There once was a time when I foolishly allowed my senses to be dulled by the baseless rhetoric of false prophets and carnival barkers who called themselves “Truthers”; almost entirely made up of conspiracy buffs and political Leftists; many of them, at that time, considered to be close political and even personal friends of mine. I spent a lot of time listening to the Truther claims of U.S. corruption that I felt were real, with some of them being fear-driven, along with claims of Islamic maltreatment that I also felt were real, with some of them being propaganda driven, but I know, with or without Truther rhetoric, that the U.S. does not always personify the bowels of corruption, and Islam does not always successfully live up to its innocently oppressed poster either, and that fact alone is why I could never fully commit to the Truther ideology! It was either going to be their way, my way, or the highway, and that highway just was not big enough for both of our ideologies.
Case in point, one of my best friends from the social networking universe was an individual who, at one time, considered me to be an extended family member. We communicated every day, and we shared all of our literary and journalistic works with each other. Needless to say, I really liked this person, but all of that changed when I refused to embrace many of the talking points within her Truther argument; points like the notion of September 11th, as a terror attack on the United States, didn’t really happen. Supposedly, all of it was doctored through Hollywood gimmicks and faked like the Moon landing; points like the people who were jumping out of the Twin Towers were dummies, paid actors, and stunt people, and points like the accusation that it was the U.S. military and Dick Cheney using remote controlled devices to guide the planes into the buildings. Now I’ve heard my fair share of such ideologies, but the one that bewildered me the most was the notion that Osama Bin Laden was totally innocent, and terrorism was nothing more than a politically glorified, Bigfoot sighting, because lots of people claim to see such things, but there is no real proof to legitimize any of it.
Nevertheless, that relationship came to an end, because I refuse to give Islam a better pass than I am reluctantly forced to give Christianity. So whether you believe that September 11th was a terroristic attack pinned on vilified idiots who claimed to be Muslims or an attack initiated by Pentagon remote controls, one fact has been made evidently clear to me through the self-inflicted brutalization of Muslims by fellow Muslims leaving a heinous trail of Muslim blood on Muslim hands in the Arab Spring of an infidel summer, and that fact is the unadorned reality that Islam has just as much corruption as any other ideology—including other religions deemed to be of the so called infidels, and you don’t have to look very far across the pond to see evidence of it. No longer will I treat Islam with cautiousness and care the way that I have in the past, the same way that many media outlets and journalistic cartoonists were chronically uneasy about parodying Islam the same way that other religions like Christianity and Buddhism have been parodied, due to the bogeyman fear of angry Muslims who take their religious doctrines so much more seriously than any other religious following, because that is simply not true. If you’re looking for a Bigfoot sighting, there it is!
When demagogues like Pastor Terry Jones go out and burn the Koran and when brainwashed, Muslim dupes go out and kill people because of it, it tells me that all of this religious cloaking is more about power than religion. Whether it’s angry Muslims poised to kill because of a cartoon featuring the prophet Muhammad in a bear suit or gutless, Christian wannabe’s who gun down abortion doctors, it is the superficial lust for good, old-fashioned, man-made and man utilized power that coils at the root of it all, and nowhere is this code more palpable than in the countries of the Arab Spring—countries like: Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Syria, and after watching hours of footage from these areas, I was appalled at the ungodly amount of carnage and human decimation that I saw from people who claim to be and are supposed to be most devout, religious followers in the history of the world, and this time there was no U.S. presence on the ground or U.S. intervention among the protestors to blame it on, and this was also not something that could be blamed on Israel, as many of the Osama Bin Laden’s and Ahmadinejad’s of the world routinely like to use for a scapegoat! I saw footage that suggested that possibly hundreds of people from Egypt to Syria have been executed by their fellow, authoritative, societal establishments. I saw people shot to death in cold blood for nothing, and I saw one clip of this huge fire truck that had plenty of driving room approach a man who could not get out of the way fast enough and literally ran him over; flattening him like a pancake right in front of a crowd of people who could have been his family, for all that we know, and the truck just kept on moving like it ran over a small animal.
In all probability, the truck was driven by a Muslim, and the poor guy who was run over was a Muslim, and the driver didn’t do it to give praise to Allah, the driver did it because the driver could, and that’s worse than anything that a political cartoonist or a South Park episode could ever do to a Muslim or anyone else, and you don’t need a scripted September 11th to recognize corruption that blatant! I don’t care about how much bad blood exists between Islamic, Middle Eastern countries and the United States/Israel. From the creation of every political, Middle Eastern refugee, the pain of every rape victim, and the helpless horror of every kidnapped victim who was brutalized beyond recognition, beheaded or assassinated, this bloody calamity of human dignity that has been passed off to the people of the Middle East as an illusionary preservation of Islamic faith against the infidelity of the west for decades belongs solely to the Middle East! They can blame it on President Obama. They can even blame it on me—Bryian R., but if they really want to find who is truly responsible, they should all stop, and look into a Middle Eastern, preservation-of-the-dictator’s-status-quo mirror.
To all of the Muslims around the world who were unified in their lividness at the cartoons parodying the prophet Muhammad, where is your unified outrage at the bloody, heartless crackdowns from Iran’s killings during the bogus, election protests to the Egyptian government gunning people down in the streets. I find it ironically discrediting and misguidedly insincere how almost all of the entire Muslim world will condemn a hypothetical depiction of the prophet Muhammad by a comedy writer or cartoonist, but will sheepishly slink away when some tyrant like Moammar Gadhafi’s goons use the shroud of religion to rape and murder Muslim men, women and even children. I guess it’s just a lot easier to go after South Park or the cartoonist than it is to face the brutality of the regime that has had its foot on your throat and its exploitative penis in the rear end of your freedoms for so many eons.
Where is Sharia Law when you need it? If Sharia Law is unable or unwilling to allow its followers or other Muslims to be just as vigilant against genuine oppression, even if its shrouded in Islamic smoke, as they are encouraged and even demanded to be against political cartoonists or Bozo the clown wannabe’s in Florida who burn the Koran for the warmth of the media spotlight, then maybe Sharia Law is not the magnificent answer that so many have been looking for. In my infidelity driven opinion, I think the only person who has ever benefitted from Sharia Law is Sharia, but only if Sharia is a man and more likely if that man is either powerful or connected to power!
Seriously, who does Sharia Law protect, and what is the purpose of Sharia Law, when people, including children, are being snatched off of the streets of Syria; many of them never to be heard from again? The fact that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has allowed this to happen speaks volumes about his political character and his so called religious faith, and the deafening quietude of silence by the wannabe prophets of propaganda like the Osama Bin Laden’s of the Islamic world and the Sharia Law banner wavers like the Muslim Cleric Imam Anjem Choudary’s of the Islamic world speaks just as tellingly about the corrupted vacuum of power that exists within many of Islam’s followers, when it comes to calling out a financially and politically powerful person like Bashar al-Assad, not because of his religious bond to the prophet Muhammad, but due to his man-made power as applied to man’s world, which speaks even more volumes about the relationship between man, religion, power, and God, with religion and God being utilized and exploited by man to achieve the most important word in that list, which is power! And after seeing the video of the disfigured body of the 13-year-old Syrian boy named Hamza Al-Khatib that was delivered to his family, after the Syrian authorities turned a blind, callous eye and a razor-sharp blade as they cut off this boy’s genitals, it reminded me of the Emmett Till photo, and in reality; there is not that much of a difference between the two young boys and the horrific fate they both met. Apparently, one whistled at a White woman in the south, and the other chanted for freedom on a Syrian street. Freedom of expression is about as human as it gets, and unfortunately—so are the fears of such an expression and the power needed to express it, not to mention the deadly price that is often paid for exercising it, and that has more to do with the Middle East than westernized indoctrination.
What’s happening in Syria and other countries in the Middle East is nothing less than a combination between modern day lynchings and localized, political genocide. You can try to dress it up with Sharia Law, or paint it over with westernized indoctrination, but if it looks like a lynching, sounds like a lynching, and swings like a lynching; a lynching is exactly what it is; regardless of what side of the pond you live on or which prophet you have tattooed across your rhetoric; making dictators like Bashar al-Assad nothing more than a Middle Eastern version of a Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard, with Osama Bin Laden, Imam Anjem Choudary and Ahmadinejad standing right behind Assad with the white hoods on! How sickeningly revolting and hypocritical is it that so called leaders like Osama Bin Laden would spend countless resources to save the Middle Eastern people from the evils of the west by attacking the U.S. and other U.S. interests, but would not afford anything near that amount to thwart the evils of Islamic dictators like Assad, who not only rape the dignity of the Syrian people, but also rape the dignity of Islam worse than the west ever thought about doing it?
The United States is not the angel of nations by any means, and I’m not willing to sit here and give Israel a free pass to do whatever it wants based on some loose, political, international affiliation with Christianity either, but I have to call it the way that I see it, and from my point of view, the societal ideology of the United States still has more fairness than the Middle East, including Israel, and while many of my ex-Truther buddies consider President Obama to be a war criminal and a genocide monger, I’ll bet you a Democratic dollar to a Paul Ryan/Tim Pawlenty, budget plan doughnut with a hole in the middle of it that if you went to the Syrian border with Turkey, where thousands of Syrian people are fleeing the country and offered them a one-way trip to the United States, 99% of them would be happy to take their chances with the so called war criminal/genocide monger/infidel in President Obama over ‘Either I rule you, or I’ll kill you; all praises due to Allah’ Bashar al-Assad.
As I’ve stated in my book The Fear of Being Challenged, the world society needs some sort of organizational effort specifically geared to deal with these localized, genocidal, regime sponsored crackdowns on these freedom based, peaceful protests. For that matter, I’ve seen wild, unruly protests that were not handled as maliciously as many of these Middle Eastern crackdowns. I know that protestors want to make their points, and I know that dictators want to stay in power, but the INTENDED mutilation and murder of children is beyond the pale, and I’ll say that even if Sharia Law, Imam Anjem Choudary, the United States, do-nothing-China, or just-keep-it-out-of-my-neighborhood Israel are all unenthusiastic about saying it. And furthermore, if the United Nations or NATO is ideologically unequipped or too reserved to effectively and meaningfully handle these situations, then I don’t know what we need them for. As a species on this planet, this kind of murderous oppression has happened all throughout our history, as history does tend to repeat itself, but it doesn’t have to be, and it should not be as uninhibitedly effective each time it happens, when a society as technologically and intellectually advanced as ours is on watch.
And lastly I say to the people of the Middle East, when your personal jihad takes precedence over your Islamic jihad, give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, give to Allah what is Allah’s, and give to yourself what is rightfully yours, and it won’t make you any less of a Muslim or any more of an infidel because of it! Sometimes you just have to be your own prophet, and follow your own propaganda, in spite of a Bashar al-Assad, an Imam Anjem Choudary, or some ideological dictator like an angry, domineering Truther, because they are the proverbial cowards of the cause, and the cause is always theirs and never truly yours, until you decide to make it yours!
Bryian K. Revoner
Author of the book The Fear of Being Challenged: Democratically Independent;