By Octavia Nasr
2 September 2014
This is not a column about religion. Nor does it aim to convince you of anything religious. Quite the contrary, this is purely about humans, their politics, evil, and how they dump it all - for blame or justification - on religion; or worse, on “God” - theirs or somebody else’s.
Hiding behind the safety of religion and relying on existing slogans and symbols known for swaying minds into brainwashed submission, evil now avoids criticism because the word “Allah” is invoked in various contexts.
No, “God” does not have a “party,” “army” or “spokespeople.” If you believe that such a thing exists, then you need appropriate professional attention and serious treatment before you join us in the 21st century.
Just because someone claims they speak for “God” and they pretend to be performing his will on earth, it does not make it so. If a group of lunatics wrap their evil in a flag that carries the word “God” does not make them untouchable or beyond reproach. The opposite is true; if you apply logic, their behaviour makes them perfect candidates to be eradicated because they are the enemy of “God” as you say you know him.
Just as children playing thieves and police, doctor and patient, husband and wife, does not make it so, calling oneself an advocate of “God” or his representative does not give one authority. But when people follow blindly such moronic claims, they give them false credence. The lie then becomes our bitter reality, and if you don’t stand up for one, it will be harder to stand up for other lies. It will eventually be impossible to fight insanity when reason becomes outnumbered.
The language of fear works on the masses, otherwise religions would not have thrived the way they have across continents and cultures. The question we ought to ask ourselves is, whatever my religion, is it making me a better citizen of this world? Am I an effective participant in this vast world of ours or am I shrinking into a corner and becoming more insignificant? This is a philosophical question not a territorial one.
No matter what your religion, it does not interest me. Your actions and your words interest me. They define you as a person. Adding the word Allah in any shape or form does not change your evil, your goodness, your intention or your purpose.
Leave “God” out of your business, because I certainly will never associate God by your actions. Nor will I judge you mercifully because of a word representing a much higher concept you’re not worthy of being mentioned with.
Multi-award-winning journalist Octavia Nasr served as CNN’s senior editor of Middle Eastern affairs, and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the use of social media in traditional media. She moved to CNN in 1990, but was dismissed in 2010 after tweeting her sorrow at the death of Hezbollah’s Mohammed Fadlallah. Nasr now runs her own firm, Bridges Media Consulting, whose main aim is to help companies better leverage the use of social networks.