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A religious king! A religious king!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2006-11-16 09:36:11
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I always wondered what a Pakistani politician would have thought if they heard tomorrow that the Pope became the prime minister of Italy or that the Archbishop of Athens became the ruler of Greece. I bet the first reaction would be shock and then imagination would create the rest.

You see, history has given us enough information for our imagination to create stories out of these possibilities. But let's explore a bit further. Since a religious leader would have become a ruler that means that all the people who live in the land would have to be Christians, otherwise an army of praetorians, let's call them the Inquisition, would come arrest you and take you to prison. Of course, the media wouldn't exist in the form that we know them.

Entertaining programmes on television would be, if we are lucky, some kind of Hollywood production where good Christians always overcame bad and evil. We would read the news from newspapers controlled by the church, so gradually we would find out that the Earth is the center of the universe and it is also flat. We would then forget science, since the Bible holds all the answers and the motto is: Believe and don't ask.

Our kids would learn that we all came from Adam and Eve, plus a great deal of incest between brothers and sisters, mothers and nephews. Finally, every time we got ill we wouldn't go to the doctor, since a prayer always helps. There is no way for me to keep my ponytail and earring, and I would spend the rest of my life writing hymns and Christmas carols if I'm lucky.

Does this sound like a B-movie or a bad science-fiction book? Well, how do you feel when you hear the news that Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP), an alliance of religious parties sympathetic to the Taleban. They have passed a bill to create a department under a cleric to enforce Islamic morality, with the power to use the police and media for the promotion of the Islamic values. How are they going to do so? Using their guns? Believe or you are dead?

Is this the way they try to make us believe that there is a separation between religion and state, while, even in the case of Iran where clerics control the state, there is nothing wrong with it, but happiness and equality. I presume they mean that there is happiness and equality between the ones that will survive the clearing process, since anybody who will not agree with the stereotype will be….what? Imprisoned or shot?

What I find more fascinating is the local celebrations that all this was a result of democratic procedures and elections. Remember that Hitler came to power with elections for the ones who have read history.

Democracy is not just the elections or the felling of some kind of parliament. Actually, this is a representative system in a democratic state. Democracy has to do with respect to other's needs, wants and wishes; I don't mean anything provocative. Just simple things, like I don't want to have a beard, I don't want to spend be on my knees praying four times a day, furthermore if I like to listen to Mozart sometimes, but, according to the Taleban laws, I become guilty and then I have to face punishment.

Pakistan hasn't got a democracy; actually, it is far from any idea of democracy. It is a military dictatorship, despite all the efforts by the American administration to present the top Pakistani dictator Musharraf as an ally for the good side on the war against terrorism, but from this to a Taleban style dictatorship there is a long distance.

What I find more surprising is that they think that we cannot see in the west how fantastic these religious 'states' are and when you mention the name of the Pope they start going on about the harm religion is doing in the Western world!


 
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Sand2006-11-15 12:04:03
If you accept religion as true to its proclamations there is no doubt that a religious government could improve the morality of many of the existing governments. Unfortunately, as evidenced by a very long history and current events which demonstrate that most if not all religions are deeply immersed in financial corruption, inhuman acts of torture and sexual perversion and outright massacres indicating that they are no more worthy of power than any other sector of humanity.


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