Religion is a touchy subject. Especially in our new global awareness of differences in religious beliefs around the world, there are misconceptions, and fears that can breed a new kind of criticism.
I am not a religious person. I believe I am morally correct, and spiritual. I will not turn my back on a stranger in need, giving my last $20.00 to a scam artist on the streets of Chicago, or giving my lunch to a co-worker who has nothing to eat. This, to me, is religion. Religion is caring for each other and caring enough about what is going on to try to tolerate differences.
The Muslim religion, or rather lifestyle, has been under attack since the terrible tragedy of September 11, 2001. How many people lost their lives? How many Muslim people mourned the deaths of the people in those attacks? Everyone was embracing, everyone was crying and no one was blaming a religion for the terrors of that day.
So, what has happened in the past ten years? There is newfound understanding, or misconceptions about the Muslim world. Their religion is their law. They tend to be less tolerant of others, they seem to be less willing to assimilate into the other cultures they may choose to live among. The intolerance of a few breeds contempt in the many who would rather not try to understand.
There is a controversy in New York City right now in regards to a Muslim Community Center and Mosque that is to be constructed within two blocks of the former twin towers. The Imam is coming under attack because of his radical views, and the mosque, itself, is coming under attack because no one knows where the money is coming from to finance this ill-conceived venture. Muslims throughout History have been known to build their religious buildings in a place of conquest. The very name of the NYC mosque: Cordorva House, comes from a former mosque of the same name in Spain. They had built the namesake after crusades in which the Muslims won the battles.
Criticizing religion goes beyond a single religion. The Bible comes under attack by Atheists, the Book of Mormon comes under criticism by the mainstream Christians, and the Jewish people cannot seem to get a break from the Muslim community who would rather see them all die out. Criticizing religion is not going to make it go away. Fights in Ireland between Protestants and Catholics caused many deaths and many fights between neighbors.
If all people of all religions would agree that each has the right to their beliefs (or non-beliefs) then we would all get along better. Otherwise there will continue to be fighting, there will continue to be feelings hurt, and even people will die.
What is so bad about religions? It is their incapable way of refusing to believe others. They will come to your home and "witness" or they will stand on the corner and shout while waving a Bible. They use that very same, written by the hand of man, Bible to prove their belief. Those who would argue and criticize all religions believe themselves to be people of science. Too intellectual to believe that there is a higher power. There are scientific proofs of evolution, yet the Bible refuses to indicate it. The Bible is the agenda of a bunch of Catholic priests during the dark ages when no one but the pious or rich even knew how to read. To control their masses, they brought forth this book of the Deity and those who would wish to follow something for the hope of a better tomorrow would do what the book said or be killed if they did not.
Witchcraft was a fault of religion and a worthy reason for criticism. Women and men died because of the vanity of the religious leaders of the 17th Century. How sad it is for such a thing as faith to be the harbinger of such bad news! There are no witches in the "magic" sense of the word. There are Druids and Wiccan practitioners who would enjoy the earth in its natural form, but yet again, a religion (or two) that is criticized by others. No one is safe from the disdain of others who think or behave differently.
To criticize a religion because your beliefs are different is not helping anyone. Live, and let live. Believe or not, it's your choice, but it is also someone else's too!