Stupidty in the Name of Religion is a Two Way Street

Christian mobs rampaged through a southern Nigerian city Tuesday, burning mosques and killing several people in an outbreak of anti-Muslim violence that followed deadly protests against caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad over the weekend.

Residents and witnesses in the southern, predominantly Christian city of Onitsha said several Muslims with origins in the north were beaten to death by mobs which also burned two mosques there.

“The mosque at the main market has been burnt and I’ve counted at least six dead bodies on the streets,” Izzy Uzor, an Onitsha resident and businessman, told The Associated Press by telephone. “The whole town is in a frenzy and people are running in all directions.”

The violence appeared to be in reprisal for anti-Christian violence Saturday in the mostly Muslim northern city of Maiduguri in which thousands of Muslims protesting caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad attacked Christians and burned churches, killing at least 18 people. [source]

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  • While religion has its positive attributes, I think few would argue that it provides the impetus for much death and destruction. Far too many people get so caught up in the belief that THEIR conception of God or THEIR set of beliefs are absolute fact that anyone who understands such things in different terms are heathens that must be destroyed at all costs.

    As a philosophical Taoist, I reject the concept of religion. I accept the notion that there is no one right way to interpret this incomprehensible world. I accept that different people in different cultures will express their understanding of such in different ways. If the world was filled with Taoists, there would still be much difference of opinion, but I don’t think there would much violent confrontation.

  • But the Christian attack wasn’t a result of being insulted, it was a result of vengeance for the earlier attacks which killed 18. Nigeria, which was a nation with many Christians, has been becoming another Sudan. And everyone just clucks their tongues and says ‘how sad’ and carries on. I think Christians there are tired of turning the other cheek.

    I don’t advocate violence in either case. But comparing violence done in outrage, attacking people who nothing to do with the offense cannot be compared to retaliation to an unprovoked attack where women and children died.

    Roba dear and Rambling Taoist: If what you say is true, than today there would be no Muslims or Christians. When any belief system, even liberalism, becomes a predominant one, we discover the evil that resides in the heart of the dominant one-however dormant it had lied while a minority.

    It has nothing to do with religion at all. It has everything to do with selfishness and greed – which so far in human history, has rarely been tamed on a large scale by any belief system, level of education or advance in technology.

  • No man on earth can live without a belief system of some type. Even agnosticism ends up being a sort of structured belief. And itâ??s a human nature that every believer will try to defend his belief system against intruder, and also try to promote it where and whenever appropriate.
    So, I think the conflict will go on forever, and the winner is the one who loses less.

  • kinzi, while i respect your opinion i have to disagree with you. we should not be comparing this to that. otherwise its purly 2 children standing outside the principles office saying “he started it first”. people were killed with some forethought here, it was planned. in a civil society it should not have taken place, both the action and the reaction. i really dont care which one is to blame, and i’m not looking to justify either.

    i’m reminded of something martin luther king jr once said:

    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it … Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate … Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

  • Nas, I respect your opinion and it’s amplification in that there is never just cause for premeditated murder. I do still believe that the cause of the two differs in level of ‘stupidity’, or maybe I would use the would use the word ‘evil’.

    Good quote, btw.

  • kinzi, thanks. keep in mind though that i do not use the word “stupidity” simply in reference to Christians who reacted or the Muslims who acted. In other words if it was the other way around and Muslims were the one reacting I would’ve still seen both action and reaction equal in stupidity, because both the action and reaction cannot be justified by either the Christian or Muslim religions and therefore neither the action nor reaction is a tad more just than the other.

Your Two Piasters: