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Pharisaic Duplicity At The Break Of Dawn

"There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy, hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny."
- Frederick William Robertson

Well, it's that special time of year again, when Muslims the world over sleep all day to avoid having to actually suffer the fast.

Don't know if you're familiar with the rituals of Ramadhan, so I will regale you with the fun and excitement of being surrounded by hungry, thirsty people in really bad moods.

Oh sure, it always starts off with lots of fanfare and enthusiasm, but in about 14 days, folks will be sullen, exhausted and listless - even the folks to opt to sleep through the month to avoid too much suffering.

If you are a devout Muslim, then for the next four weeks, you are forbidden to eat, drink or even swallow your saliva from sun-up till sun-down.  While the idea is to mortify the body and take command of its cravings, the actual practice is somewhat less dramatic.

Most folks around these parts get up around 3am to gorge themselves on massive breakfasts and drink gallons of water to hold them through the day.  Ironically, food prices spike before and during Ramadhan as people buy much more than their usual take.  This practice of early morning gorging makes one feel full and able to get through most of the day before hunger pangs set in.

By the evening call to prayer, roads empty as folks dive into the nearest food stall to grab a meal and water.  Even the folks who slept all day feel the need to chow down, even though they put forth their best effort to remain unconscious during the better part of the fasting hours.

One of the most annoying practices are roving gangs of noise-makers - drums, horns, clangers, and chanting - who stroll the neighborhood at 3am to wake the devout for their early morning feast before the 4am call to prayer that marks the beginning of the fast.

Newspapers and media outlets are wall-to-wall with fasting strategies and humorous tales of people passing out - particularly children in schools - from hunger and thirst.

In years past, I have made a concerted effort to be respectful and not eat or drink in view of those who have chosen to fast, and who can get rather irate at those of us who choose not to.  It apparently does not occur to them that others might have different rituals, such as Catholics who fast for 40 days before Easter, rather than 28 days for Ramadhan, and whose fasts are around the clock and not just 12 hours a day.

This year, however, I've decided I don't really care.  Since I have not seen or heard any Muslims crying in outrage at the killings of innocent people in England, Indonesia, Syria, Egypt, and the Philippines in the name of Islam as a way to mark the beginning of the Holy Month, then I feel no need to respect those fasting.  Perhaps my complete disregard for their discomfort will in some small way be a reminder of all the suffering Muslims have caused to families around the world this Holy Season.

I have little use for religion to begin with, but one that appears to think it is perfectly alright to kill and maim hundreds of innocent people as a means to mark its holiest time of the year is beneath contempt.

I have not heard a single Muslim decry the slaughter of teenagers at a concert in Manchester.  No one has beat their breast over the Coptic Christians gunned down in cold blood.  None have shown remorse, nor even discomfort, at the wholesale butchery in Syria or the Philippines.  And oddly, not a whimper of protest for the Muslims blown to pieces by Muslims in Jakarta.

If it were me, and the religion I professed was slaughtering, raping and beating people around the globe in the name of something I believed in, I would immediately and loudly quit that religion and walk away in disgust, just as I did from my home country when it began slaughtering thousands of innocent people under false pretenses.

I don't have much truck with hypocrites.  Those who spew love of a god and find it quite alright to kill innocents in the name of that god do not deserve, and will not receive respect from me.  And when folks put on a big show of fasting in the name of their religion, but do everything they can to avoid the unpleasant aspects of fasting, the hypocrisy is the same, though thankfully fewer people die horribly from it.

I walked away from Catholicism because of the hypocrisy and pain it had caused in the world.  I walked away from the US because of the gross deception and anguish it has caused for something as petty as political expediency.  I will certainly not give my respect, nor empathize with a religion that condones wholesale slaughter in cold blood of women, children and young folks who are obviously not combatants in any conceivable way.

Unless and until Islam and its followers can feel shame for its grave errors and evil actions, why should anyone go out of their way to accommodate those who fast in show only?

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