Religious Intolerance (an admission to…)

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, (whoever he may be…) is speaking today it the Makkah Masjid Mosque.

Now I will restrain myself for the moment on the issue of who in Leeds City Council decided to grant planning permission for a major Place of Worship with no car park, ‘cos I guess being too lazy to get around to passing my driving test precludes me from too many parking space whinges. However (and yes I know it’s an old one) how, in this, the 21st century is the level of misogyny evident in Islam allowed to continue. The flyer for this event states:
“Facilities provided for sisters including live video link”.

Ok. So no girls allowed? If I put on a gig and say, “Sorry chick, not birds in here, but hey you can watch it on TV from the cellar” that’s probably illegal, isn’t it..? So is Mr Yusuf above the discrimination laws..?

Now, I don’t want anyone thinking I’m getting all Islamophobic here, I’m gonna slate my own religion next and probably a few others along the way.

Now I have a great respect for other folks beliefs. I also fully believe that Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, etc were all pretty inspired (and very probably from a higher source, whatever that may be) men who had some pretty good advice about how the people they were preaching to could best stay safe, alive and maybe even sort out their fuck-ups in a difficult society and environment. I mean there’s no denying (and this is oft-quoted) that eating rancid dead pig when you’re a landless tribe wandering the desert is probably a bad idea. A Turkish friend of mine and scholar of Islam tells me that instructions from the Quran about women’s dress was for their own protection from rape during troubled times (I’ll reserve judgement on that one). I guess all societies try and regulate boozers from time to time, and hey the Bible even gives you good advice on how to hygienically dispose of your shit (it’s in Deuteronomy, I think). And I guess it’s obvious that “coveting thy neighbours wife” may cause a bit of a ruckus, but hey I’m always a great believer in look don’t touch. And you can always have a wank can’t you? Oh, sorry, apparently “may your fountain-head be pure” or words to that effect in Psalms refers to a quick spurt into a tissue being out of the question.

It’s still looking all like a big issue of chauvinistic, racist control to me. I guess if I was some despot leading a war-decimated tribe I’d see the reason homosexuality was a bit unproductive. I mean no rapid production of more spear fodder to beat the shit out of the heathens in the next valley. But polygamy gets the baby-machines up to speed. (To be fair I have no ideological issue with polyamoury itself but you get my point).

I guess again very few people are not aware that Religion is control. Except the lot flocking to the Churches, Mosques, and Temples of course. You wonder why the government allows it. But then their control hunger’s probably worse. But that’s another issue.

I think my point is that I just don’t understand how so many sane rational people (as all my Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Jewish and whatever friends appear to be) still go for it all. I sometimes think that anyone following an organised religion needs therapy. Mind you I’ve seen a disturbing number of people in my time who do, for precisely that reason.

Arthur C. Clarke was right when he refers to “The Madness of Mankind”