Friday, 18 April 2014

Defending The Indefensible

I follow with great interest fellow blogger and ex-Muslim, Narwa, author of  "between a veil and a dark place" and, since her blog doesn't accept comments, I feel the need to reply to her latest post "The racism of the white wolf who cried Islamophobia".

Narwa is a brave young woman with the necessary literary atributes to write about her early life experiences in the Lebanon, in an honest and poignant way, and hence my interest.

A brave woman indeed, considering the inevitable backlash and retribution the evil mullahs dish out to all who dare turn against Islam. Needless to say, it wouldn't be advisable for Narwa to ever set foot again in her home land or any other country shackled to Islam. It wouldn't be safe.

What I find ironic but somehow disconcertingly understandable, is that Narwa still feels the need to defend Islam against Islamophobia.

In my view, everyone should condemn all injustice, and there are no greater injustices than those endorsed by religions.

I was born into the Christian culture but feel no need whatsoever to protect it. I am vehemently opposed to all world religions.

Narwa displays that all too common misconception of  "only I or those who belong can criticise  what's ours". If anyone other than an ex Muslim criticises Islam, Narwa labels it Islamophobia.


Islamophobia is growing, as are the numbers of people around the world leaving their religions and denouncing archaic indoctrination. And that can only be perceived as good news for humanity.

We all know what is fuelling Islamophobia. We all know it is the acts of aggression of some Muslim fundamentalists who are alienating their people from the rest of the world.

We all know that not all Muslims are terrorists but almost all terrorists are Muslim.

We all know that cultures who endorse and live in "An eye for an eye" culture, are relics of the dark ages of humanity and such ways should have long been consigned to the dustbin of history.

As Gandhi once said and I quote; "An eye for an eye makes the world go blind"

We all know what is fuelling Islamophobia and it's not the "racist white wolf" who is merely taking advantage of the present anti-Islam wave to justify its prejudice.

Islamophobia is growing daily due to the increasing abundance of news through the internet's social media depicting Islam as being synonymous with; Misogyny, Intolerance, Aggression, Homophobia, Female Genital Mutilation, Child Marriage, Child Abuse, Slavery and, the most dangerous of all, Sharia Law.

Narwa, it is absurd for you to consider Richard Dawkins as a racist white wolf. He has as much right to speak against the indefensible as you have.

Narwa, I urge you to continue the fight against theism - but don't waste time fighting the minor imperfections of your true allies.

And, lastly, don't let your innate anger "alienate" you from the debate.


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Empathy is 'Blurring The Line Between Self And Other'

After a hard day's work and a rush through the friday night traffic I got home around 7pm. By 8:30 I was on my way to Basingstoke for a weekend of socialising with friends and stopped at a Shell station for fuel. When attempting to pay I inserted my debit card in the reader and it was promptly declined. I insisted there were ample funds in the account and suggested the teller tried inserting the card a second time. Declined again.

I asked directions to the nearest cash point and was told of a location 10 minutes walk away. Walk because I was told in no uncertain terms to leave the car at the station.

To say I was annoyed is an understatement. The inconvenience and delay I faced when I was sure it was the station's card reader at fault made it that much more irritating.

As I went to the car to get my jacket a young chap ran out of the shop and called me over. He offered to pay my bill and told me I could transfer the money later.

"But it's a fair amount of money, £42" I replied.

He said "that's Ok, no trouble" .

As we walked back into the shop I gave him my iphone to enter his phone number. We exchanged numbers and he paid my bill. I offered to transfer the money there and then but he said he was running late and on his way to meet his girfriend in Farnham.

James, a person I had never met before was trusting me to the point of incredulity. Despite my insistence he gave me a few minutes to transfer the money he again reitterated how late he was and that I could do that later.

We went our separate ways and I felt humbled and at peace with the world. The selfless act of a total stranger had turned an annoying incident into a pleasent one.

Later that evening, after telling my friends about James' act of kindness, I texted him, thanking him again for his kindness and asked for his bank details.

To my surprise James didn't reply until next morning. This is what he wrote:

"Morning Joe, not a problem at all, doesn't hurt to be human, just hope you got to where you needed to be. (account details) Have a lovely weekend buddy..."

I transferred the money and sent him a message of gratitude, to which he replied:

"thank you Joe, really appreciate that mate, couldn't just leave you stranded. Hope you have a good weekend mate, take care"

I had a wonderful weekend, thanks to James generosity. The prospect of walking through dark alleys in a strange neighbourhood at night in West London to an unknown cashpoint wasn't my idea of a good night out.

James, a stranger who offered to pay my bill so as not leave me stranded, has reinforced my belief in humanity.  Kindness really is all around us.

Thank you James, once again, for being kind, generous, and most importantly, for demonstrating the special human quality I admire the most.