In the religion of Islam, there are two major factions or sects today. Those who barracked for 60-year old Abu Bakr to succeed a guy called Mohammed after his death in 632 CE to lead the aspiring religion of Islam into the future as the first Caliph are called Sunni, while the ones who are the 50 times removed grandkids of those who voted for a much younger guy called Ali at the time, are the Shi’a. Talk about enduring allegiances.(To be fair, noone told Ali that a meeting was already taking place to make this decision for the future, the poor chap was busy washing Mohammed’s dead body at the time, or so we are told)
Anyhow, Mohammed is one of the prophets of Islam. He started receiving revelations after 610 CE, after having initially to be convinced by the Archangel Gabriel that yes, he Mohammed the illiterate innumerate tribesman was indeed the best vessel to receive god’s plan for world domination for the Arabian peninsula. But he is not the only prophet by far, actually. Rather, the list of prophets in Islam reads like a casting list for former greats of other religions, in particular Christianity and Judaism. Moses, Abraham, Jesus, all prophets of Islam. Compared to that list, you’d think Brent Spiner and Wil Wheaton appearing in Big Bang Theory is small change.
Never mind. Even the different factions of Islam seem to agree on one thing today: Do not mock or insult the prophet. Because that is so totes blasphemy. And with “prophet”, they seem to mean Mohammed. When other religions mock or question or criticize Jesus or Abraham, you know, some of Islam’s other prophets, they seem ok with it or it’s not such a big deal somehow, like all those books, movies or blog posts mocking the prophet Jesus. No, Mohammed is the biggie somehow. I think this may be due to the fact that prophets borrowed from other faiths are not quite as dear to Muslims as are the ones they invented by themselves.
And let’s not forget that 3 out of 4 Muslims can not read the holy text they dedicate their life to in its original, because they can’t read Arabic. 75% of Muslims rely on interpretations, citations, and translations of the original text to supply the material for their religious belief.
So let’s move on to the purpose of this post then. It’s to talk about this quote from President Obama’s latest speech to the UN:
The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.
I’m sorry, what?
It’s one thing to say “well, this was a very dumb movie to produce, one that cynically tried to inflame Muslim sensitivities, and was made only to stir up violence and controversy, thereby also endangering the life of third parties currently living in Muslim countries”.
But Obama’s quote does more. More damage. Because it is wrong on so many levels. Fuck slander. Fuck prophets. And fuck Islam.
I have no obligation to respect people’s fantasies and mysteries. Prophets are medieval constructs, like Jinns(who feature prominently in the Koran), and the information we have on them and their actions is about as reliable as that on Harry Potter or Frodo Baggins; the concepts of slander and blasphemy are tools well-honed by religious practitioners these days to deflect scrutiny and critisicm away from them, and we must always reject and oppose the ongoing attempts to get special treatment for religions at the level of the United Nations. Because the believers never stop to try to sneak in laws that would make any criticism of them politically incorrect.
Poor religious believers. So insecure and desperate these days, so obviously on the wrong side of evidence and history, that all they have left is to make efforts in the political arena to be exempt from scrutiny, and to have all criticism of their actions treated as blasphemy. We must not allow this to happen.