Hopefully religion is in its final phase of self-destruction …

It is possible – from my viewpoint as an atheist – to rank religions by their ghastliness. For example, the Protestant faith (as in the British one) is likely a lot less ghastly than the tediously superstitious Church of Rome, further up the scale you get Scientology (OK, it’s a ‘cult’, though the difference is almost indiscernible) but the top slot for ghastliness has, for decades now, rested with Islam, that specialises in trumpeting the allusion to peace that is carried in its name, whilst behaving like a homicidal, self-harming drug addict in  the way it manifests itself to the world.

Islam has no spiritual leader – it lacks a Mahdi – the prophesied redeemer in Islamic eschatology,  though god knows Islam needs redeeming and that statement itself is an oxymoron to me as a heathen (I enjoy my heathen status). This leaves Islam in the hands of its followers, who have, in the last few days, submerged their religion into new found depths of depravity, and I chose my words carefully here.

The Taliban suicide bomber who struck in Kabul’s embassy district a few days ago must have known that  most of those who would be killed would be street children, in the neighbourhood to eke out a living selling souvenirs. One of the victims was 14-year-old Khorshid, far too free a spirit in the body of a female ever to survive in the day-to-day mayhem of the backward followers of Islam in Afghanistan. She was a keen skateboarder at a facility that gives refuge to the vulnerable street children that live their lives from one day to the next. Two other skaters from the skategroup were killed  – Nawab, who was 17, and 13-year-old Mohammed Eesa. Another child, Assad, Khorshid’s cousin, also died.

In neighbouring Pakistan, police and national security are moving an 11 year-old child with sever learning difficulties around between safe houses because she has been accused of desecrating a Koran (Qur’an) by burning pages of it with the household rubbish. She was briefly imprisoned for this ‘crime’ a fortnight ago but then released after an international outcry about her plight. Her family, having been threatened with being burnt alive in their home by outraged Muslim neighbours have joined their daughter in being shifted from place to place for their own safety, despite the fact that the Imam of the local mosque where they lived has been accused of planting the pages of the holy book in her bag of rubbish in order to see Christians driven from their homes. The man who blew the whistle on the Imam was one of the other Imams at the same mosque.

In Libya a mob attacked and burnt down the US consulate in Benghazi, inflamed by by a film called ‘Innocence of Muslims’, an anti Islam film posted online earlier this year. Clips of the film have since been shown on Arab TV stations, but it is not a serious piece of cinema in a historical sense, unlike Tom Holland’s Channel 4 documentary ‘Islam: The Untold Story’, which has caused offence among Muslims but not lead to violence. ‘The Innocence of Muslims’ portrays the prophet Muhammad as a womaniser and the bloodthirsty leader of a band of jihadists who enjoy killing. The Benghazi rioters that ransacked the building then set it on fire, killing the American ambassador to Libya and three other US workers in the compound. US state department officials say they are looking into whether the attack on the consulate was premeditated, as there is a strong suspicion that a jihadist, Islamic militant group may have been responsible for organising the sacking of the US diplomatic mission.

All this has left me wondering how it is that a religion that so often sells itself on the strength of its name alluding to peace can incite such grotesquely violent reactions from its followers. Do Muslims not see how ironic this statement is? The prophet Mohammed married Aisha, a 6 year old girl, and consummated the marriage when she was 9, a facet of the prophet’s life that is still copied by many Muslims to this very day. The prophet fought wars with a brutal cost in human life. He had captives that would not capitulate to Islam put to death and established the obligation of jihad, meaning struggle, which is the excuse, I have no doubt, that those who sacked the consulate in Benghazi and the suicide bombers in Kabul who murdered children, defiantly use to justify their sick actions. How Islam can ever put its house in order without a peace-seeking Mahdi is beyond me. My biggest worry though, is what would Islam be like if the coming ‘Mahdi’ was himself the warmongering husband of a 9 year old child? You have to ask what kind of religion would condone a 9 year old girl being married and yet has in the past beaten children for flying kites?

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