Tip Toeing in a faith based country.
One of the most striking things to a westerner about being in Morocco is the predominant role that religion plays, from the call to prayer, to the clothing, to the praying, to the religious TV shows on the big screens in restaurants. Muslim faith is everywhere you turn. For example, I just returned from lunch and watching a handsome young singer perform in a beautifully polished music video. This is common, but what was different this time was that his words were footnoted in english. Here’s what he was saying:
Oh my Mohammed,
I lay down all personal attributes to you
and do as you wish,
I love you more than anything,
I would sacrifice my mother and father to you,
Oh my Mohammed.
Sure, some of that is the usual sell out to sell records. But what if he is so blinded by faith as to be able to murder his parents? And what if he really is willing to become a wet noodle with regard to his own intelligence if his mosque requests it. Man, that’s faith!
And though presented as a very high and honorable quality, it is as vulgar and foreign to me as some American rap music that degrades women. But it’s much much deeper.
I wonder how many of the good kind warm Moroccan people that I have met, if extorted by their religion which tells them to love a 5th century person enough to sacrifice their own families for, (yes the meaning is kill, not renounce), would turn against me if their religious leaders were to decide that all infidels in the country must me stoned?
The Koran teaches that it is wrong to love any thing more than God- represented by Mohammed. That God is completely beyond the ability to conceive of or think about. And that therefore a good Muslim has complete, total and unquestioning faith, surrender, and submission to “God’s” will. And like Christianity, it is strongly emphasized that there is only one God, Allah.
How crippling to intelligence and advancement. The easily manipulated destructive power of a people deeply steeped in faith is easily felt, and makes me tip toe a bit. Indeed, if it can happen in America, where Christians, despite their advantages in education and world perspective, are misled by faith to do any number of absurdities, it can happen here.
My views about religion are shifting. In America I felt the best attitude to take towards religion was tolerance. In Italy on the Camino de Santiago I loved religion as an endearing cultural artifact. But now I see religion, to the degree that people defer their own sensible judgements to “God’s”, as a great threat to peace and human advancement. More than ever I feel that it is not possible to understand humanity without understanding religion. I wish it wasn’t so.
Ok, off my soapbox.
Beyond that I am 90% recovered. I’ll have one more day of stationaryism before resuming my explorations.
Really, what do you think?