Brainwashing To Believe
On Friday 13 January this year, The Telegraph reported that Islamic terrorist have been brainwashing children into believing that if they strapped a bomb to their chest and detonated it in a public place, that the bomb would only kill Americans. The story said this:
“The largely illiterate boys are fed a diet of anti-Western and anti-Afghan government propaganda until they are prepared to kill, he said. But the boys are also assured that they will miraculously survive the devastation they cause.”
While this is horrifying, and any person in their right mind would see it this way, my mind immediately turns to why this is happening; what makes people behave in this way, and what factors influence these decisions? It seems to me that people are taking advantage of the poor, the orphaned and the undereducated children from a less than sufficient public school system, ones who have little in their lives, and ones who are easily influenced by the compelling nature of religious promises of redemption.
So the question is this. Do the people who send these children to blow themselves and many others up, who claim that Allah will spare the lives of the children, do they truly believe what they are telling these kids? In short, I really doubt it very much. Any person calling themselves a Muslim that reads that article must surely know that when a bomb taped to your chest explodes, Allah will not raise a hand to stop it.
Given that, it means that the people telling these children that they will survive the blast are lying. Not in the normal story-telling mode of religion, but in an outright lie that costs the lives of many including the child carrying the bomb. These people justify their war on “infidels”, and the lies they are telling to themselves and the children, based on the words of the religion that they apparently hold so dear, and will follow with so much fervour and fanaticism, to then use it as a tool to kill as many people as possible. I’m shocked, but I can’t say I’m surprised.
Again and again I see religion used as an excuse to do evil to other humans. It can be as horrible as this case where the lives of innocent children are taken “to further the cause”, or as seemingly harmless as promoting abstinence-only sex education. The fact that that some people use their religion as the reason for their actions, and can either gain from it by gloating over dead infidels, or by thinking they are gaining God’s favour by doing so, makes me feel quite ill. The contradictory teachings of religious texts claim to be peaceful, where one does unto others as they wish to be done unto, and yet we see so often this key edict left behind when one uses their religion as a reason or excuse to injure others or distort these teachings to get their own way.
It’s not okay to say “it’s God’s will”, for who is anyone to claim that God’s will is unknowable, and then turn around and tell us that you do in fact know the mind of God? In this case it’s not so much the belief system that is the problem, but the individuals who act as advocates for God or Allah’s will, who distort religious writings to suit their own wants and and desired outcomes. This is bad enough in and of itself, but to then brainwash kids with the utter insanity that this story illustrates is unconscionable.
I understand of course that these people are at war, and people are forced to do some unpleasant and sometimes despicable acts, and war is invariably a horrible state to find yourself in. But I think we can all agree that this kind of use of religion is one of the most disgusting acts I have ever heard of.
Before you get on your high-horse and tell me either that that is an extreme example, and that these people aren’t the true religious people of the world, please tell me, who in fact are the “real religious”? No true Muslims? No true Christians? Not the act of a true religious person? You tell me.