Wednesday morning pre-coffee post. (A comment on a comment. On a comment.)
A couple of days ago, I got a comment that I’ve been thinking about a lot. It was from a nice, moderate Muslim commenter named Nimmy. No, I’m not being sarcastic — she is quite nice, even though we disagree on pretty much everything about Islam, the Quran and, I imagine, even life. Case in point: she thinks buttsex will give you infections and diseases, and I say if buttsex is your thing, stock up on lube and wrap that sucker up.
Anyway, it isn’t the buttsex is gross stuff that stayed with me. What I couldn’t stop thinking about was a different comment. One that was written in response to something I wrote about moderate Muslims. How they’re wasting their time quibbling with atheists over one or two Quran verses when it’s the fundie Muslims who are dragging their precious religion through the mud. Here’s her response to that:
I just wish to tell you that It is not Quran or Islam which is wrong,but its followers,muslims,who are wrong..and i knwo that it hardly makes any difference to the world..Just try not to be over-hate..
This is the first time i talked with atheists..Believe me..And again,i always talk for this thought of yours..Fat Mullah sitting in air conditioned rooms and issuing fatwas..and instead burning public property in the name of a catrron..Why don’t they come down and talk to people or make protests against sick evil acts by so-called muslims..
That’s what got the old wheels turning. Ever since Nimmy posted that, I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve been gnashing my teeth and furrowing my brow, obsessing over it. OK, fine, not really. But it’s been there in the back of my mind, slowly gnawing away at my little brain. Here’s why: I would have said the same fucking thing 10 years ago.
It’s not Islam, it’s the fundies. It’s not Islam, it’s the mullahs. It’s not Islam, it’s the madrassas. It’s not Islam, it’s American foreign policy. It’s not Islam, stop blaming Islam, wah wah wah, blah blah blah. It’s like the official mantra of moderate Muslims: don’t blame Islam.
It took me a long time, a lot of reading and learning, thinking and rethinking, hours and hours of barstool philosophizing for me to finally come to this conclusion: it isn’t those people that are evil, it’s the fucking religion itself. And guess what? Reading the Quran is only making me realize it more.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: indoctrination works. I’m proof of that just as much as some kid halfway across the world who thinks America is full of kafirs who must be destroyed. Or the imam who uses Quran verses and hadith to coax that kids into a bomb vest. Or, hell, Nimmy herself, who was indoctrinated with the kinder, gentler version of Islam like I was.
Nimmy and other moderates are telling us that it’s not the book that’s rotten — it’s the people. Which, honestly, is no different than something I would expect to hear on Fox Fucking News from some asshole who thinks the solution is to Bomb ‘Em All™. And here it is, coming from a Muslim.
Yes, the fundies are batshitass crazy — we can all agree on that one. But why are they batshitass crazy? Where are they getting their ideas from? Ask them. I guaranfuckingtee they’ll say it’s the Quran. And that’s why the book should not be let off the hook that easily. It’s where the mullahs and the imams are getting their crap from. It’s how they talk people into blowing themselves up in exchange for an eternity of self-refreshing hymens and couches and fruit. It is chock fucking full of desert justice and stupid ideas. It sucks that people buy into that pile of bullshit — but it’s not all that different than the moderates who buy into a less stinky, more palatable pile of the very same bullshit.
The Quran is just a book. An inanimate object. It has no rights, no feelings, and it’ll get no respect from me. If you’d value a book over a human life, then that’s your right. I think your priorities are way-the-fuck out of whack, but that’s fine. Me? I have a hard time placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of the dumbasses who believe the fairy tale that’s been drilled into their heads since they were babies. They’re victims of geography. Any of us could have been in the same position if we were born in certain regions. It’s hard to hate someone when you realize they’re only human. But hating the fairytale itself? Now we’re talking.
This is my response to Nimmy and other moderates who think like her: don’t hate the player, hate the game. It makes a hell of a lot more sense to me to hate a stupid idea than it does to hate a brainwashed human being. If anything, we’ve been letting Islam get away with murder — figuratively, but sadly also literally — for far too long. And I don’t think we’re going to stop until we’ve dragged it out, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century. I’m pretty sure the book will get over it. Maybe you should, too.