Saturday, 9 June 2007


The painting is from Francisco Goya: Saturn devours his children

His name was Ali, he was living somewhere in Baghdad. One day, not so long ago, he was found dead, throat slit, hands bound with wire behind his back. He had the bad idea to live as a Shia Muslim in a Sunni Muslim Area.

I do not know if "Love your neighbor" is especially requested and required in Islam. But the contrary is certainly not.

But such gruesome killings happen elsewhere, too. In Northern Ireland, the Catholics and the Protestants have killed each other for centuries.

When the 30 Years' War - Protestants against Catholics on the menu - ended in 1648 in Germany, two thirds of the entire population were dead.

The list of mass killings, wars, violence based on religion is endless. One might even say that religious differences are one of its the main reasons .

On the other hand, when you talk person to person to active Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs over here, they all seem to be decent, tolerant people. Full of understanding, no violence, no fanaticism, no Sir.

So what?

If I look at all those appalling events: killings and violence of all kind that go on and on, now and in the past, carried out in the name of religion, I cannot help thinking that this has two main reasons: pretension to exclusivity and lust for power.

With exclusivity I mean the fact that today's big religions have only one God who asks for exclusivity. "I am a jealous God" says Jehovah, the God of the Jews and the Christians in the Bible. And Allah, as the same God is called by the Muslims, does not compel the faithful to be tolerant, either. And thus, all other Gods of other people are considered wrong and should thus disappear, weeded out, and pronto!

Now add to this idea of exclusivity a big army and a good array of weapons and the next calamity is being programmed. You just need some enterprising politician (or a little warlord, or a king or any head of state) who sees the huge potential to do his bidding in the name of God.

Has anyone on the World Wide Web an idea how to get out of this situation? To make our little blue planet a little bit more comfortable and less risky.