What is Islam to you? For most (don't get excited I didn't say all) Iranian Muslims Islam means not eating pork, wearing all black to funerals, saying Yaa Ali when lifting something heavy and Allahomma Salla Alaa Mohammad va Aale Mohammad when we encounter certain things like the first of the lunar calendar, when lights come on or ........ We also identify with throwing of sofreh by our mothers or grandmothers, and nazr va sadagheh; that is, we want something to happen or someone sick to get better, we promise to pay God some sort of bribe to have our back as if God's accounting department prepares daily report to Angels to fulfill request of those who have paid. Other than exposure to the Quran during classes in elementary and high school, we barely know where the Quran is in the house, much less studying it. Those of us who like to pretend more perform the Namaz in public or semi privately (so at least some people see us), do the roozeh (fasting) thing but on the side, we drink the Aab Shangooli and maybe a puff on the opium smoke when the chance arises. We go to Mashhad to visit the shrine of Imam Reza for spiritual renovation and on the way back we stop for a 1 hour sigheh. We visit Imamzadehs without knowing what is an Imamzadeh, who is burried there or for what reason the burried is holy.
For the Jews amongst us its the same thing; kosher food at weddings and bar mitzvahs, "no work" on Saturdays (yeah right), going to the Synagogue for weddings and funerals and paying $ to support the State of Israel once in a while. The Torah in our homes is so rarely used/opened that cob webbs are so thick they cannot be vacuumed off.
As kids we are brought up hearing "don't do that" from the parents all the time. So, we relate well to religions which tell us "don't do this or that". We love the fact that not eating pork is a big factor in identifying with a religion.
Over the years, we also develope a series of illogical ideologies such as sacredness of religious figures. If someone calls Moses or Mohammad gay or womanizer, we get offended.
Most interestingly, as Muslims and Jews we get programmed to hate each other. Mainly because one group worships Moses and the other Mohammad.
We seem to have forgotten that religion, through its series of teachings, is supposed to be a way of life. Its like followers of Deepak Chopra and Anthony Robbins hate each other because they believe in different way of living their lives.
And all this time, those of us who are among the more intelligent have used the difference in religion as a means to control and exploit the masses. The unholy matrimony of religion and politics. The rest is history.
I for one have really have had enough of this bull shit.
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