I Read The News Today. Oh Boy.

MB read the news today. Same as he does every other day. Makes for sad & disturbing reading out these parts. 

Palestinian friend informed MB many months ago that there is no solution to the historic Israeli/Palestinian problem. None. It’s impossible to solve. Just never ending cycles of violence and bloodshed. Seems he is correct. Oh boy.

Remember a few months back having conversation with two young educated Indian Muslims who work in the Middle East. One referred to Shia Muslims as heretics. The other was openly supportive of killing apostates – those who convert from Islam to another religion. Both are young men with college educations. Who come from the land of Ghandi. Their holy book does not support either position. Both should know better. But majority Muslim opinion would also support the positions of both. Educated Russian Muslim friend told MB that the majority muslim opinion means nothing. As the majority come from third world countries with low education levels. Oh boy.

MB met an elderly Muslim Bedouin man in Riyadh airport last year, whose dad had fought with Lawrence Of Arabia in the early part of the last century. Was intelligent educated man. He surprised MB with following comment – ‘Islam has been a disaster for the Arabs’. On MB’s repeating the statement to a Syrian friend, Syrian friend considered it for a moment and said – ‘No, Arabs have been a disaster for Islam’. Syrian (Arab) friend has informed his early-twenties daughter that he prefers, if at all possible, that she does not marry an Arab. She has Syrian Passport and lives in Saudi Arabia. Difficult ask. Difficult task. Oh boy.

MB’s above mentioned Palestinian friend also informed MB that when he was growing up in Gaza he never know who was Sunni or who was Shia. Everyone he knew were just neighbours or friends. Then he emigrated to Saudi Arabia. Was the first time he heard mention of who was who and what was what. Tolerance is not a virtue well known in the land of the two holy mosques in relation to other religions. Or many other things. Only the ‘one true religion’ allowed to practice. Oh boy.

Attended a lecture late last year in Riyadh given by world renowned Islamic scholar Zakir Naik. He wanted to prove how superior and more scientific Islam was over other religions. Calls himself an expert in ‘comparative religions’. He (a qualified medical doctor) failed to mention in his speech the topics of child brides or marrying first cousins and all that ensues from same. Met four elderly Saudi gentlemen awaiting to board a flight from Riyadh to UAE last year. MB was immediately asked if he was Muslim or Christian. And was then informed that ‘Christianity is finished – khalas’ – as Islam is the final & one true religion. One of his friends was slightly embarrassed but the other two were obviously happy to hear the exchange. MB can read the faces. Why oh why would anyone feel the need to ‘prove’ their religion is better than that of another or to throw it in the face of a stranger? Insecurity maybe. Oh boy.

Young Pakistani work colleague was telling MB recently that when he was 14 years old he was approached by a Mullah from the local Madrassa (religious) school back home. The Mullah tried to impress him by informing him that he would learn all about the teachings of the Quran and about Jihad if he enrolled. He was smart enough and ballsy enough to inform the Mullah that his first religious duty was to his parents. But to keep the Mullah happy, as is the culture, a younger brother was offered by the family to the Madrassa, where he spent three years before the family removed him to a formal secondary school. To remain in a Madrassa means that you can never attend University as you only have religious education and none of the necessary education required to become Engineer or anything else. Thankfully that younger brother is also now an Engineer, many years later. Pakistani friend also informs MB that nobody knows how the Madrassas are supported financially.  They have the best cars, and want for nothing. Despite having no visible income. But we can reasonably guess that much of the cash comes from the land of the two holy mosques. Even the army and intelligence services are afraid of the Mullahs. Oh boy.

The Islamic State has now taken over an area of Syria and Iraq larger than France. They boast of executing 1,700 Shia in the early days of their recent ‘success’ whom they consider religious heretics. Take a look if you can: http://rt.com/news/166092-iraq-militants-mass-executions/ In recent days the last Christians have fled Mosul, having lived there for more than 1,500 years, under threat of death by the Jihadi Islamists. Historic churches have been burnt to the ground. Along with other non-Sunni places of worship. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/07/last-remaining-christians-flee-iraq-mosul-201472118235739663.html Beheadings and Stoning to Death are now regular features of law enforcement. Stone age stuff. Literally. Oh boy.

Boko Haram in Nigeria wants Sharia Law throughout Nigeria which is less than 50% Muslim. They believe that nothing resembling Western education should be permitted in the country. And have killed thousands of civilians to show how truly Islamic they are, including murdering many teachers in the villages and towns in which they operate. And recently, infamously, kidnapped 200 Christian children from a school. Some 50 escaped and the remainder are still held captive. And let’s not mention Al Shebab in Somalia. Oh boy.

Had email from friend in London yesterday. She is college lecturer. Young Chinese/Malaysian student in her class was bemoaning the ‘Islamic’ pronouncements of his fellow countrymen of recent days that Flight MH17 would not have been shot down if it had not had women with mini skirts and alcohol aboard. Friend of MB is open minded & liberal with no axe top grind with anyone. But her following statement might be on the minds of many at present – ‘I am beginning to regard a certain religion as a heretical and socially divisive influence at best’. Oh boy.

Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian woman, was recently sentenced to death for apostasy in Sudan – she was raised a Christian by her mother and married a Christian man. Because she was pregnant the court decided she would die two years after the birth of the child. She recently gave birth to her child in prison with her legs in chains. Mercifully she has managed, with help from the US and Italian Governments, to escape to Italy. And had tea with the Pope earlier today. Al hamd’allah. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28460383 The Sudanese have not dropped the charges against her. Oh boy.

Many Muslims have informed MB during his years in the Middle East that if he wants to understand Islam, he must unfortunately not look to the behaviour of Muslims. MB just scratches his head and wonders why this should be so.


4 Comments on “I Read The News Today. Oh Boy.

  1. Mike – I always look forward your blogs, as they are both informative and enjoyable, but this one was so moving and filled with such raw emotion that it had your old friend Robbo nearly in tears. I agree with Gypsy “Scary news, scary days”.


  2. Your posts always leave me breathless, MB. Sometimes because of the beauty of the imagery, sometimes because of the starkness of truth. You touch on things I am often afraid to, for fear of making them all too real by writing about them. I know I’m cheating readers by skirting around the issues. You never cheat your readers. Powerful piece that incites reflection. We really do live in unforgiving lands, on so many levels. Some may be more tolerant than others, but they all simmer. Scary news, scary days.


    • Thanks Gypsy. Have been thinking about that post for quite some time. And dithered due to the reasons you mention. But too many truly evil things happening in recent weeks and felt I had to put my head above the parapet. Hopefully I don’t lose it!


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