Just a short point borne out of frustration at meeting so many people in therapeutic settings whose mental health difficulties result mainly from the bigotry of others.

People are just people!

If we are to complain about Islamic fundamentalism, as the British far right never tires of doing, we must also complain about the abuses of Jewish & Christian fundamentalism. They’re all based upon the same God of Abraham (The deity that Dawkins famously described as “The bronze age God of war”).

Have you read Leviticus lately? Whatever charges of brutality can be brought against Islam can also be brought against Christianity and Judaeism. There’s plenty of stoning, sexism, genocide, rape and general nastiness on God’s part in all three religions. Fortunately though not everyone goes in for such antisocial practices. That’s why, whatever people might tell you, there really aren’t any ‘no go’ areas for non-Muslims in UK.

The reality is that most Europeans (including European Muslims) reject fundamentalism in favour of a more pragmatic approach to society – live & let live. Let’s face it there’s a huge difference between Muslim & Islamist just as there is between Christian & the Westboro baptist church. That’s why European law & the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regularly chastises the more extreme devotees of all three religious groups. That’s also one of the many reasons why we really need the European court but that’s a different issue.

It’s unfortunate that so many people who think themselves so well-informed know so little about the whole argument. As the late great Christopher Hitchen, a long-time opponent of religion but who also had many religious friends, was wont to say…

“A true scholar reads more than one book”

Hitch understood that the faults with religion lie with the texts of that religion, not with the individuals who were brought up within it.

Let’s celebrate similairity instead of fighting about difference.

People are just people!

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