Poetry – Prehistoric policing

Prehistoric policing

Put on your veil!

Pray each day

And obey without ceasing!

Or else

You’ll be subject to

Prehistoric policing!

Read the scripture!

Follow the dogma!

Not to do so is a sin!

If you do not

You’ll be hammered with

Prehistoric policing!

Do not question

The tenets of faith!

Throw all logic in the bin!

Faith is not rational.

It needs to be enforced

With prehistoric policing!

Opher – 2.11.2019

I was driven to write this poem by a video clip of a poor woman who was shot through the head for going to the market without her veil. The Nazi religious police stopped her, beat her and forced her to her knees. They recited verse, gathered a crowd, put a gun to her head and blew her brains out – all because her face was not covered.

Across the world millions of women and children are subject to prehistoric policing. They are forced to spend hours memorising scripture. They are forced to wear heavy robes and full face veils.

This is not religious freedom. This is slavery.

These religious fanatics create a fascist tyranny! Their misogynistic view of religion is draconian and prehistoric.

Religion should be a matter of choice – not coercion.

Cambodia – The Other Side – The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is the memorial site of the S-21 interrogation and detention centre.

The other side of Cambodia was Pol Pot and the years of the Kmer Rouge, genocide, tyranny and terror.

No trip to Cambodia is complete without a visit to The Killing Fields and torture camps.

In the interrogation centre S21 12000 people were horribly tortured and murdered in the name of fanatical politics.

It’s a warning to us all.

The Cambodian people were so kind and friendly. It’s impossible to imagine how they could become such monsters. But they did become heartless monsters. They rounded up all the intelligentsia, all the teachers, the doctors, the professors, the scientists – anybody with a shred of intelligence. They took them off to the killing fields and worked them to death. They took them to the torture camps, tortured them mercilessly and killed them.

It could happen anywhere.

Poetry – Medieval

Seemed appropriate with the Taliban taking over Afghanistan!! I feel so sorry for the women – back to being slaves.

Medieval

Medieval customs;

Beliefs passed down from ages past.

Medieval costumes:

From the splendid to absurd.

Medieval superstition;

Posing as the rational.

From the Dark Ages

Into the darkness of thought.

Shackling our breath

To a system that counts for nought.

Medieval thoughts

From medieval minds

Masqueradinf as sense.

Medieval values

From prescientific times

From there to thence.

Mass hallucinations

Reinforcing a multitude of sins.

Opher – 28.12.2018

I wrote this a year ago for all those who follow fundamentalist religions. Their intolerance is abhorrent. Their intransigence is exclusive.

They seem stuck firmly in the ancient past. They need to move on.

Poetry – What Would You die for?

What Would You die for?

What would you die for?

What is worth your Life?

It’s your testimony.

Is it love or is it greed?

Is it the truth?

Or just baloney?

Is there a cause that is worthy?

That does not rust in the wind and rain?

Is there a praiseworthy belief

That charismatic leaders won’t flush down the drain?

Opher 22.3.2021

The deepest and most sincere beliefs are twisted out of shape by men with ulterior motives, who seek to use it to gain power, influence and wealth.

What dream is ever pure?

What philosophy can one base a life on that is not debased and sullied by grubby hands.

How much violence, fear and tyranny have been unleashed in the search for a better world?

How much blood is spilt by the well-meaning?

Whatever it is you believe, no matter how pure and beautiful, there is always someone who will twist it and use it against you to create something sullied, sordid and grotesque for their own ends.

ISIS – Orlando and Paris

Once more crazed brainwashed psychopaths kill innocent people in the name of God.

It leaves me thinking a bundles of things:

Firstly great sadness for the people involved – the traumatised people who were caught up in it, the poor terrified child of the murdered police officer and his wife, the terrified and wounded, and the parents and relatives whose lives will never be the same again.

I can’t imagine the horror of losing one of mine.

The great sickness that convinces people that they are carrying out the instructions of some supernatural being by killing innocent people.

The sickness that convinces anyone that there is only one true way to believe and live.

The arrogance, mindlessness and waste of a life spent in brainless worship.

The stupidity of people. I walk past people dressed in all manner of weird clothes and hairstyles, fasting, eating certain foods, avoiding certain foods, and carrying out all fashion of prayers and ceremonies because they believe ‘their’ God has demanded it. It looks insane to me. What has any of that got to do with some creator? Why would any sane god make such demands or choose one set of people over another? Senseless.

Yet these insane people who carry out atrocities believe that by killing innocent people, who just happen to believe or live differently to them, they will wake up in paradise. There is no end to the way people delude themselves.

These murderers have lost their compassion and humanity. They are so wrong. No sane god would reward brutality.

My best wishes go out to the families and friends of the murdered people in Orlando, Paris, Belgium, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Libya, Sudan, Egypt and wherever these religious fanatics have wrought their evil.

It makes me wish there were a god to punish those evil perpetrators. As there isn’t we shall have to do it ourselves. I salute the people who are working hard on intelligence work to keep us safe and the police and army who are protecting us.

My wish is that one day soon humanity might wake up from this primitive superstition and become civilised. We need to leave religion behind in the dark ages and progress into a higher kind of spirituality.

Poetry – Music is no good – a poem about freedom

IMG_0501

Music is no good

I am happy if anyone else wants to live in the seventh century. I am happy for them to live in whatever costume they like and to apply their own laws as long as I am free to have my say, and that they don’t indoctrinate children, or practice inequality and intolerance.

I despise the blind hatred and psychopathy that is fundamentalism.

I want to live in peace and harmony without constraint.

If there was a god who sanctioned rape, torture and ritual slaughter then I would be forced to oppose him.

This universe is too awesome to have been created by a psychopathic deity.

I love this world – its colour, life and beauty. I love literature, art, poetry, dance, drama and music. I love diversity, love, friendship and fun. I am an individual. I will not be bound, shackled or made to follow any doctrine not of my choice.

I love life.

I do not love death.

 

 

Music is no good

 

Music is no good

Science is no good

Thinking is no good

 

What is wrong with being free?

 

Women are no good

Freedom is no good

Dance is no good

 

What is wrong with freedom?

 

Film is no good

Other religion is no good

Fun is no good

 

I will fight to be free.

 

Love is no good

Individuality is no good

TV is no good

 

Freedom is a cherished belief.

 

When good is no good there is a cause.

 

Opher 14.11.2015

Poetry – Bullshit – a poem about suicide bombers, ISIS and fanaticism.

The whole spectre of suicide bombings, religious fanaticism and violence has taken on a greater and greater significance.

the extremists seem to be pushing for an all-out war with the West. It is a clash of ideologies. They want to impose their religious beliefs on the world. They see it as a battle between Islam and Christianity.

I do not see it that way at all. For centuries Muslims and Christians and Jews have lived together in harmony. Every now and then a fanatical element, or politically inspired prejudice, or seeker of power, uses the religious card to further their ends.

We have to put the present situation in context with the past.

There is a battle going on. It is between the people who wish to live in a world of diversity and harmony, where all people’s views are respected and we learn to accept our differences, or a world of fundamental intolerance.

I know which I would fight for.

This poem was written from the perspective of a bomber who woke up to the fact that he was being used and was merely a pawn in a power struggle.

Bullshit

They told me I’d go to heaven

When I strapped on that bomb

That paradise would be mine

And everything would be fine

 

In the bus on the way to market

Fidgeting with my change

Cherishing each second and trying to mark it

As the end comes into range

 

They said there was no other way

It was hidden in the genes

To draw attention to the day

The end justifies the means

 

But I’ve thought about it

And I’ve weighed up the blend

There is only ever just the means

And there never is an end.

 

Opher 11.3.96

The Middle East and war.

iraq_isis_in_mosul_460 iraqfaluja3 iraqlead islam

I was positive that dropping bombs on people in the Middle East was going to recruit people who wanted to do the same to us.

Not that I condone those actions.

I never thought going to war, legal or otherwise, was a good idea.

They’ve come over here with their bombs and they’re trying to bend our will and make us believe their beliefs. We’ve got our own and we’re not interested in their beliefs. We’re going to fight for our beliefs and our way of life. Whatever they do or however they try to impose their will on us we’ll never give in and we’ll fight to the last man.

That’s what they’ll be saying in Baghdad about us.

Nick Harper 2005

What we need is peace, love, tolerance and happiness. Help build a new zeitgeist!

So what is attracting all the young Jihadists to the sadism & intolerance of ISIS?

 

Is it:

A hatred of music?

A love of people being burnt in metal cages?

A hatred of Britain?

A love of being able to slowly saw the head off an aid worker who has gone out to altruistically help people?

A hatred of America?

A love of watching someone being crucified in agony?

A hatred of fun, pleasure, alcohol, pork, freedom, or democracy?

A love of seeing harmless gay people being callously thrown off tall buildings?

A hatred of peace, love and harmony?

A wish to see people being slowly stoned to death, buried alive or tortured?

A love of fascism?

Or is it a religious indoctrination? A fanatical intolerance? A hatred for anybody who doesn’t adhere to their narrow view of religion?

Not since the holocaust have we seen such barbaric evil. Yet just as it was then, the gullible are attracted to the superficial image and the devils are attracted to the agony. The indoctrinated are just brainwashed!

There’s a better way – a positive zeitgeist – Peace, Love and tolerance!!!

Jordanian Pilot burnt alive in cage by depraved religious fanatics.

Moaz al-Kasasbeh

Islam means peace.

IS means callous, fanatic, heartless, evil.

It seems incredible to civilised people in the West that anyone could be so cruel. But seemingly their cruelty is an attempt to both terrorise and attract in young disillusioned Muslims who are turned on by the very things that make sane, rational people sick.

My thoughts go out to the brave pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh who was treated so inhumanly and his family.

Sometimes you wish there was a god so that these monsters would get their just desserts. Even so – there is only one outcome to all this. There will come a point when the world will turn and crush them.

For myself I would rather they were educated to see the evil they are doing. This satanic practice does not come from the Koran directly; it comes, as always, from the monsters who distort religion and twist it into evil. Religion is always good for slaughter, torture and inhumanity. It is, as usual, the people who instigate it who stay safely out of the action.

There can be no excuse for barbarity.

This is what the BBC had to say about it:

Islamic State: Can its savagery be explained?

Islamic State fighters surround captured Iraqi soldiers (14/06/14)

Since the sudden appearance of the extremist Sunni Islamic State (IS), the group has seized headlines with a shocking level of blood-letting and cruelty – but can its savagery be explained, asks Fawaz A Gerges.

Islamic State has become synonymous with viciousness – beheadings, crucifixions, stonings, massacres, burying victims alive and religious and ethnic cleansing.

While such savagery might seem senseless to the vast majority of civilised human beings, for IS it is a rational choice. It is a conscious decision to terrorise enemies and impress and co-opt new recruits.

IS adheres to a doctrine of total war without limits and constraints – no such thing, for instance, as arbitration or compromise when it comes to settling disputes with even Sunni Islamist rivals. Unlike its parent organisation, al-Qaeda, IS pays no lip service to theology to justify its crimes.

The violence has its roots in what can be identified as two earlier waves, though the scale and intensity of IS’ brutality far exceeds either.

The first wave, led by disciples of Sayyid Qutb – a radical Egyptian Islamist regarded as the master theoretician of modern jihadism – targeted pro-Western secular Arab regimes or what they called the “near enemy”, and, on balance, showed restraint in the use of political violence.

Beginning with the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1980, this Islamist insurgency dissipated by the end of the 1990s. It had cost some 2,000 lives and saw a large number of militants head to Afghanistan to battle a new global enemy – the Soviet Union.

‘Killing machine’

The Afghan jihad against the Soviets gave birth to a second wave, with a specific target – the “far enemy”, or the United States and, to a lesser extent, Europe.

It was spearheaded by a wealthy Saudi turned revolutionary, Osama Bin Laden.

Bin Laden went to great lengths to rationalise al-Qaeda’s attack on the US on 11 September 2001, calling it “defensive jihad”, or retaliation against perceived US domination of Muslim societies.

Islamic State fighters parade in Raqqa (image by Islamic State's Raqqa Media Group) Hundreds of jihadists are reported to have swelled IS’ ranks in recent weeks

Conscious of the importance of winning hearts and minds, Bin Laden sold his message to Muslims and even Americans as self-defence, not aggression.

This kind of justification, however, carries no weight with IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who cannot care less what the world thinks of his blood-letting.

In fact, he and his cohorts revel in displaying barbarity and coming across as savage.

In contrast to the first two waves, IS actually stresses violent action over theology and theory, and has produced no repertoire of ideas to sustain and nourish its social base. It is a killing machine powered by blood and iron.

Going beyond Bin Laden’s doctrine that “when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse”, al-Baghdadi’s “victory through terrorism” signals to friends and foes that IS is a winning horse. Get out of the way or you will be crushed; join our caravan and make history.

Increasing evidence shows that over the past few months, hundreds, if not thousands, of diehard former Islamist enemies of IS, such as the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic Front, answered al-Baghdadi’s call.

‘Shock-and-awe’

IS’ sophisticated outreach campaign appeals to disaffected and deluded young Sunnis worldwide because it is seen as a powerful vanguard that delivers victory and salvation.

Far from abhorring the group’s brutality, young recruits are attracted by its shock-and-awe tactics against the enemies of Islam.

Map showing areas of IS control

Its exploits on the battlefield – especially capturing huge swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, and establishing a caliphate – resonate near and far. Nothing succeeds like success, and IS’ recent military gains have brought it a recruitment bonanza.

Muslim men living in Western countries join IS and other extremist groups because they feel part of a greater mission – to resurrect a lost idealised type of caliphate and be part of a tight-knit community with a potent identity.

Initially, many young men from London, Berlin and Paris and elsewhere migrate to the lands of jihad to defend persecuted co-religionists, but they end up in the clutches of IS, doing its evil deeds, such as beheading innocent civilians.

The drivers behind IS’ unrestrained extremism can be traced to its origins with al-Qaeda in Iraq, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed by the Americans in 2006.

Not unlike its predecessor, IS is nourished on an anti-Shia diet and visceral hatred of minorities in general, portraying itself as the spearhead of Sunni Arabs in the fight against sectarian-based regimes in Baghdad and Damascus.

Al-Zarqawi and al-Baghdadi view Shias as infidels, a fifth column in the heart of Islam that must be wiped out – a genocidal worldview.

Following in the footsteps of al-Zarqawi, al-Baghdadi ignored repeated pleas by his mentor Ayman al-Zawahiri, head of al-Qaeda, and other top militants to avoid indiscriminate killing of Shia and, instead, to attack the Shia-dominated and Alawite regimes in Iraq and Syria.

Sights on US?

By exploiting the deepening Sunni-Shia rift in Iraq and the sectarian civil war in Syria, al-Baghdadi has built a powerful base of support among rebellious Sunnis and has blended his group into local communities.

He also restructured his military network and co-opted experienced officers of Saddam Hussein’s disbanded army who turned IS into a professional sectarian fighting force.

Abu Bakr al-BaghdadiIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has threatened to kill US troops if they come to Iraq

IS has so far consistently focused on the Shia and not the “far enemy”. The struggle against the US and Europe is distant, not a priority; it has to await liberation at home.

At the height of Israeli bombings of Gaza in August, militants on social media criticised IS for killing Muslims while doing nothing to help the Palestinians.

IS retorted by saying the struggle against the Shia takes priority over everything else.

Now that the US and Europe have joined the conflict against IS, the group will use all its assets in retaliation, including further beheading of hostages. There is also a growing likelihood that it will attack soft diplomatic targets in the Middle East.

While it might want to stage a spectacular operation on the American or European homeland, it is doubtful that IS currently has the capabilities to carry out complex attacks like 9/11.

A few months ago, in response to chatter by his followers, al-Baghdadi acknowledged that his organisation was not equipped to attack the Americans at home.

He said though that he wished the US would deploy boots on the ground so that IS could directly engage the Americans – and kill them.

Fawaz A Gerges holds the Emirates Chair in Contemporary Middle Eastern Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is author of several books, including Journey of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy.