Friday, January 9, 2015

The Dangers of Religious Ignorance--Charlie Hebdo

A number of journalists and staff of a satirical paper, the Charlie Hebdo in France met untimely deaths at the hands of three gun-wielding men. One of the three has already surrendered and police are hot on the heels of the remaining two, who, in one morning, barged into the editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo and peppered those inside with bullets.

More than this is a direct affront against one's right to free expression, let's talk about the reason which the killers used as justification in the killing of these journalists.

What reports tried to tell us is that the incident stemmed from hatred. Yes, hatred. The paper once satirised Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the main religious figure of the religion of Islam. In Islam, this is simply abominable, because the Noble Qu'ran forbids believers in depicting life in pictures, much less even draw the face of Prophet Muhammad.

For those who did the shooting at the Charlie Hebdo offices, those who are behind the forbidden thing of satirising their Prophet are already "condemned" to hell. They simply deserve to die.

Now, what the Noble Qu'ran directs the believer of Islam is simply "cut it off" or "slay the disbelief." There are passages in the Noble Qu'ran which essentially say that a believer has the duty of killing the disbeliever, even telling him to cut off the head.

For someone who just knew Islam when already an adult, and was not really proselytised properly, there is a tendency of misinterpreting these passages and even form the belief that what the Noble Qu'ran says or directs the Believer is essentially that---kill and cut off the head.

I have always believed that such holy scriptures are not to be taken literally or construed liberally. Holy books like the Bible and the Noble Qu'ran are not literary pieces but moreso, spiritual ones. They are "holy" books, therefore, they tell one of holy acts and thoughts.

The dangers posed by an Ignorant believer is to believe that what God intended the believer to do is kill someone who holds a contrary view or kill someone who simply refuses to believe even in the existence of God.

Is that the way to interpret the noble, spiritual teachings of holy books such as the Qu'ran and the Bible? No.

What are the holy laws which both religions, Islam and Christianity recognise as true instructions coming from God? One, both religions are in agreement in the first law--Love God with all your heart and with your soul. What are the others? The second and third laws, which is Do not kill and respect your parents are simply laws which are not subject to further interpretation but moreso, of obedience.

If God forbids one to kill someone, is it the intention of the Noble Qu'ran and the Bible to break this rule and put a qualifier? Is it justified to believe that yes it is forbidden to kill yet when it comes to a disbeliever, it is justified?

This is constant--whatever God forbid, it is forbidden. What God allows, it is legal.

There is no bending of the rule against killing someone, because the reason behind this rule is that life came from God, and no other being, except God, is given the right to withdraw life from a living being.

That said, what these people did to those people working in Charlie Hebdo is simply abominable. It is a transgression against God, the God Who Gave the Order not to kill somebody both in the Bible and the Noble Qu'ran.

Since it is a religious and holy book, what the Noble Qu'ran told its believers is to kill the "disbelief", not the one disbelieving. How to kill disbelief? By sharing with the disbeliever the true message of God.

God's true religion is like love--enduring, understanding, does not differentiate, patient, and kind.

Which is more pleasing to God---cutting off the sinning part of man or killing man? Obviously, it is not cutting off the physical part of a man or killing him altogether.

What will please God is when that man is made to reform or to see the light. What the Bible meant when it says in some passages that it is "better for man to cut off his hand" than go to Hell, is not exactly must be taken literally.

What it meant is for that sinner to stop sinning using his hand, this is what is meant of "cutting off". The sinning or habit of sinning is the one being asked to be cut off, not the man.