I got in to this discussion about the Fort Hood killings. Apparently the media are hopelessly remiss in not telling us how the Islam is the religion of evil. Heck, just look at the Koran (or Qu'ran, but let's not get all "literate")! Evil!
Sure, whatever. I have no doubt that, being a religion, it's full of hateful stuff: genocide; murder; rape; whatever. I can say the same thing about the Christian bible and that whole "Judeo-Christian" philosophy that some people think exists.
So why doesn't the media tell us how evil Islam is?
Well, first of all, it does. Second of all, it does tone it down a bit. There are two reasons for this
1) We've been trained to have a completely unreasonable reticence about criticizing religion. "Hm, a fourteen year old girl is pregnant and claims to be a virgin ... that's, um, totally reasonable." Somehow, it's acceptable for religious people to spout off the most ridiculous notions and it's taboo for the rest of us to call them on it.
2) The United States already has a lot of simmering anti-muslim attitude. Remember on September 12 when Sikhs were getting beaten up? Double-plus ignorance with a backflip, Batman.
The problem is not Islam or Christianity or Judaism or any other religion. The problem is that the people who devote themselves to these religions do so and abrogate their own moral filters. What do I mean?
The bible says to kill homosexuals. Do you? No, you don't.
The bible says to kill witches. Do you? No, you don't.
The bible says not to wear mixed fabrics. Do you? All the time.
See how that works? If your religious text tells you to do something completely stupid and immoral, you ignore it. You still call yourself Jewish, Muslim or Christian, but you don't obey the stupid, immoral rules. There's a bit of cognitive dissonance, but you can live with that. You've been trained to believe that your religion is right, but you have a moral centre which prevents you from blanking out.
Some people don't have that moral centre. Some people blank right out and do whatever their priest, imam or rabbi tells them their holy book says. Go smash a plane in to a building. Drive Magog and Gog out of the Middle East. Seize the Promised Land. Help the Jews seize the Promised Land so Jesus can return.
All of those examples are stupid and immoral and yet many, many people support the stupidity and immorality. That's what religion does. It tells you to obey without thinking. And that's where I disagree that humanism falls in with other religions. If a humanist leader told his followers to strap on suicide bombs, he would be turned over to a psychiatric hospital.
So rant on all you want about the evils of Islam. Hell, I might even agree with you on some of the finer points. But really, there's nothing especially evil about it that I can't find in any other mainstream religion.