written by Rich
Religion is something that I discuss on a very regular basis, perhaps too regularly. I am a firm atheist and find it fascinating, almost to the point of bamboozlement, that people across the planet believe in a supernatural, all intelligent, consciousness to the universe that cares about what humans choose to do with the 'free will' given by itself. I find it astounding that I, as an atheist, am in an alarmingly minor group.
Taken into consideration, these thoughts (currently written out on my journey home on both the Piccadilly and Jubilee lines) are even more energised than usual. They are composed of deep empathy felt for those directly involved in the terrorist events of today. I feel woeful and close to tears. One man being decapitated whilst the attacker decreed his act in the name of allah the almighty.
Yes there are socioeconomic motivations, however the filmed blood drenched knife wielding attacker was a Black male and is unlikely to be a citizen from any country currently occupied by the USA or UK. Moreover, the assailant committing the act in the name of his Islamic god, and then describing how 'our' women should be covered, and how the UK should be under shariah law, does slightly emphasize the major driving force behind this act of cold savagery. Really putting the mental into fundamentalism.
May it be said here that the authorities of Islam need to make a loud public statement of digust towards this pernicious fundamentalism witnessed today. The secular community need to know that this act is not condoned by the Islamic tradition. This needs to be done in order to remove support from these extremist communities and to help douse the flames of derogation. You see, your average Brit probably doesn't know a great deal about Islam or what it means to be a Muslim and the relentless media coverage of Islamic fundamentalism effectively remains in the general public's consciousness. These acts thereby provide the hot and sticky tar to paint the rest of an entire culture with. I worry for everyday Muslims, who are valid members of the British culture, that will now face another torrent of fresh prejudice as a result of today's events. This sincere concern of mine draws images of yet another imbecile moronic women giving an innocent 'non-white' a piece of her foul, polluted, repugnant, naive, mind, by parading herself infront of a mosaic of camera phone lenses whilst on public transport.
As an atheist hearing of these horrific news stories, it is even more disheartening (although not as embarrassing or shaming for the affiliated religious communities). The odds of there being any god's in existence is unlikely and the chance that allah is the one true god is slimmer still. So to hear that acts of stupidity causing such terror and violence becomes underlined by a sense of overwhelming pointlessness and waste. Topped off with a sour irony that is most difficult to swallow, the attacker believes that he is doing the righteous thing. A holy act! He did this because he really really believes that he has god on his side. The arrogance!