It's always easier to moralise than set a moral example- to point out what one thinks is wrong without making a more active commitment in trying to make things right.
But in today's divided world where intolerance still seems to have more free rein than tolerance, perhaps it's also important to try to contribute towards obtaining a more sane, realistic balance, based on the truth.

An important percentage of the world's population seems convinced of its religious superiority over everyone else. Many are persuaded that it's their duty to convert to their own religion all those who have their own faith or think differently. The former could therefore be regarded as moralists.

But if those who are convinced they are right, are to succeed in influencing all the others whom they believe to be wrong, they must also set the moral example that they advocate, without ambiguity and hypocrisy.

For example, if Islam forbids speculation and the easy acquisition of wealth by chance- 'Maysir', and gains thereby obtained to the detriment of others- 'Qimar', couldn't one make a parallel between this and the exploitation of fossil fuel resources?
Or how do Islamic banks get round the Koranic law that forbids the charging of interest on loans?
Even if there are doubts about the validity of making such parallels, there seems to be considerable incompatibility between capitalism, the accumulation of wealth from fortunate circumstances, and the practice of Islam and imposition of Sharia law.

The Iranian regime also persists in implementing barbaric, obsolete laws that according to some scholars are invalid because there is no reference to them in the Koran. It would therefore seem that they are practised mainly for political motives, to continue to instil fear in an oppressed, Iranian society. Yet like other oil-rich Muslim States, the Iranian regime would have no scruples about whatever religion its international clients practise or don't practise. Profit seems to preach louder than the Prophet where petrol dollars, or euros, are concerned.

In Syria we have witnessed the cynicism and irresponsibility of a President who greeted by an absurd show of undeserved applause, makes vague allusions to the requested reforms in his speech. The real objective of his address however, seemed more to discharge himself and his government of all responsibility by blaming 'foreign elements' (the USA and Israel, naturally) for having conspired to provoke the uprisings (of 'the children') in Syria. Naturally the Syrians aren't so easily duped. The demonstrations, and the elimination of demonstrators ('the children') continue.
Journalists are also being arrested and imprisoned, and there have been several reports that protesters wounded by the regime's forces, were even being deprived of medical attention. A brutal way to treat one's 'children'.

We could also refer, yet again, to the primitive treatment of women, which has no religious grounds, or to the use of indiscriminate violence in God's name, or to the callous lack of respect for sacred places, and for history in general, or to the ever present racism and hatred.
This of course pertains to radical Islamists and not to moderate Muslims. Yet there is too much contrast between the relative silence and non-engagement of so called moderates, and the rude, declarations and barbaric actions of the radicals. Consequently this could suggest complicity, lack of conviction or weakness.

These are the flagrant examples that spring to mind regarding today's moralists. Those who pretend to follow the unique path of truth and righteousness, and who seem to claim the monopoly of God.
They are the false moralists who pretend to wield the sword of divine justice over the rest of the world. They sermonise to the 'infidels' whom they despise, and at the same time profit from- in the cases that apply- to continue to enjoy their wealth and to maintain their economies.

But the social uprisings are strongly underlining the serious flaws of Muslim societies. The brutal reactions of the regimes also clearly reveal their own limitations, Tartuffian falseness and hypocrisy more than ever before.

The Armadinejads, al-Assads and Gaddafis of this world now appear to belong to a totally obsolete era, as do amongst other radical regimes and organisations, al-Qaida, and the Taliban. Their brutality, cynicism, racist hate and hypocrisy are totally devoid of religion, of subtlety and intelligence. They are the faceless, faithless, frustrated remnants of dated tyranny. True Muslims are quite aware of this. They also know that the days of such radicalism should now be considered as over.

The free world not only has the right to throw light on the obvious flaws, the falseness, the hypocrisy, the inconsistency, the brutal crimes against humanity, and the evil of such regimes and organisations, it also has the responsibility to do so.
Text by Mirino. Image- frame from a video 
(treatment inflicted on Syrian demonstrators by Syrian security forces). April, 2011

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