The idea that liberalism is dead has recently received a boost from Russian President Vladimir Putin who has been quoted as saying:
“The liberal idea… has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population,” … Putin said in an interview with the Financial Times Friday that the “liberal idea has become obsolete,” and referred to Germany’s decision to welcome more than one million refugees — many fleeing savage urban warfare in Syria — as a “cardinal mistake.”
I have stated before my view that Islam and Muslims are not the problem but rather that religion is used as a tool by those in power as a way of manipulating ordinary to act in their interests. My article Thoughts on the Nature of the God Construct expands on this idea in terms of how the image and nature of the god that the elites present to us for our worship reveals something of their agendas and efforts to shape society for their own benefit.
F. William Engdahl’s book, The Lost Hegemon: Whom the Gods Would Destroy goes much further in examining how radical Islam has been deliberately shaped and promoted as a tool by Western elites as a way of establishing and maintaining control over the Middle East and then as a weapon against the USSR. Since the end of the Cold War, this tool has been resurrected and used to break up Yugoslavia, destabilise Chechnya and then deployed against a succession of Arab and African states with the ultimate aim of conquering and harnessing the rising powers of Russia and China.
Chinese re-education camps in Xinjiang have been in the news recently, where it is reported that the Chinese authorities are ‘re-educating’ some up to 2 million Muslim Uyghur people. The accusations against the Chinese government include disappearances, constant surveillance using facial recognition and phone apps, in-home monitoring by party cadre and both physical and psychological abuse. If these accusations are true, then is it is certainly a human rights issue on a massive scale.
Under pressure of reports in the media, the Chinese have sought to explain their actions as a necessary measure to address an issue of terrorism and separatism. Xiao Qian, China’s Ambassador to Indonesia, cites the 2009 riots in Urumqi which he says killed 197 people, injured more than 1,700 and caused “colossal” property damage, with unrest between 2003 and 2016 involving eight terrorist attacks killing more than 120 people and injuring some 400 others. According to Xiao “It is fair to say that the issue related to Xinjiang is not religious but rather political. It is the manifestation of the struggle between unity and secession, peace and violence and it is a matter of principle concerning China’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.” Xiao’s account of what is being done in Xinjiang is that the Chinese authorities have “taken measures to resolutely combat terrorism, extremism and separatism, and in the meantime, special attention was given to preventing the association of violent terrorist activities and religious extremism with particular ethnic groups or religions.” Continue reading “China: On the Balance of Evils”→
Quora is a strange place where people pose a variety of questions on all sorts of topics. Many of the questions are from a range of people, some genuinely asking questions to find answers and others trolling for angry responses or merely the bored who incite earnest replies from the more serious minded for a laugh. Quora must have me profiled as an atheist because I tend to get a lot of questions and answers in my feed related to religious questions. Many of these seem to be from the religiously minded who seem to pose leading questions that appear to be aimed at encouraging atheists to give up their ignorant ways and see the light – a sample of such questions from my Quora feed as I write this include the following gems:
As an atheist, who will you turn to in your hour of need? Will you just accept your fate willingly without any additional source of hope?
As an atheist, why is it hard to believe in a superior being?
Why would an atheist suggest that more people should read the Bible?
What is the psychology behind atheism? What motivates people to believe in atheism?
Is atheism and agnostic the same thing or are they similar?
As an atheist, what would it take to convince you of God? Think about your answer more before you just say “evidence”. What specific evidence could be only attributed to God that would convince you of God?
As an atheist the Islam question, the role of Islamic militants and the spread of Islamic practice through migration are thorny questions for me. The last thing I am keen to see is a resurgence of religiosity of any stripe in our society and consequent infestation of the legal system with religiously inspired laws. Frankly, we have spent the last 200 hundred years getting rid of the Christian influence and it would be a shame to see all of that lost though a similar set of laws from 14th century Islamic culture being imported in its place.
That said, religion is, and always has been, a tool of the powerful to corral and control the masses. It is used to separate people from each other and provide the ideological mechanisms necessary to justify a small group retaining power over a larger majority, from whom they can extract wealth and use to expand their operations to conquer and take over the resources of neighbouring / competing elites (in country and internationally). Continue reading “Are Muslims and Islam the problem?”→