An individual can hate all religions, mock them, criticize them and genuinely feel that religion is a destructive force that needs to be eliminated from society; for me, at least, it’s easy to understand those feelings because at some level I agree with all of them; but I also understand some basic truths about human nature. When you criticize or worse yet mock a person’s firmly held beliefs (about religion or any other subject) you set yourself up as a moral authority based ONLY on YOUR OWN firmly held beliefs, you become a hypocrite and you create a conflict that very seldom will end well.
It’s a zero-sum game that we all thoughtlessly engage in because, in the end, we humans are most times ruled by our egos, not by our intelligence, good judgement, humility or respect for others beliefs. Of course I am speaking in generalities here but anyone who is reading and judging this should have to admit that we are each the centers of our own universes and we (depending on our natures) either attempt, on a daily basis, to coexist with other people’s “universes” or find ways to set up conflicts with them.
To what end do we say “no you’re wrong and I’m right?” If speaking of strictly fact-based endeavors like the various branches of science and mathematics, right and wrong can usually be proven fairly easily but disagreements about more abstract areas of knowledge: things based on beliefs, theories, legends, superstitions or ancient writings will always produce more and possibly larger disagreement.
So, to what end do we argue about religion? To no good end and possibly, as was the case in France recently and in Denmark several years before, to a violent end.
The major problem in the religious world right now is, of course, radical Islam. It is not a problem that radical Muslims have their beliefs and moderate- and non-Muslems have their beliefs; the major problem is that, to the radicalized Muslim there is no room for disagreements, opposing opinions or even intelligent debate.
Radical Muslims have reduced their religion to the same level as the cockroach and termite worlds. Their objective is to mindlessly infest the world with their ideology and destroy whatever stands in their way. No conversation! No debate! No moderation or respect for others, not even for those who worship the same God but follow the Qur’an with a less violent, more civilized perspective.
What do you do when faced with a threat like radicalized Islam?
You don’t do as the United States tends to do and attempt to appease it.
You don’t take the incredibly stupid route like Charlie Hebdo has done by taunting and teasing it — oh yes, in a civilized society they had the RIGHT to do that but they had no end-game, no objective except to piss murderous radical Muslims off and hope there are a few writers and cartoonists left to write their friends epitaphs.
What you must do to beat radical Islam is work hard to understand it: their temperament, their methods, their weaknesses, their manpower, the sources of their financing and supplies, and their physical locations. Then attack their financing and their supply chains, weakening and demoralizing them. Finally you must make a plan to relentlessly exterminate them, cell by cell. You are not, after all, dealing with civilized human beings, you are dealing with mutated cockroaches and termites trained in the use of high-tech weaponry.