Most modern religions are the result of claimed channeled material, which are thoughts believed to be outside a person's conscious mind, conveyed by a person who speaks for non-physical beings or spirits.
In the year 610 AD, the prophet Muhammad received a divine message from Allah to start a new religion. It would be called Islam.
A Muslim is an adherent to Islam. Sharia Law is the sacred law of Islam. Muslims believe Sharia is God's law. Sharia is derived from the divine revelations set forth in the Quran and by sayings of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad
Over the next 22 years, Muhammed spoke for the non-physical being called Allah and the Muslim empire overtook the Arabian Peninsula. After Muhammed's death, the Muslim empire continued to expand into Africa and Europe over the centuries.
The Taliban is an Islamic political movement in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere that believes in strict enforcement of Sharia Law. For example, women are forced to wear the burga in public, not allowed to be educated, not allowed to work and not allowed to be treated by male doctors, unless accompanied by a male chaperon. Women face public flogging or execution for violation of Taliban laws.
On April 13, 2009, two young lovers, ages 21 and 19, attempting to elope were shot to death by a firing squad during a public execution outside a mosque in southern Afghanistan. They had fled their village, planning to start a new life together. The Taliban put the young couple on trial for crimes against Islam and executed them shortly thereafter.
"It was a very bad thing for these people to escape from their homes without permission and it is right that they should be punished according to Sharia law," explained Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, spokesman for the Taliban.
On August 6, 2010, 10 members of a humanitarian medical team traveling in Badakhshan Province in northern Afghanistan were brutally murdered by the Taliban. The team included 6 Americans, 2 Afghans, a German and a Briton. Three of them were women.
Among the bullet-riddled bodies was team leader Tom Little, an optometrist from New York, who had been living in Afghanistan for 30 years, supervising a network of eye clinics around the country, funded by private donations, and providing humanitarian medical services to Afghans in remote villages.
They were killed because they "were spying for the Americans and preaching Christianity," according to Zabiullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban.
Welcome to Afghanistan -- a disorganized, corrupt country of scattered, self-righteous rednecks with AK-47s.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is another Mecca of self-righteous fanatics. The Supreme Leader of Iran is Grand Ayatollah Ali Hoseyni Khamanenei. An Ayatollah is the same rank in the religion of Islam as a Bishop or Cardinal in Christianity. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, controls intelligence and security operations, and has the sole power to declare war or peace.
The President is the highest state authority. Presidential candidates must be approved by the Council of Guardians in order to ensure allegiance to the ideals of the Islam. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the current President of Iran.
In July of 2009, three American hikers from the University of California in Berkeley, all in their 20s, strayed into Iranian territory while on a hiking adventure in the mountains in the northern Kurdish region along the Iraq and Iran border. As of August 2010, they are still being held in jail, suspected by the Iranian Islamic government of being spies. After over a year of imprisonment, no charges have yet been filed and no trial date has been set.
Also in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a 43-year-old mother of two named Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is in jail, awaiting to be stoned to death for having an "illicit" relationship. She has already received 99 lashes for the crime of "adultery while being married." In addition, 12 other women await execution by stoning.
Of course, Islamic extremism isn't the only example of vile acts perpetrated upon humanity by a religion. Too often, organized religion is simply organized bigotry, sanctioned by an omnipotent non-physical spirit being.
The Roman Catholic Church, another religious organization that was created primarily based upon claimed channeled material of a non-physical being, went through an extended period called The Inquisition. This heinous practice spanned many centuries, including the Medieval Inquisition (1184-1230), the Spanish Inquisition (1478-1834), the Portuguese Inquisition (1536-1821) and the Roman Inquisition (1542-1860). Thousands and thousands of those found guilty of disobeying church edicts, called heretics, were systematically imprisoned, tortured or burned at the stake.
In ancient Mesoamerican civilizations (Aztec, Toltec, etc.), human sacrifice was part of their religious culture. By sacrificing the life of a human being to one of their non-physical spirit beings, it allowed life to continue. The more important the request of the non-physical spirit being, the more thorough or plentiful the human sacrifice.
It is astonishing how far some people will go to please or "obey" their non-physical spirit masters. I know a couple who believe that if you are not a member of their specific denomination of their specific religion, you will for certain spend the remainder of eternity in hell. But if you are one of their narrow flock, you will spend eternity in a heavenly place.
Unfortunately, too many people worship the messenger and disregard the message. Perhaps instead of swearing obedience to non-physical spirit beings, it would be wiser to simply treat others as you wish to be treated -- with respect, kindness, tolerance, forgiveness and love.
While burning heretics at the stake and sacrificing virgins have disappeared from the scene, certain Islamic extremists continue to pursue their personal religious obligation to kill any human being who does not follow the commandments of their non-physical spirit being.
Over the years, many Muslims gradually adapted to Western ways, but others yearned for the rigid laws of the Quran. Hassan Al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in the 1920s, predecessor to modern day Hamas and Al Qaeda, which reverted back to the strict teachings of Muhammad. The radicals felt Allah was angry with Muslims for straying from their true religious path. They perceived the Western influence to be a prison of the true believers, a punishment by Allah for betraying their religion.
The Muslim Brotherhood soon formed armed cells that attacked the "secular" government and its supporters. Today, this organization has hundreds of branches in over 70 countries worldwide. In the 1950s and 1960s, Sayyid Qutb of the Muslim Brotherhood invoked Jihad, a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty. Their goal is to create a worldwide Islamic paradise, eliminating every "non-believer" as their means to an end.
However, slaughtering people in order to create a paradise is like humping for virginity.
Today, innocent people are in a life or death struggle not of their choosing. Islamic extremists are attempting to exterminate anyone who does not adhere to their perverted interpretation of ancient channeled material.
But sometimes, solutions create problems. Afghanistan is primarily a "backward" rural country. The people tend to be united against outsiders and divided among themselves. It is not a wise place to conduct a military incursion. Stirring up a nest of vipers invariably leads to an increase in the veracity of the vipers.
There can be no positive outcome to the conflict in Afghanistan. The only winners will be the military-industrial complex and their New World Order financial backers who seek a one-world government controlled by a one-world police force. Everyone else on this planet is fodder for their ambitions and pawns in their game.
On the positive side, the Galactic Federation has quarantined Planet Earth from the rest of the universe. They already have enough problems with those nasty Reptilians and Grays. They don't want to deal with trigger-happy, non-physical-spirit-being-fearing earthlings too.
Beam me up, Scottie -- too much insanity on this spinning orb.
Quote for the Day -- "The very purpose of this movement is to set human beings free from the yoke of human enslavement and make them serve the One and Only God." Sayyid Quth (Muslim Brotherhood)
Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and occasionally chats with non-physical beings or elm trees. His blogs appear on several websites, including www.myspace.com/bret1111