A Blog of Reason From a Godless Liberal

9/11 and the Moral Poverty of Religion

In atheism, editorial, religion, religion of peace, Violence on September 11, 2009 at 9:26 pm

We All Need to Remember the Victims and the Cause of 9/11

When tragedy strikes, as it did on September 11, 2001, it is only natural for us to look for higher meaning amongst such chaos. As empathetic and curious beings, we ask standard questions. Why did this happen? Who could have done this? Will there be justice? Can I help? And, most importantly for our purposes, what could motivate someone to kill themselves (and near 3,000 innocent people) in such a brazen act. Self preservation is of course, the most powerful instinct.

Obviously, the answer to the last question is religion, I’m sure everyone saw that coming. Before you can begin to considering killing yourself (and others) in the name of your religion, you have to believe certain things.

First: That extreme violence (and murder) is acceptable, and indeed noble, when committed against “the other”. This is something that all religions openly taught at one point or another, and at least one still does. But, today is 9/11, and I am talking about the hijackers. All Qur’an verses were found at “The Religion of Peace”.

  • Qur’an (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”.
  • Qur’an (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”
  • Qur’an (48:29) – “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves”
  • Ibn Ishaq: 992 – “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.” Muhammad’s instructions to his men prior to a military raid.
  • Tabari 9:69 “Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us” The words of Muhammad, prophet of Islam.

Second: One must believe that their life will continue after their body has died. In addition, that there will be unimaginable reward for your Earthly sacrifice. We all know about the 72 virgins, but there are other incentives, besides (ironically) sex. Since their holy book specifically calls on them to commit jihad, we see that murder is justified in their eyes, and in fact, encouraged.
  • Qur’an (4:74) – “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.”
  • Muslim (20:4645) – “…He (the Messenger of Allah) did that and said: There is another act which elevates the position of a man in Paradise to a grade one hundred (higher)….. He (Abu Sa’id) said: What is that act? He replied: Jihad in the way of Allah! Jihad in the way of Allah!”
  • Warriors who die fighting in the cause of God are ushered immediately to God’s presence (2:159 and 3:169)
A “paradise to a grade one hundred (higher)”, what is that? If someone actually believes these things, with all their mind and heart, what incentive is there NOT to take a fast track to a super heaven? Blow yourself up, kill a few Jews, and you will receive the greatest reward possible, no questions asked.

But it isn’t just Islam which is guilty of unspeakable crimes. All religions, almost by definition, have a long history of violence against “the other”. In western civilization, only in the last few hundred years is it possible to be a non-Christian and keep your life. In most of the Muslim world, to profess that you are an atheist or infidel, is tantamount to suicide.

It is faith that is to blame. Faith, and by that I mean belief without justification. Unreasonable belief is not tolerated in any other aspect of our society. However, the idea of blind religous faith exists in the minds of a vast majority of people living on this Earth, it is said that faith is the highest virtue. Why? Because it very taboo, and to most offensive, to question the notion publicly. Only with out closest friends and family are most people comfortable critically discussing religion. Any real thought put into these ideas would reveal them to be absurd. One must turn a blind eye to the ridiculous claims and contradictory instructions and just believe. A very dangerous thing, as today reminds of us.

The Flight 93 hijackers thought that Allah was with them. They actually believed that by killing everyone on the plane that they would be instantly transported to a heaven 100x greater than everyone else. They call their God “the most merciful, the most compassionate”, while at the same time showing the victims neither. Everyone knows that hypocrisy is a staple of religious institutions, but this is particularly egregious. Some transcripts from United Airlines Flight 93, September 11, 2001:

09:33:34 In the name of Allah, the most merciful, the most compassionate.

09:45:57 In the name of Allah. In the name of Allah. I bear witness that there is no other God, but Allah.

09:47:40 Allah knows.

09:58:33 Unintelligible. Let’s go guys. Allah is greatest. Allah is greatest. Oh guys. Allah is greatest.

09:59:42 Trust in Allah, and in him.

10:00:22 Oh Allah. Oh Allah. Oh Gracious.

10:00:59 Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest.

10:03:02 Allah is the greatest.

10:03:03 Allah is the greatest.

10:03:04 Allah is the greatest.

10:03:06 Allah is the greatest.

10:03:06 Allah is the greatest.

10:03:09 Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest.

10:03:09 Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest.

The last piece of data from flight 93 was recorded at 10:03:10.

It is often said on this day, “God bless [the victims]”, “God bless America”, or “the Lord works in mysterious ways”. Obviously he didn’t bless the victims of religous extremists, or America. His actions were not mysterious, but nonexistent. I ask, what kind omnibenevolent deity’s plan would force a sentient being into deciding between jumping 100 stories to your death, or being burned alive? According to apologist, everything action on Earth is divine will, so that begs the question, how twisted is the creator of the universe? Does he actually enjoy such things? Since he didn’t stop it when, by any believers’ account, he easily could have, one must accept the possibility he liked what he saw. I should say that I don’t think God enjoyed what he saw, as no God existed to watch it. It was only the unreasonable belief in God that dominated that morning.

September 11th ought to be a day when we reflect on role religion plays in our societies, not come together to praise the same God who abandoned us all eight years ago. The events of this day are irrevocably intertwined with religion. It is a fact that 9/11, and a multitude of other historical atrocities, wouldn’t have happened in a world of atheists. And no, Hilter wasn’t an atheist. So save it.

  1. People never hold GOD accountable when bad shit happens. Period. And frankly they don't want too either because it does cause one to ask questions to which are not comfortable at all. I live here in Blacksburg VA and recently too Va Tech students were killed in the woods, now mind you they never did anything to anyone and they were big time Christians. Went to church regularly, charity work, missionary work I mean the real deal, the works. And they both were brutally murdered like animals in the woods, they were not robbed or anything like that. So it seems for now there was no motive whatsoever. GOD let two of his children not just die, but die in one of the worst ways possible. What part of the divine plan is that when the shepard cannot protect his flock? So to speak. What did they do to deserve death both before the age of 23? And to die so savagely? This shit makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. There is no divine plan, there are no mysterious ways. Unfortunate shit just simply happens, sometimes it's our own fault, other times its completely random. No more no less. But people cannot take comfort in that because it is uncomfortable. They scurry over to religion like a soothing balm on a wound not realizing it's just water.

  2. Good article and good points. The whole "it was in gods will" or "things happen in mysterious ways" shit always kills me. Shit happens, and no fake god is the cause of it – good or bad. Dumb people do dumb shit. period.

  3. I don't know about anyone else, but 'god's will' seems to point to 'his' desire to be a complete and utter heartless fucking bastard.

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