My first thoughts on Islam were similar to those I had over the catholic Church and, in general, over the christian faith, aswell as any other religion that has turned into an institution; as a tool for politics, for organizing peoples in order to bend them easily to the will of those seeking for power. I used to think that the ones turning themselves into instutionalized religions where those weak of mind, unable to use their belief system in order to face what I considered the truth, the vast emptiness and fullness of the Universe and, as a consequence, the matter and the void that inhabits the human soul.
I used to believe that people with a dense interest on religion were the ones in need of a non-rational justification and pardon for the hate and chaos in the world, aswell as their own actions, having the necessity of imagining the existence of a greater being acting as a vigilante in order to embrace and practice what is considered to be good, noble and pure.
The western media has shown, through decades, many of the risks of letting the belief system guide the path of decision destined to the process of reason. In the christian sphere, The Ku Klux Klan and other intolerant organizations, have been spreading their hate towards difference, planting and cultivating the seeds of terror where their actions turned into prosecution, torture and murder. In the muslim sphere, specially in recent decades, the systems of information have provided the people with plenty of images and terrible stories from the actions of Al-Qaeda, DAESH, ISIS, the mujahideens, the talibans, the Boko Haram and many other organizations that practice the spread of terror in the name of religious unity, but indeed longing for political de facto authority.
Manipulation and violence were, then, the first things I associated with Islam; as a way to control the population claiming words written by a human being had been directly dictated by divinity, thus considering it’s interpretations as predominant in comparision of other works on ethics, legal structure and human nature.
Before I went to Greece to participate as a solidarian volunteer in the 2016 refugee crisis, my vision on spirituallity and also on religion, thus also on Islam, was a different one. Through the works of Plato, Spinoza and Huxley, aswell as the study and practice of the taoist arts and philosophy, my point of view was growing in order to incorporate a new vision for me regarding spirituallity and religious literature from a non-judgamental scientific perspective. God, the traditional idea of divinity, was dead in Europe long before Nietzsche proclaimed it in his work “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, but, in an era dominated by the need of recyclement, not only material things but also ideas are in the necessity of being revised and reused, if founded useful.
First thing I noticed when I landed in Greece and started meeting muslim individuals and groups from Syria, Iraq, Kurdistán, Afghanistan and Iran was that, in a wide majority, they were actively spiritual and majorly tolerant towards other people’s believes. In the refugee camps and urban squads I found communities of sunii, shia and yazidi practicants living among each others without any major struggle other than those created by cohabitation in a small place in a situation of misery.
Seemed to me incredible that those peace-loving human groups and inividuals, which became beloved persons to me, came from the same places where those images of terror and violence shown by the media came from.
Then I understood, that those were the things that people were fleeing from. The desire of peace when one lives in a world filled with the violence of war brought them through their odissey until reaching the gates of Europe. Even though evolutionism was a hard thing to debate, except some exceptions, even with literate people, spirituallity and trust on each other and in religion brought with them a code of behaviour which made those comunities and individuals as ones seeking for a peaceful life far from what they used to call home.
I comprehended there are people who use religion and spirituallity in order to live better their lifes, and there are other people who uses their lifes in order to strenghten their power through religion. That, the same as there are ethical and unethical atheists and agnostics, there are also the two sides of a coin in any belief or idea. This is not, I understood, this is not to blame on Islam, but on those people who use the Qurán as a justification to follow their personal and political interests. Same as corruption and decadence tends to happen in every society but not necessarily representing the will and behaviour of the rest of the population, I understood what the media had tried to do with our view of the people living just across the Mediterranian.
They have tried to segregate us in many different sectors, for the easier dominance of human beings. Spirituallity, aswell as science, reminds us we are one large human group, sharing commerce, vocabulary, climate, aswell as the remenescense of punic, greek, roman, arabic and turkish cultures as a common heritage to all peoples living in the lands of the Mediterranean. We share our interest in peace, equality and freedom, aswell as the democratic values of our times. People in power can repeat one time and another we are not the same, but, indeed, we are more similar to one another in many aspects than we are different. Strengthening those things that makes us equal, aswell as accepting our differences, is what we call unity.
And those who remain united, can never be defeated, being stronger than the ones trying to divide.