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"The Nearest in Love:" On How the Sri Lankan Death Cult Betrayed the Islamic Values of the Qur’an

"The Nearest in Love:" On How the Sri Lankan Death Cult Betrayed the Islamic Values of the Qur’an

Juan Cole

A tiny death cult in Sri Lanka calling itself “Sri Lanka Tawheed Jamaat” (not to be confused with a big mainstream organization of the same name in India) appears to be responsible for the eight coordinated bombings at luxury hotels and Christian churches on Sunday.


Thanks for the history lesson.
Jews, Christians and Muslims all debase their religions with aggressive, brutal, useless violence.


If the information comes from old books that sanctions the violence in Gods name then it reinforces the stubborn tendency of human beings to cling to their past ,to refuse innovation or new thinking until they are forced to do so by an ultimately embarrassing weight of evidence .This has been slowing our evolutionary process for millennia.


Why don’t we filter the older ideologies for their cherries and trash the old labels and rest of their doctrines entirely?

Then we can better define ourselves and what we respect?
H Bombs before understanding?
We’ll see, won’t we?

Or, I might add, a backlash against whomever. White-power inspired racist massacres, to this day, also have no “practical step” (besides race-war) in mind. I thank you heartily for the term, Juan Cole, and I suggest the precise boundaries of “senseless violence” and “stochastic terrorism” are devilishly elusive.

And thanks so much for God’s opinion, as recited in Qu’ran, in no uncertain terms. In my humble opinion, you’re showing a lot of class right now, even a bit of that old balm of love to heal the sin-sick soul. I needed that, this morning.

This would be a scientific way of looking at something. If I had an old historic science book, there could be some really cool stuff in there - maybe some original writings about a theory that is still in use today. And maybe it has some absolute nonsense about alchemy in there too. The former lives on and the latter is discarded (except for the ‘history’ of science which fewer people are going to be exposed to).

Religion (or any religion that I’m familiar with anyway) just doesn’t work that way and if somebody ever came up with one that did, maybe I’d be interested - as it is now, I choose to trash the whole thing. Most of my exposure is from the bible (a few chapters in the old testament and matthew in the new), but I’ve looked at a few other texts too. It all looks like trash to me - or the stuff that isn’t could be boiled down to a few paragraphs on helping your fellow humans and not despoiling the earth.

Hopefully for Sri Lanka, they don’t see a return to the type of regular violence they saw in the past (which I understand was not from perpetrators claiming Islam as their motivation).

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The Crusades of organized religion. Insulting God by attributing him with organized stupidity.

Are you saying that behaviors resulting from ideology should be completely discarded on the flip of a switch?
I don’t think that is possible.
It will take time.
People have done things a certain way in various cultures all over the world as a direct result of ideology.
You can’t just ask them to dance without those strings on a whim.
And to say that there is nothing there to preserve is a falsehood.
Re contextualizing the good because it is good and not because some tissue paper text said so is going to take time.

In my humble opinion.
Perhaps you are right.

Well that’s the way it happened for me. I was around 10 years old in Sunday School listening to some story with a miracle in it (I remember it as Jesus walking on water, but it could have been another) and I just blurted out - that doesn’t make any sense - I don’t see anything like this happening now and so why should I believe it happened in the past either? (I don’t remember my exact phrasing). The back and forth didn’t last long before it was clear I was to keep my mouth shut and shortly after I had the talk with my parents who let me quit. I still went to church now and then mostly to make my mom happy, but it was completely over - the switch had flipped.

I imagine it happens this way for a lot of people. For other people the switch goes the other way and they become religious even though they were raised without religion - maybe it will happen for my kid.

The aggregate of all those switches on or off is of course going to affect society. For whatever reason, I think a lot more switches went off in Europe compared to the US - we are still a pretty religious nation here. It doesn’t seem to do squat for our international ethics which are horrendous but it has a whole lot of negative side effects like the populace being easily manipulated on the abortion issue to the the extent that they can view Trump as a godly man (wow, talk about any metric of brainwashing - that’s off the charts).

As to which direction things are going to go - more switches on or off, I really couldn’t say. According to Pew (https://www.pewforum.org/2018/06/13/young-adults-around-the-world-are-less-religious-by-several-measures/) the younger generation has switched off significantly - whether that will become dominant is hard to know - seems like if it does, it will be a long time coming.