Thursday, July 28, 2011

Milk and Honey

A suicide bomber is, by definition, a first timer.

I cannot imagine there is much opportunity to simulate or practice these skills although I do remember hearing about the Kamikaze pilot who returned from 5 missions.

I don’t know what the Japanese for abject failure is but the pilot probably does.

Having little experience in such activities I cannot recommend or otherwise but if it appeals to you could I suggest trying a little self harm first? Just to get a taster. This has to be preferable to jumping immediately into wholesale murder and suicide. It’s a big step and you need to be sure.

Last weekends events in the land of Trolls have left me wondering again about the motivation behind such grotesque acts of murder. Not necessarily the Norwegian tragedy where the motivation appears to be clear, mad but clear. I’m thinking about the other 'normal' type of mass murderers - the Jihadist.

Now before I start I must point out that I know nothing about the Koran. I have absolutely no right whatsoever to criticize, praise or otherwise comment on the work. I do however have access to Google so will give it a go and try to find out what’s on offer in the afterlife.

First stop I want to check on the claim of 72 virgins which should be waiting for me should I decide to wear underpants lined with semtex in a crowded place and then start a small fire in my groin.

After a lengthy 30 seconds of research I have found that the Koran, which from this point on will be known as the Qur'an, tells me I will receive a gazillion servants and 72 Houri.

Houri is a word found in the Qura'an which is has a literal translation of 'white eyed'. It has subsequently been translated in a number of different ways from the racy 'restrained in their glances' right through to the almost pornographic 'splendid', at no time during my exhaustive search did I find mention of them being virgins.

So lets just assume they are virgins, restrained and splendid. Another assumption I am making here is that they are of the female variety, not the spotty, greasy haired, male variety.

So I get 72 virgins, why? If you were writing the Quoo'ran, would you choose virgins to inhabit your version of paradise?

My limited interactions with them as a teenager were not particularly favourable nor successful for that matter and ultimately I was very happy to grow up and leave that particular female demographic behind. No, if we are playing a game of paradise creation here I don’t think I would choose virgins to populate it, I also wouldn't choose 72. I would choose a significantly smaller number and make up the balance with my mates to have a laugh with or watch some celestial football.

I guess what I’m missing here is how rigid the rules are, can I mix n match within the total headcount on offer? During my deep study I saw nothing on rules.

What next? I have a few very sexy ladies, a lot of people to do stuff for me and my mates around to have a beer or two with me.

Or can I? - All the Muslim people I know don't drink alcohol.

The Queer'an states in paradise there will be rivers running with wine but it also tells us we should not drink wine or other intoxicants. The key to these seemingly contradictory statements appears to be the intoxication element - if you could drink bucket loads of wine and not be intoxicated that would be ok, however being intoxicated is the big no-no.

So the rivers in Paradise will be running with non-alcoholic wine and you can drink as much of this as you like. Although it makes no mention of Guinness, I presume the rules still apply.

Anything else? Well quite a lot actually - food, milk, honey, jewels, everlasting youth, happiness and peace.

All in, not a bad place to end up - shame about the wine but I guess you cant have everything.

The reason I started this PHD level analysis of the Quick'ran was to understand the motivation behind your average, common-or-garden, Jihadist martyr.

Putting myself in their explosive shoes for a minute I would of course say no, no way. I need a little more definitive proof, given what I was about to do. I would also try to negotiate on the wine thing.

Faith is the element I am missing here - in very simple terms you either believe or you don’t.

Other than religious writings or a trip to the casino nothing in life is based on pure faith.

In my working life I have never signed a contract on faith, I have never started on a journey from A-B trusting faith to get me there, I have never planned or done anything with its pure outcome down to faith so why should I give up my life and take a bunch of other folks with me - purely on faith? Faith that a book written some 1,500 years ago is correct.

Personally I find it inconceivable that anyone would carry out such acts at all, let alone on the strength of such weak evidence and its this which has lead me to believe there must be something else. There has to be something else which drives a young man to walk into a cafe in Jerusalem and indiscriminately kill innocent people, women, children and himself into the bargain.

Could it be that the young man in question has nothing else? Perhaps the Qur'an and its teachings is nothing more than a framework, the Imam who teaches this young man simply provides some current context. Perhaps it’s the situation in Palestine where unemployment, hopelessness and helicopter gunships are his life - he has nothing else. Perhaps the Israeli strength with Western backing becomes too much, whichever way he turns he is blocked either physically or metaphorically. I don’t believe for an instant this young man absolutely believes in the 72 Houri or the milk and honey but his circumstances have lead him to this situation and the promises of the afterlife are there as a potential silver lining, just in case.

Clearly I don’t have the answer but would suggest that by truly understanding their motivations before we state that we are standing 'shoulder to shoulder' with Israel or sending the bombers and troops in has to be preferable to the current situation we find ourselves in.

‘We don’t discuss or negotiate with terrorists’ - well perhaps the time has come to start.

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