Congratulations, Islam! You’ve won this year’s award for Worst Religion in the World. Christians were trying for it with the whole Chick-Fil-A thing, but you really clinched it when your followers rioted and murdered people because they felt offended by a really bad film.
You know, every other religion in the world has pretty much chilled the fuck out about this kind of thing. Buddhists don’t rampage in 20 countries when their religion is challenged. Hindus — okay, admit it, Hindus, you’ve had your moments, but nothing like this. Christians cop it all the time on the blasphemy front, and they don’t storm embassies. Hell, they’ve invited me to debates in their own churches, where I’ve challenged their religion, and even told them that their god must be kind of dumb. And then they invite me back. Do you know what that does? It shows people that their faith is robust. Your rioting shows the world that your god is so weak that he can’t protect himself, and needs his butthurt followers to enact violence on his behalf.
Let’s not let Christianity off the hook entirely. They acted like homicidal loons when they could get away with it. In the early American colonies as recently as the 1600s, you could be punished or put to death for blasphemy. It’s just one of the things religion in general is so good at: creating these non-negotiable zones where certain beliefs or values are held as holy, and setting people up for needless conflict.
How did Christianity calm down? Christianity didn’t move from Inquisitions to PR departments by themselves. They were pushed by an emerging tradition of secularism in Western countries since the Enlightenment. Secularism tamed Christianity, and needs to continue. But Islam — you need to catch up.
I don’t know if this is a real Arabic proverb or not — it was marked as such when I first heard it — but it’s worthy of consideration anyway:
UPDATE: There’s a new post for 2013. Go read it, and comment there if you want to. This thread’s closed, so no new comments. Any comments will be sent to moderation, and then remorselessly deleted. And the reason is that it’s 95% angry Muslims telling me how wonderful and perfect Islam is, and that I’m going to hell, sometimes both in the same comment.
If hearing that Islam sucks makes you angry, you can do something to make Islam suck less. For a start, you can work on being less oppressive to women, gay people, apostates, and religious minorities. Remember, Christianity sucks almost as much as Islam, so if you make Islam just a little better, it could make Christianity the world’s suckiest religion next year. Make it happen, Muslim folks. I believe you can do it.