Children and The Koran

Teach Your Children Well

Teach Your Children Well

Children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Greatest Love of All

by Whitney Houston

Lyrics by Michael Masser and Linda Creed

That children are the future is both a truism and a cliché. As long as they are taught that the human journey is a journey in the pursuit of knowledge through scientific enquiry and critical thinking, we have nothing to worry about. Each generation responsible for taking that additional step in the direction of the elusive ultimate truth, which, if ever discovered, would mean the end of the human journey as we know it.

The empirical pursuit of knowledge about our universe and our place in it, a gift from the Greeks of antiquity rediscovered during the Renaissance and the period known as the Enlightenment, is facing a serious challenge from those who believe that this journey ended long ago. These people believe that we should now spend much of our time at prayer and in worship of the One who can’t be praised enough, while waiting for the promised rewards of a hedonistic afterlife for our uncritical acceptance of revealed truths made known to an alleged illiterate from the Shaper of the universe himself.

More parents than ever in the West are naming their children after this man (Muhammad, and its variations, is now the most common boy’s name in England), a testament to the growing influence of the Book that damns everything that came before and every people and society that would come after that were not willing to submit to the Will of its alleged author. What came after is Islam antithesis, what we know as Western Civilization, a “fragile exception“ that we take for granted at our risk and peril.

After centuries of strife, the West has learned to separate religion and politics – to establish the legitimacy of its leaders without referring to divine command. There is little reason to expect the rest of the world – the Islamic world in particular – will follow. We in the West find it incomprehensible that theological ideas still inflame the minds of men, stirring up messianic passions that can leave societies in ruin.

We had assumed that this was no longer possible, that human beings had learned to separate religious questions from political ones, that political theology died in 16th-century Europe. We were wrong. It's we who are the fragile exception.

Mark Lilla, The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics and the Modern West (2007)

The Morning After

The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions or a clash of civilization. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between rationality and barbarity.

It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on one hand and the violation of these rights on the other. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings.

Wafa Sultan, outspoken Syrian-American woman during a debate broadcast on Al-Jazeera

Should Islam emerge triumphant from the battle between progress and backwardness, and extra-terrestrials visit this world, they will find it devoid of music, devoid of colour, devoid of fun and laughter, devoid of songs sung by females, devoid of the beauty of a woman's face and form, devoid of art that is not limited to meaningless geographical figures and above all, devoid of wonder, spontaneity and imagination.

In this bleak, predictable world where the exercise of free will means death, they will witness a form of collective conditioning where everyone, like pre-programmed automatons, constantly interrupt whatever they are doing to get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground and mouth many of the same phases they spoke just earlier, and will repeat later in praise of a mythical narcissistic deity.

They may watch in horror as bearded men in flowing robes and turbans, in front of a crowd of cheering onlookers shouting how great is their god, gleefully throw rocks at some pleading, pitiful and gentle creature buried up to her neck, in an attempt to kill her. They may come across men arguing among themselves at a bazaar or other venues where goods are traded and sold about the value of people on display, some of them in chains; men, boys and old women marketed as slave labour and young females as sex slaves.

The visitors will undoubtedly have an idea, from intercepted radio and television signals, of what the people of Earth were like when progress was not everywhere a sin, and empirical knowledge came from enquiry and reason, not from a self-proclaimed spokesperson for an unseen, all-powerful overlord. They may even wonder how such a reversal could have come about, and why anyone but the insane would fight, kill and die to create such a desolate future for humankind.