In my last post, I tried to stay clear of opinionating on the ongoing violent protests by Muslims in many parts of the world against the anti-Muhammed film claimed to have been made by a US-based filmmaker. But, today, ironically, I feel “provoked” enough to find a perspective.
The other day, a recent acquaintance – a woman who actively practices the Muslim faith – vented out frustration over the frequent flare ups in the world in the name of religion in general. “I am sick of all this violence,” she said. “When will they stop killing innocent people in the name of protecting religion? Don’t they fear God?” she burst out somewhat dramatically.
As one who abhors the highly commercialized and politicized form of religion (of any faith) that is practiced the world over today, I could not empathize with her. And more importantly, I could not have DISAGREED with her more on the redundancy of her rhetoric – “Don’t they fear God?”
“Fear of God,” I told her. “That’s what needs to be eliminated, not instilled.”
It does not require evidence, empirical or any other, to know that “Fear of God” is the greatest scourge that has been perpetuated and etched as in stone on the psyche of the masses across cultures and geographical boundaries over the centuries.
It is that fear which makes people defensive and therefore aggressive; it is that fear which when provoked makes them react with emotions from mild sentimentality to violent reprisal; it is that fear which makes them worship at altars in the first place.
Real power rests in the hands of the vested few who control, manage, manipulate, propagate and sell religion. And the single most powerful tool they use to sway the masses – FEAR OF GOD.
Institutionalized religion is the most lucrative commercial venture that ensures returns on investment and the stake holders don’t even have to give a product guarantee. If it works for you, you are blessed, if it doesn’t, well, you are damned!