A September 2017 announcement

A little late on my part, but with Haram Month over I’d like to get something out the way. I’ve been pretty inactive with the blog in general as of late, and I only bothered to write four posts for Haram Month. My activity on this blog has, in general, slowed down ever since I took that break in April and started writing again in May. Before you get the wrong idea, this blog is not dead yet. I’m just getting a bit busy, or distracted depending on the day, with other things and consequently I’ve spent less time writing for this blog.

As of now, I have pretty much a month or less before I return to university for one final year, in order to do the Masters degree on my course, which will be even harder than the last year so I’m told. I have increasingly less time to prepare before I return to university. That said I will probably still spend some time enjoying what I have left of the summer before the autumnal equinox arrives. I will still write for the blog on a whenever I feel like it. I hope to get some reading done and make for some rather interesting blog posts. For now, expect a slow period for the blog, though current events will probably end up eliciting a quick post or two, and the political situation in the West may merit a few rants.

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Haram Month 2017 #4 – The foreign policy canard

Whenever we have to discuss the threat of Islamic terrorism, there is always a rather pernicious canard thrown around. The idea that Islamic terrorism is driven predominantly by American or Western imperialism, most of the time referring to America. While I’m sure America’s antics in the Middle East has indeed caused some resentment among ordinary Muslims towards the American state, one wonders why it seems like Islamic terrorists love to target Europe? Do they think that by attacking Europe they will cause America to back down, when at this point they would probably be more likely to shut their borders? What’s more, if they are solely motivated by hatred of the American state because of alleged imperialism, why do they go and kill ordinary European citizens, rather than target American government officials, embassies or military bases?

And while we in Britain were still reeling from the brutal terrorist attack that occurred in Manchester, England, radical Islamist military forces were busy trying to take over a city in the Phillipines. Yes, an Islamic militia known as Maute (aka the Islamic State of Lanao) attacked the city of Marawi, and became locked in battle with Filipino forces. The entire time I wondered, baffled, what did the Philippines do to deserve this? Where are they involved in the foreign policy canard? Was the Philippines involved in any military interventions or excursions in the Middle East? Whenever I asked, no one could give an answer. Perhaps that is because they can’t. There is no intervention that I’m aware of. Clearly, whatever reason the Islamists had to try and take over Marawi had nothing to do with it.

Haram Month 2017 #3 – Antisemitism and Islam

In Islam, Jews are regarded as People of the Book, alongside Christians, which you would think means that they share some sort of brotherhood on the grounds that they all believe in God under different names. If that’s the case, why do Middle Eastern Muslims view the Jewish people with such contempt?

Anti-Semitism is so widespread in the Middle East, that MEMRI TV has a whole project wherein they document it. You can also find several clips of anti-Semitic commentary from Middle Eastern TV on YouTube. Honestly, it’s worth a laugh more than anything else.

What’s more, Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf is apparently a best-seller in countries like Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, as well as Bangladesh. Another book, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, is apparently a best-seller in Syria, and is cited as evidence of Zionist imperialism in Article 32 of the Hamas Charter (or The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance as it’s also known). It is also not uncommon in the Arab world for Jews to be viewed as the descendants of apes and pigs.

And of course, this is isn’t something that exists outside the religious teachings of Islam, as taught by the Quran:

And verily, you will find them (the Jews) the greediest of mankind for life and (even greedier) than those who – ascribe partners to Allah (and do not believe in Resurrection – Magians, pagans, and idolaters, etc.). Everyone of them wishes that he could be given a life of a thousand years. But the grant of such life will not save him even a little from (due) punishment. And Allah is All-Seer of what they do..” – Quran 2:96

And certainly Allah made a covenant with the children of Israel, and We raised up among them twelve chieftains; and Allah said: Surely I am with you; if you keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and believe in My apostles and assist them and offer to Allah a goodly gift, I will most certainly cover your evil deeds, and I will most certainly cause you to enter into gardens beneath which rivers flow, but whoever disbelieves from among you after that, he indeed shall lose the right way.

But on account of their breaking their covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard; they altered the words from their places and they neglected a portion of what they were reminded of; and you shall always discover treachery in them excepting a few of them; so pardon them and turn away; surely Allah loves those who do good (to others).” – Quran 5:12-13

O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.” – Quran 5:51

You will surely find the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers [to be] the Jews and those who associate others with Allah; and you will find the nearest of them in affection to the believers those who say, “We are Christians.” That is because among them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant.” – Quran 5:82

And then there’s the Hadiths, which feature this line rather frequently cited by anti-Semitic Islamic clerics:

Ibn ‘Umar reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: You will fight against the Jews and you will kill them until even a stone would say: Come here, Muslim, there is a Jew (hiding himself behind me) ; kill him.” – Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6981

But what am I saying? This is all just coming out a vacuum and has nothing to do with Islam.

Haram Month 2017 #2 – Sikhism and Islam

For some reason, there is tendency among some people to confused Muslims for Sikhs. In fact there was one incident around the time of the Manchester attack when Cosmpolitan saw a Sikh man offering free taxi rides to people in Manchester who may have been in need or danger and falsely identified him as a Muslim man, presumably in an opportunistic attempt to point Muslims in a positive or humanitarian light. So I think it’s worth having a look at Sikhism, and the relationship between Sikhism and Islam.

Sikhism is an Indian religion which believes in one God, a formless and genderless God at that, which they believe to be found in all things and all beings and cannot be incarnated in a concrete form. Many Sikhs profess their religion to about honesty, charity, sharing with others, getting close to God and controlling the “weakness” of the human personality through meditating on God, and the premise that all humans are equal before God. Like Hindus, Sikhs believe in reincarnation and karma, but unlike Hindus they reject the implementation of the caste system and the premise of needing to lead a particularly monastic or ascetic lifestyle in order to attain closeness to God, instead believing that meditation and good works within worldly life can achieve that closeness, and there is no dietary restriction involving meat. The religion seems to have been founded in the 15th century by a man named Guru Nanak, who expounded what would come to be known as the teachings of Sikhism during his lifetime. According to Sikh lore, he was the first of ten Gurus who contributed to the development of Sikh teachings. Although the Gurus are seen as important to their teachings, they are not seen as godlike, and since Sikhism rejects idolatry believers insist that the Gurus should not be worshiped in the same way that God is worshiped.

Muslims, naturally, consider Sikhism to be a false doctrine, and sometimes they perceive Sikhs as having a hatred of Islam. Relations between Sikhs and Muslims have not always been peaceful, not least because of the obvious doctrinal differences between Sikhism and Islam. Sikhs don’t worship the human proponents of their religion, where Islam worships Muhammad along Allah as his prophet. Islam has an entire legal and political code built around the teachings of Sharia, where Sikhism does not.  Not to mention, there has been some historical violent conflict between Muslims and Sikhs. During the partition of what was formerly British India, Sikhs and Muslims attacked and killed one another in Punjab, which some believe may have been instigated by Muslims.

In Britain, Sikhs are often seen as a model of integration of foreign cultures into British society. British Sikhs fought alongside their countrymen in the British Army in defense of their country, and have generally been respected by their fellow Brits ever since, though some feel they are overlooked in the political discussion of the merits of multiculturalism vs assimilation. At any rate, Sikhs certainly don’t seem to have much of the problems associated with the Islamic community. It’s a shame that people get the two confused.

Haram Month 2017 #1 – Bid’ah

Over the course of this year, there is a part of me that is becoming somewhat convinced that Islam is not something that can be reformed in the way that people like Maajid Nawaz hope it can be. One of the reasons for this is something called Bid’ah.

Bid’ah, in Islamic tradition, is a term that is used to refer to doctrinal innovations that fall outside of the sphere of Islamic doctrine as espoused in the Quran and the Hadiths (or Sunnah).

There is a Hadith wherein the prophet Muhammad is reported to have explicitly condemned all innovations as leading people to damnation.

Jabir ibn Abdullah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would praise Allah in his sermon as He deserves to be praised and then he would say, “Whoever Allah guides, no one can lead him astray. Whoever Allah sends astray, no one can guide him. The truest word is the Book of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The most evil matters are those that are newly invented, for every newly invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.” Then the Prophet would hold up his two fingers and say, “The Hour and I have been sent as close together as these two.” Whenever the Prophet mentioned the Hour, his cheeks would turn red and he would raise his voice and become very upset, as if he were warning us of an approaching army, saying, “It is coming in the morning or the evening!” Then the Prophet would say, “Whoever leaves behind his wealth, it is for his family. Whoever leaves behind a debt or his dependents, then they are my responsibility. I am the first to take care of the believers.” – Sunan An-Nasa’i 1578

From what I understand, the concept of Bid’ah is actually a subject of debate within the Islamic world. Bid’ah often falls into a set of classifications based on “good” and “bad”. “Good” Bid’ah refers to innovations that don’t explicitly contradict the teachings of the Quran and the Hadiths or Sharia law, while “bad” Bid’ah refers to such innovations that do contradict those teachings and are deemed to be against it. Some Muslims view these categories as necessary, arguing that the teachings of Islam will only survive if they can adapt to change, which is an amicable sentiment to hold.

The problem with the idea of approved innovations to Islamic doctrine, however, is that there is a verse in the Quran wherein the perfection of Islam (from the viewpoint of the Quran) is rather clearly explicated.

This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” – Quran 5:3

And remember that in Islam, the Quran and the Hadiths are the final word of God.

To me it is likely because the mentality of the finality of the teachings of Islam, and the classification reserved for ideas outside of Islam that might lead to its reform or renewal, will not pose much other than an obstacle to the reform so desired liberal/secular Muslims. Indeed, given the barbarity and absurdity of the Islamic religion, it is far better to simply abandon the religion entirely in favor of either a different religion or atheism/secularism.

Announcing Haram Month 2017

It’s that time of year again, and as far as I can see the West has suffered further assault from Islamic terrorism while the attitude of society towards the subject has changed very little. In fact we in the UK had a general election where a candidate was booed simply for saying the word “jihadis”.

So I think it’s time to announce the beginning of Haram Month 2017, starting tomorrow.

It will go the same way as last year: for the next month, from tomorrow until September 1st, every post I write will be related to the subject of Islam and Islamic terrorism in some way, with the goal of deconstructing Islam as a belief system as a protest against our society’s tendency to treat Islam with kid gloves, despite being demonstrably the most barbaric religion on Earth.

Like last year, any other blogger who wants to do a Haram Month of their own on their blog can do so if they wish.

My thoughts on the new Spiritual Satanism

There’s a new development here in the sphere of us WordPress Satanists, that is Satanists are currently active and are part of a blogosphere here on WordPress. My friend Summer Thunder has started a new group for what he refers to as Spiritual Satanism.

When you research the term Spiritual Satanism on the Internet, the term is typically described interchangeably with theistic Satanism, if not simply seen as another name for theistic Satanism. However, the term also has its associations with a group known as Joy of Satan.

I used to be very active on Yahoo Answers when I was a teenager, and often times when I talked about religion and Satanism I would come across people from Joy of Satan, usually shills who posted the same wall of bullshit about how Satanism was actually sun worship and how Satan was the creator deity Enki among various other nonsense. They are a neo-Nazi cult that seems to have started years ago with a woman named Andrea Herrington (aka Maxine Dietrich). Although they have the trappings of theistic Satanism, much of their philosophy is at odds with Satanism and certainly contradicts the basic ethos behind Satanism. In Satanism, the individual is the object of focus and Satan is a device, a symbol, a guiding idea to which the individual may relate, and the individual is the master. In Joy of Satan however, there is a certain emphasis on the “glory” of your race. Specifically, the race of the “Gentiles”, typically meaning either white or Aryan (although I have heard there are a few non-white members of the group), as well as the perceived “evil” of the Jews, which is also bound up with their militant opposition to Judaism and Christianity, and the individual’s relationship with Satan (who is erroneously interchanged with the deity Enki).

But there is another Satanist out there who uses the term Spiritual Satanism to describe her beliefs. Her name is Venus Satanas, a self-described witch who has written essays on the subject of Satanism from an independent perspective. For her, the term Spiritual Satanism entails a form of Satanism that is completely self-directed, centering on your relationship between you and the concept of Satan, in terms of a spiritual form or doctrine free of the constraints of religious dogma and the boundaries of group-based ideology (as personified by organizations such as the Church of Satan). You bow not to the ruler of heaven, nor supplicate Satan as the lord of hell. Satan is a being, or a force, the individual aligns with on his/her own terms. She refers to Satan as a god in some of her postings, so I am inclined to think she is a theistic Satanist who plays by her own rules. To be a Spiritual Satanist, for Venus Satanas, is essentially to be an independent Satanist, not affiliated with any organizations that would limit the thinking of the individual Satanist, but it is from something of a spiritualistic perspective. In this sense, it is her way of reconciling spiritualism with Satanism, and for that I suppose it’s no surprise other Satanists would single her out as merely a “self-styled” Satanist.

Now, I for one welcome any attempts from Satanists to appropriate the term Spiritual Satanism in any capacity that is outside the Joy of Satan. I would be interested in the term Spiritual Satanism having its own sort of identity separate from theistic Satanism, though I suspect it will be treated as a subset of theistic Satanism. At any rate, I think it’s good if Satanists take the term as their own as they wanted to do so and distinguish themselves from Joy of Satan.

Summer Thunder has a Facebook group for any Satanists who either want to be Spiritual Satanists, already consider themselves Spiritual Satanists (hopefully not the JoS types I mentioned earlier), or are simply fascinated by the concept. The group is a UK-focused group called Spiritual Satanists of the UK, and anyone who’s interested can join if they want.