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ONE THOUGHT goes off in my own mind every time some crackpot Muslim jihadist explodes himself: that mofo just blew himself (and innocent bystanders) to bits gleefully, to rush to Heaven and reap his reward of 72 virgins; 72 virgins! As a reward! As Robin Williams (I think) said, “Anybody who thinks 72 virgins is a good thing clearly never actually had one”. You could accurately call the jihadist mindset a firetrucked-up perspective.
Now, you could perhaps persuade a rational person to murder strangers for some kind of payment but only dumb-as-doornails, faithful-as-memorizing-the-whole-Quran, sexually-repressed-and-equally-sexually-ignorant, unthinking, sexless men would happily kill themselves and all the guiltless strangers around them… for firetrucking virgins! And 72 of them, to boot; it recalls the old joke, which I adapt to the modern epitome of suffering: Did you hear about the raffle where first prize is a week with Donald Trump? Second prize is two weeks with Donald Trump.
How do these mullahs and wannabe-caliphs persuade healthy fit young men to go to mosque instead of nightclubs? How do they get young men to prize suicide belts over garter ones? It makes no sense to a man who gained far greater sexual rewards from non-virgin women on a single real Friday night in the Pelican than from any imaginary number of sexually ignorant women in some imaginary singles bar in the sky? Especially if the price of admission to Paradise-a-Go-Go is lifelong, fearful abstinence, followed by suicide as foreplay? Who would choose juma when they could have baby oil?
I’m no Brad Pit, and I did well enough on the pick-up bar circuit and all the recent martyr-jihadists could have been Hollywood stars! Those now-dead men could easily have found live ones in a nightclub tonight. How do those creepy old men in dresses get these hot young studs to pass up condoms and pick up the Quran? Why plastique and not pudenda? Where in the world do they get these ideas if not in mosque, temple or church?
You would say it beggars belief, if you didn’t know that it started with religious instruction, which is, at best, brainwashing and, in the fullness of time, will be seen for what it is: child abuse more damaging than paedophilia (although the best religions manage to combine both, either through protecting sex offenders or lowering their marriage consent age to entrap children).
In early childhood, before they could even grasp the concept of concepts itself (such as time, or counting, or writing) or even the direct consequences of their own actions (pushing that bright red button will make that automatic gate open and break your little arm) their God had them literally by the balls.
Religions trade in sexual ignorance. If you can persuade someone it is sinful to do the most natural thing in the world – explore one’s own sexuality – you can lead them do anything.
Even if some – indeed, even if all – suicide bombers were as secular, at death, as their aims might be, their exit from the only world we can be sure we have is made easy, in adulthood, by the way their minds were set in infancy.
And no culture reaps greater dividends, including plainly secular, territorial or quasi-militaristic ones, from the seeds of sexual ignorance it sows deep in the minds of tiny children than Islam: this week, dozens were murdered in Brussels by young men who would rather blow their, and other people’s, whole bodies apart than touch their own penises.
It is not an accident, but conscious programming, that their vision of Paradise begins with 72 virgins! If, instead of dying a martyr to ensure your 72 virgins, you just took yourself to the nearest bar and went home with one local skettel, the world would be a saner, safer place.
But you cannot reason with such people: this is not thought, but conditioning.
Believers recognise neither the damage religions do nor the violence they enable, but we deal with the consequences of belief trumping reason every day, in major, spectacular ways, like bombs in Brussels or mass kidnappings in Nigeria.
Or in relatively minor ways, right here in Trinidad, like decent young men being forced, a la Galileo, to recant their humanity.
Ten days or so ago, a moron passing herself off as a teacher berated a young Naparima College student who proved himself the only citizen in his school when he defended a gay student. The so-called teacher reportedly went off on a holy tangent, citing scriptures to support her crazy beliefs and incitements to violence. “Give me a gun,” said the so-called teacher, “and I will fix… both of them [atheist parents] first, then their offspring. Do not tell me there is no God!”
If there is any difference between the putative teacher in Naparima and the self-declared martyrs in Brussels, it could only be that they fixate their own inner ignorance on different outer subjects. Pity, not these idiots, convinced of their own holiness and righteousness, but the innocents they harm. If Trinidad has any morality left, the teacher concerned will be removed swiftly, before she can do more harm. Heartbreakingly, the only casualty so far has been the brave young man who stood up for human decency who has, apparently, been pressured into apologizing for it!
But console yourself with the thought that, if there is indeed a God, He could not have any less of a sense of humour than yourself.
And the jihadist martyrs will get their reward in the form of 72 virgins: the entire chorus line from the musical Rent.
And the alleged teacher will be met in Paradise by 72 eunuchs, or 72 tie-tongued lesbians.
BC Pires will sit at the right hand of God, watching porn on Heaven’s big screen