vendredi 5 mars 2010

Religion for Egoistic Male Genes

Yesterday I read a shocking story told by an Estonian serviceman in Afghanistan. A young girl escaping from a rapist had climbed over the wall of the NATO military camp. She escaped the rapist, but was later shot by her father: he thought too many faithless men had seen her daughter unveiled, it was a shame for him... I am more and more convinced that religion, especially the big monotheistic religions, and especially the Islam among them, are well engineered devices that help human males to guarantee the survival and successful and exclusive transmission of their genes. Religion gives men control over their wives, makes it very difficult for the females to get inseminated by other males except the men who possess (I think it's the right word) them. A girl is strictly controlled by her father, then handed over to her husband (and his kin). Any chance of her even meeting other males is made virtually impossible by the religious law and custom. In Saudi Arabia, flirting is a crime, religious police persecuting young people seen chatting and laughing in public places... In Christianity too, free sex was and is considered a grave sin, and in some traditionalist societies women's sexual behaviour was very strictly regulated, and having an extramarital child was one of the most shameful things that could happen to a girl. In the past, admonishing such girls was a favourite pastime of Lutheran pastors, although our ancestors didn't consider sex the mother of all sins, and in some places unmarried mothers were not ostracized by village people at all. What we see in places like southern Afghanistan or Aceh, is male control of female sexuality run amoc, become an obsession. Shared by the Salafiyah ideology in general. I remember that for Sayyed al-Qutb, one of the most influential ideologues of the Salafiyah Islam, seeing young people dancing and flirting in America was a shock experience, a vivid example of the moral degradation of the West. For me, al-Qutb's indignation at young people expressing their erotic feelings, is a sign of the sexual paranoia inherent in some forms of Islam. A paranoia that can well be explained by the theories of evolutionary psychology. On the ethical level, I cannot but quote my friend Gary Snyder who told that the world would need several thousands of years to overcome the bad karma created by the monotheistic religions. But I'm afraid that we don't have so much time to turn our attention from sexophobia, homophobia and misogynia to real dangers facing ourselves and our planet.

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