JD always tells me something I didn't know; here, more than one:
"In the light of what happened this morning I was unsure whether this was the right time to deliver a post. I wrote it this morning and I have read through it again and this morning changes nothing. I will be accused of defending IS. The Wahhabi/Da'esh version is but one of a myriad of sects within Islam and most of them, I suspect, pre-date Islam. The Sufi are definitely older than Islam, for example.
So here it is..."
You will have seen this, no doubt:
Stupid question in the Mail's headline: oil is the answer, of course.
I remember a while back there was a photo purporting to show a woman buried up to her waist before being stoned to death. That photo turned out to be a 'still' from a film in production. So I will not comment on these photos but I can confirm that the Saudis do indeed execute people every Friday in 'chop square' in Riyadh and other cities. I have managed to avoid working in Saudi but I know a lot of people who have worked there so whatever I say here is second hand.
One friend told me that in his first week in the country he thought he and his wife would walk and have a look around on their Friday day off. They were spotted by the Muttawah, the Religious Police, and were 'invited' to see one of the wonders of that splendid country. I think the exact words were "Come, come and see. You don't have this in your country."
There was no indication of what that 'wonder' might be until they reached Deera Square and were ushered to the front of the crowd. My friend and his wife then witnessed two beheadings. Very swift - chop! and that was it. Afterwards the bodies were carted away and water bowsers arrived to hose down the square and life returned to 'normal' with no sign that anything untoward had happened. Needless to say my friend left Saudi as quickly as he could.
I do not doubt his story because there is too much evidence to support it. It is now known as chop chop square for some reason.
Inflation? Or is it bloodier than it used to be?
Just Google it and you will find out. If you have the stomach for it you will find it on YouTube.
Before anyone declares that this is the reality of Islam, it is but one part of it and began with an alliance in 1744 between Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab and Muhammad ibn Saud which eventually grew into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and thus spawned a puritanical sect of Islam now known as Wahhabiism. I have lived and worked in Dubai, Qatar and Iran as well as visiting/working in Cairo. Those four Islamic cultures are as different from each other as they are from Saudi Arabia.
It is worth remembering that the English Kings were rather fond of chopping people's heads off. The first Papal Crusade was not against Islam but was against the Cathars in France who were the 'wrong' type of Christians. "Kill em all, let God sort them out!" was the rallying cry at the Siege of at Béziers
Secularists were not exempt from such madness. The Age of Reason produced a lot of unreason in the Pace de la Concorde in 1789. And if you were to read the Old Testament you will find within it a long list of Kings of Israel who were nothing more than bloodthirsty tyrants.
So why is it that humanity is so insane when it comes to enforcing and defending its chosen belief system? Wiser heads than mine can provide some of the answers. Charles Fort in "The Book of the Damned" (1919) wrote that "Every faith and theory in every field is only upheld by 'exclusions'" i.e. by ignoring or suppressing the evidence that tells against it. "We substitute acceptance for belief."
John Michell in 2007, commenting on Fort's words, wrote in The Oldie magazine, "The nature of the world is largely a matter of choice, and it is an important choice because it determines your whole experience of life. It is quite permissible to see this earth as a type of divine paradise, and if you accept that view, rewards will follow. Otherwise you can visualise a world of pain and pointlessness, inducing a state of mind whose logical conclusion is suicide. The choice between these two perspectives seems rather obvious."
Unfortunately the world's elected and unelected leaders, since time immemorial, have chosen suicide and appear to be dedicated to the destruction of life.
And another wiser head than mine has expressed it thus- "on TV, expressions of physical love are far more dangerous than expressions of physical hatred. We are a culture dedicated to the destruction of life."
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