this is a rant // apologies
WARNING: major spoiler for Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel in the Sands. Read at your own risk.
I am religious.
I go to Church, I pray, I thank God for the good and fight Him about the bad; and although I’m not as pious and pure as I want to be, I try.
Because I believe.
Because I choose to believe and that phrase right there, ‘choosing to believe’ is what faith means.
You may say that you do not believe in the existence of God. Yet, this does not absolve you from having faith, from believing. You may choose to believe that the omurice you make is the greatest gift to mankind, and despite your family fleeing to the hills when you crack the eggs out, nothing will make you believe otherwise.
Faith… In your omurice.
I am a fanatic.
I am wildly enthusiastic about my fandoms. If you claim that you don’t find Harry Potter interesting, I will come after you with a blunt spear. Surprisingly, however, the previous statement will not bring the Terror Squad out on me after I’ve published this on the blog.
You will read it and you will nod in agreement that of course, anyone who doesn’t understand the phenomenon that is the Boy Wizard, must be indoctrinated… painfully.
Because you too, are a fanatic.
You have your cult. It’s called a fandom.
You trade bizzare Supernatural gifs online after sundown.
An Arabic Wild West
One of the reasons I loved it was simply because it was set in a fantastical Middle Eastern setting complete with the camels and the sand and the sheemas.
To put it bluntly, if this was set in the real world, everyone would be Muslim.
Lately, this word has become a pair with the word ‘terrorist.’
I am from Sri Lanka and I find that the world’s bitterness at Muslims is on par with how the Sinhalese in my country have treated Tamils during and after the 26 Year Civil War. The LTTE, or Liberation of Tamil Tigers for Eelam, were Tamil, yes.
But not all Tamils were (tigers) terrorists.
Not all Muslims are terrorists either.
They’re human beings like the non-Muslims, they have dreams and nightmares, they have crushes on suave book boyfriends, they rock out to Kanye in their pyjamas at 1 in the morning.
They shouldn’t have to change who they are, just because the world judges them immediately by their name or the scarf around their head.
I loved how Hamilton’s characters were diverse and three dimensional
The girls were badass but they were also flesh and blood. They loved, they hated, they made bad decisions and ran away like cowards.
The boys were fantastic and swoon-worthy. They were funny and blunt and kingly and remorseful.
But I felt that Hamilton was following the disturbing new belief that the modern person has, with regard to religion, when she decided to make Noorsham wreak havoc because he was filled with religious zeal and the comedic Bahi the butt of the joke at the expense of the religion that he’d forsaken for a girl.
See, this is the thing.
Real religious people do not want to set your butt on fire because you’re unbelieving scum.
I can believe strongly in God and Heaven and I can also love fantasy and magic and not give two shits whether you believe too, or not.
In that sense, it pleased me that Noorsham chose to save his sister when it came down to it, and hopefully in the next book we’ll be able to see him be a badass character who unfailingly gets to say his afternoon prayers, too.
I read several tweets the morning after the Munich attack that went something like this,
‘Terror has no religion?’ Yeah right, tell that to the terrorists shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ as they mow innocents down!
The same thing happened during the Crusades when Kings murdered and plundered and raped in the name of the Lord.
These are deranged and disturbed individuals using religion as a shield so that they can explain away their bullshit.
And what are we doing? We are right there seated with a cuppa, next to them, nodding our heads in agreement.
Everyone hollers about human rights today. Well, what about the right to ‘choose to believe in God,’ without being labelled dangerous or crazy or a bloody terrorist?
God is not to blame for the heartlessness of the few sadists that take perverse pleasure in inhumanity toward man.
There are the religious, there are the fanatics, there are also cold blooded axe murderers.
Learn to tell the difference.