terça-feira, 20 de janeiro de 2015

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: These Terrorist Attacks Are Not About Religion

Abdul-Jabbar is a six-time NBA champion and league Most Valuable Player. He is also a celebrated author, filmmaker and education ambassador.

When the Ku Klux Klan burns a cross in a black family’s yard, Christians aren’t required to explain how these aren’t really Christian acts

Another horrendous act of terrorism has taken place and people like myself who are on media speed-dial under “Celebrity Muslims” are thrust in the spotlight to angrily condemn, disavow, and explain—again—how these barbaric acts are in no way related to Islam.

For me, religion—no matter which one—is ultimately about people wanting to live humble, moral lives that create a harmonious community and promote tolerance and friendship with those outside the religious community. Any religious rules should be in service of this goal. The Islam I learned and practice does just that.

Violence committed in the name of religion is never about religion—it’s ultimately about money. The 1976 movie, All the President’s Men, got it right when it reduced the Daedalus maze of the Watergate scandal to the simple phrase, “Follow the money.” Forget the goons who actually carry out these deadly acts, they are nothing more than automated drones remote-controlled by others. Instead of radio signals, their pilots use selective dogma to manipulate their actions. They pervert the Qur’an through omission and false interpretation.

How is it about money? When one looks at the goal of these terrorist attacks, it’s clearly not about scaring us into changing our behavior. The Twin Tower attacks of 9/11 didn’t frighten America into embracing Islam. The fatwa against Salman Rushdie didn’t prevent the publication of The Satanic Verses. Like all terrorist attacks on the West, they just strengthen our defiant resolve. So the attack in Paris, as with most others, isn’t about changing Western behavior, it’s about swaggering into a room, flexing a muscle, and hoping to elicit some admiring sighs. In this case, the sighs are more recruits and more donations to keep their organization alive. They have to keep proving they are more relevant than their competing terrorist groups. It’s just business.

Nor should we blame America’s foreign policy as the spark that lights the fuse. Poverty, political oppression, systemic corruption, lack of education, lack of critical thinking, and general hopelessness in these countries is the spark. Yes, we’ve made mistakes that will be used to justify recruiting new drones. But we shouldn’t kid ourselves that the recent report detailing our extensive and apparently ineffective use of torture caused any kind of mass terrorist volunteers. The world knew we tortured. The only thing the report revealed was how bad we were at it. More important, if recruits were swayed by logical idealism, they would realize that the fact that we conducted, released, and debated such a report is what makes America admirable. We don’t always do the right thing, but we strive to. We admit our faults and make adjustments. It may be glacial, but it’s movement forward.

Knowing that these terrorist attacks are not about religion, we have to reach a point where we stop bringing Islam into these discussions. I know we aren’t there yet because much of the Western population doesn’t understand the Islamic religion. All they see are brutal beheadings, kidnappings of young girls, bloody massacres of children at schools, and these random shootings. Naturally, they are frightened when they hear the word Muslim or see someone in traditional Muslim clothing. Despite any charitable impulses, they also have to be thinking, “Better safe than sorry”—as they hurry in the opposite direction.

When the Ku Klux Klan burn a cross in a black family’s yard, prominent Christians aren’t required to explain how these aren’t really Christian acts. Most people already realize that the KKK doesn’t represent Christian teachings. That’s what I and other Muslims long for—the day when these terrorists praising the Prophet Muhammad or Allah’s name as they debase their actual teachings are instantly recognized as thugs disguising themselves as Muslims. It’s like bank robbers wearing masks of presidents; we don’t really think Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush hit the Bank of America during their down time.

We can’t end terrorism any more than we can end crime in general. Ironically, terrorism is actually an act against the very religion they claim to believe in. It’s an acknowledgement that the religion and its teachings aren’t enough to convince people to follow it. Any religion that requires coercion is not about the community, but about the leaders wanting power.

I look forward to the day when an act of terrorism by self-proclaimed Muslims will be universally dismissed as nothing more than a criminal attack of a thuggish political organization wearing an ill-fitting Muslim mask. To get to that point, we will need to teach our communities what the real beliefs of Islam are. In the meantime, keep my name on speed-dial so we can get through this together.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, TIME, January 26, 2015

O senhor Kareem quer confundir alhos com bugalhos, ou melhor, fundir alhos em bugalhos.
Sobre a Ku Klux Klan eis um trechinho esclarecedor retirado da Wikipédia:

O segundo grupo que utilizou o mesmo nome foi fundado em 1915  (alguns dizem que foi em função do lançamento do filme O Nascimento de uma Nação, naquele mesmo ano), em Atlanta, por William J. Simmons.

Este grupo foi criado como uma organização fraternal e lutou pelo domínio dos brancos protestantes  sobre os negros, católicos, judeus e asiáticos, assim como outros imigrantes.

Este grupo ficou famoso pelos linchamentos e outras atividades violentas contra seus "inimigos".

Chegou a ter quatro milhões de membros (outros dizem serem cinco milhões) na década de 1920, incluindo muitos políticos.

A popularidade do grupo caiu durante a Grande Depressão e a Segunda Guerra Mundial, já que os Estados Unidos se posicionaram ao lado dos aliados, que eram contrários à ideias totalitárias, extremistas e racistas, como as nazistas.

Saiba, prezado leitor, que o editor da TIME online sublinha o parágrafo sobre a Ku Klux Klan, diferentemente da edição em papel, cujo título e subtítulo são:
Paris Was Not About Religion 
Thugs, not Muslims, commit violence in the name of Allah

2 comentários:

  1. Clearly, rage and thirst for revenge were responsible for the terrorismo in Paris; it had nothing to do with Money, as claimed by Abdul-Jabbar.
    We must refuse efforts to explain such things away.
    Donald F. Smith, Egaa, Denmark

  2. I can only hope that Muslims around the world spread Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's message that religion is "about people wanting to live humble, moral lives that create a harmonious community and promote tolerance and friendship."
    I am an agnostic but respect religion as a personal philosophy to help you live.
    Religion as an instrument of mass indoctrination or murder must be mocked to the hilt and destroyed as an evil myth.
    J. M. Spitaels, Durban, South Africa


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