By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam
27 February 2016
There is an assumption here that the Muslim victim who chooses to get killed by the former method will assuredly go to Hell and the later will end up in Heaven. But has the victim a choice?
The choice is reserved for the killer to adopt, and the method chosen under the above belief would suggest the killer’s intentions for the victim. However in both cases the killer’s choice demonstrates faulty and poor education, religious or otherwise; for neither method would have any effect on the reward for the victim in the hereafter. It is generally accepted that it all depends on the acts; good or evil committed by the victim in this world before dying. Therefore the killer’s choice and effort is all in vain, but the intentions remain clear.
One of the Presidential candidates in the US election campaign Donald Trump, a billionaire real estate businessman, who said he loves poorly educated people, said in his recent speeches that a higher fence along the Mexican US border should be built to keep Mexican away from US. He took umbrage to the Pope’s general comment on the issue of immigration, and then he has fallen out of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement by suggesting that they should go back to Africa. He had suggested that Muslim immigration to US should be temporarily stopped. But most significantly, Islamic Terrorists should be shot with bullets dipped in pig’s blood.
He referred to the legend of a US General Pershing committing the same act about hundred years ago in South Philippines where Muslims are in majority. It is said to deter Muslim terrorists! This can be questioned on couple of fronts:
-Did the terrorism come to end there after the event?
-Mindanao being a very wet area, was the military general privy to the knowledge that dipping the old time bullets in Pig’s blood made them waterproof like modern bullets?
-Was it ethical for a military general to shoot captured disarmed prisoners without trail?
To his credit it must be noted that Donald Trump singled out Islamic Terrorists and not all Muslims for such treatment in the US.
Whether the statements by the US presidential candidates are significant or not in the context of the country and its people, it is for the citizens to respond to. In the media there, a few responses have appeared on most statements, and a few Muslim organizations and individuals have also done so on the issue of bullets dipped in pig’s blood.
One aspect of the response by Muslims was that reference to the pig in the context of Muslims was offensive, and pig’s blood added to the insult that the presidential candidate was bucketing them with. The Presidential candidate obviously believed in what he said and he meant every word of it.
Ironically he said he loves poorly educated people. Does he realize that Islamic Terrorism is a misnomer and contradiction in terms? Islamic Terrorism; meaning terrorism that comes from the commandments of Quran is made to look like the Biblical misnomer ‘Just War’. Justice and War put together? How can it be?
Here, the issue taken up is that of the iconicism of Pig and its blood in the religions of Muslims; unholy and irreverent. The pig, a creature like any other creation of God is neither. In the Book Muslims profess to adhere to, it is only forbidden to eat its meat (Laham). The blood in general is forbidden irrespective of what animal it is from.
It is a strange phenomenon, all over the Muslim world that the poor pig is taken to be the absolute symbol of unholiness and filth. It is an example of unthinking, unintelligent and poor education in general.
Is this the case with Jews, whence the poor pig got its bad reputation from? This community by no stretch of imagination can be called poorly educated. Hence there is the stark difference in response to pig’s heads being thrown in their graveyards or its blood splashed on the walls of their houses of worship.
A few pertinent examples should suffice to demonstrate this in the case of Muslims. As young children taking shortcut to and from school, we had to pass through the area of holding pens for cattle and pigs for transport. The Muslim kids would either turn their heads away from the pig pens so as not to see them or take a circuitous route to avoid the pig pens!
Many, mainly Muslim women do not utter the common name pig (Khinjir), because it is Haram- in Quran, forbidden to eat. Yet the word occurs five times or so in the text of the Book. As the Book is chanted many times in Arabic for the sake of holy reward, it is a wonder as to what do they do when they come across that unholy word in the holy text?
The classic example is when a Muslim friend was informed that the Dartboard that he has may be covered with pig’s skin, as it very often is. He promptly threw the unholy object in the rubbish bin.
This attitude of many Muslims applies to other pig products, such as belts and gloves etc. Is this Religious fanaticism, irrationality or just poor education on the part of Believers?
Iconic objects, reverent and irreverent, based on religious beliefs abound among Muslim churches and social practices, yet all icons are idols- forbidden in the Book, but are common in Muslim society.
It is also a wonder if those who take part in today’s jihad and get killed by their brothers believe that bullets dipped in Zam-Zam would ensure entry into heaven.
Superstitions are a result of poor education. It is the one thing that Quran came to eradicate and the weapon suggested for that purpose is knowledge and use of “intelligence”. Intelligent use to acquire knowledge, knowledge that comes from observation, study and contemplation. Observation and contemplation of the ‘workings’ of the nature in the universe, its signs as given in 30-20 to 25 for example; which is the basis of science. Those employed in this field are called scholars by Quran 35-27, 28.
For the last thousand years or so, knowledge and scholarship has been translated as the expertise in regurgitating statements; often contradicting, of the long departed individuals and ancient madrasas; religious schools sometimes dubbed as Universities churning out graduates from there called Aalim.
It is interesting to note where these so called universities stand in the list of world’s five hundred universities!
Their statements form no part of Quran and its commandments. But those statements instead have become commandments, interpreting even the Quran in their context and for their vested interests. The ancient Muslims followed them and they follow today as poorly educated people; and the Trumps of this world love them!
2-79: Then woe to those who write the book with their own hands and then say “this is from God”, to traffic with it for miserable gains!
Hence the irreverent Pig and reverent Zam-Zam!
A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer