It’s hard to watch this unsettling video harangue by an Australian Muslim preacher without feeling, well, unsettled. And not just because it full of arbitrary nonsense.
Indeed, his hysterical delivery is purposely designed to unsettle, not inform, and reminds me exactly of hellfire-and-brimstone American televangelists and Pentacostals trying to whip their flocks into a delirious frenzy of mindless faith.
But when you listen to the words dispassionately, you realize they’re fundamentally meaningless. The ginned-up hysteria is simply a tool to frighten and unsettle people, to get them to comply with whatever invented nonsense the speaker is demanding.
It’s not about truth, but unsubstantiated dogma, whose authority is only as powerful as the vocal volume and frenetic animation of the dogmatist.
In this particular video, the Australian imam is basically telling the faithful at his mosque that even a Muslim who is completely pious and good otherwise but misses observing just one of Islam’s five required daily prayers is “worse than a murderer, you are worse than a rapist, you are worse than a terrorist, you are worse than a pedophile in the eyes of Allah [God].”
In evangelical Protestant Christianity, those who do not fully embrace the lordship of Jesus Christ face damnation, and in Catholicism the damned have long included all those who just happen to not be Catholic, although the church has in recent years tried to soften that ancient doctrine.
The point is, it has never been established that a God exists, or hell, so as far as anyone knows —evidence for such beings or realms being vanishingly absent — they don’t.
Yet here is a hollering cleric trying to scare people into, if not actually believing doctrine, fearing what might happen if they don’t, and then acting as if they do.
It’s like the religious version of President Trump’s ad nauseum refrain that dangerous criminal immigrants are “pouring” into the U.S. from our southern border, bent on rape and pillage.
Except they aren’t.
Please sign up (top right) for new Godzooks posts via email, Facebook or Twitter.
Available on Amazon!
FYI, Rick Snedeker’s new memoir — 3,001 Arabian Days — is now available in paperback and ebook formats on Amazon, here. It’s the story of growing up in an American oil camp in the Saudi Arabian desert from 1953-1962.
If you’ve already read “3,001 Arabian Days,” the author would be honored if you’d post a reader review on my Amazon page. Thanks!
Reader review: “Author Snedeker’s wit and insights illuminate the book’s easy narrative. His journalistic style faithfully recreates the people, places and events, and keeps the story crisp and moving from one chapter to the next. More than a coming of age story, 3,001 Arabian Days is a moving tribute to the intricacies of family, a celebration of Saudi Arabian culture, and a glimpse into a time gone by, but whose shadowy specter you can still almost reach out and touch.” — Mark Kennedy