand…..no, life is too fucking short to tolerate all bullshit.

    As above.

  23. @Dr.JO’C – not at all.

    Here’s hoping that gimp never darkens these pages again.

  24. Since I am stuck in the middle of the USA I can at least comment on the Baptists obliviousness. To be fair they are no more oblivious than the Methodists, the Lutherans or the Catholics here. The only congregation more oblivious than the church based ones are the Republicans, but they spend a great amount of effort trying to get the other congregations to join up with them. They too have their own peculiar beliefs and needs for magic in their lives. Just last week I heard that a dollar from the Reagan years had finally tricked down, but it was across town and by the time I got there to verify it it had been spent.

    Bock I know this post is about religion and not politics, but every day here I find harder to see them separated, each is meddling with the other.

    “War on Tourism”, I’ll be using that one.

  25. Not unfair at all Bock. The folly of most groups be they religious or otherwise, is that they quickly put out a set of rules for everyone to follow and soon enough they are caught breaking their own rules. Then the rule-breaking group leaders become oblivious and hypocritical. According to my rule that is when those groups have earned some ridicule.

    I recall the wave of scared patriotism shortly after the decision was made to go get Saddam. Flags were everywhere, supposedly to “support the troops”. Oddly enough looking at the many flags displayed for sale on the retail level it was nearly impossible to find a US flag that had been made in the US. Most were from China. I guess I never really figured out who got supported above the retail level, but no matter, obliviousness struck yet again.

  26. I often wondered about that notion of supporting the troops. Presumably the troops were sent out by politicians and didn’t just come up with the idea to invade another country off the top of their heads. Therefore, the troops have no choice about being there, and therefore, the best way to support them would be to pull them out of a war they didn’t want to be in in the first place and which had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11.

    Am I wrong?

  27. That was pretty much my idea of support for the troops. That idea is kind of a hard sell to persons who refuse to let facts get in the way of a strong belief. The other support that is lacking is for when they return. The biggest part of their military training is to teach them to kill and to not be killed. Then they come back and are expected to just fit in with no new training. With the suicide statistics for the veterans as high as they are I’m not sure there is such a thing as an uninjured veteran, yet there is no support for them much beyond flag waving.

    Ten years of war now, and I have a stepson scheduled to deploy next year. I went to Washington DC once to march against the war in support of our troops, but Congress was oblivious too.

  28. It seems to me that the troops are being used for other agendas. Every time I hear someone talking about brave Americans sacrificing their lives, I’m thinking “Cynic, Liar, Manipulator”.

  29. Perhaps it’s our age Bock, or our own cynicism makes us cynical enough to notice the cynicism in the leaders. The troops are still needed for the public to view and either heap patriotism upon or scorn, though the level of scorn is very low for one’s own country’s troops. It’s the enemy troops the public needs to heap the scorn on. The war is increasingly being fought from electronic control centers directing drones. Soldiers do better at marching in parades than Nintendo controllers so soldiers will be around for a while. The other agenda seems to be just pumping up more us versus them feelings in the populace or the congregation. There I’ve brought this back to religion once more!!

    Religion is just one more way to instill the us versus them mentality. There is a famous quote about religions being responsible for more wars than anything else, but like Mick pointed out I’m not sure it religion is the cause or the tool for starting war.

  30. Money. Natural resources. Rare metals. All things that give the “owners” power over others and are the historic reasons that man has explored and conquered others and waged wars. You would think that if extra-terrestrial life had visited earth they would have snatched some of our resources or initiated commerce and trade agreements, but perhaps they are not at all like us either.

    Nevermind, it will still be us versus them.

  31. I second that. Mr. Humphreys deserves no more than a handful of readers. He is just a vulgar propagandist for the interests of priviliged groups, and thus is incapable of being objective.

  32. Mr Terwilliger–just curious–area where I live in Edmonton is Terwilliger. Wouldn’t be neighbours perchance?

  33. Dr John O’Connor, I’m in Illinois and find no Edmontons nearby so we are only neighbors in the global sense. You say hi to the Terwilligers near you and I’ll say hi to the O’Connors near me.

  34. i have seen videos on sky news of American Soldiers laughing and going dude after a kill, from the sky

    also me terwillger ( like the simpsons reference )

    watch out in case mr humphries claims you are pro the murder of a fox tv institution by the name of Bart Simpson

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