No joy

Life should be dull and empty and joyless, because god. No music, no dance, no play, no laughter, no frivolity, no flirting, no getting jiggy. No faces, no conversation, no friendship, no mingling, no color. No joy – because that’s the devil’s work.

AFP reports:

Taliban insurgents beheaded 17 civilians, including two women, who were holding a party with music in a southern Afghanistan village, officials said Monday.

Party. Music. Women. Mingling. Too much fun. No fun for you! No fun, no pleasure, no heads.

“I can confirm that this is the work of the Taliban,” the Helmand provincial governor’s spokesman Daud Ahmadi told AFP, referring to Islamists notorious during their rule for public executions and the suppression of music and parties.

“Two women and 15 men were beheaded. They were partying with music in an area under the control of the Taliban,” he said.

Nematullah Khan, the Musa Qala district chief confirmed that the villagers had organised a party with music, and one local official said he suspected that the two women had been dancing.

Secret parties with dancing women from a gypsy-type tribe are common across southern Afghanistan.

During their 1996-2001 rule in Afghanistan the Taliban, now waging a fierce insurgency against the NATO-backed government of President Hamid Karzai, also tried to stop the mixing of men and women who were not related.

I like to watch dancing. I like music. That party sounds like a very good time. It sounds like the epitome of humans at their best – doing beatiful things with music and bodies in motion to express celebration. It’s so deeply pathetic that there are people who think that’s the epitome of evil and that they worship a god who hates that.


  1. UnknownEric says

    Music and dance and art is what makes us human. So apparently their god hates humanity. Sounds worthy of worship, right? *sigh*

  2. says

    I am still reeling from the shock. The men who did this, they were infants, toddlers and children once. At which point did they become such monsters? And why?

    It is no wonder that I hate religions, including Islam, with the fury of a thousand burning suns.

  3. says

    Yes – it’s so horrible, to slaughter people for doing something so pretty and joyous.

    It’s reminiscent of the slaughters at Cafe Racer, come to think of it. Musicians, at a favorite local coffeehouse and gathering place. But the guy who did that had a mental illness, not a god.

  4. Interrobang says

    I think, given the constant state of war, civil unrest, and social upheaval in which Afghanistan has been for the last several decades at least, it’s arguable that everyone there has a mental illness, even aside from the apparent religious mania.

  5. says

    We tend to forget that these mindsets are the same as looking up at the stars: an open time machine where we can gaze back into the past. One does not need to sign up for progress, nor appeal to majority, to recognise why such ideas are no longer accepted by most people: anyone who treats his god as an excuse for moral authority is someone worth avoiding and opposing; any society that uses religion as an excuse for paternalism is one worth denigrating, opposing and condemning.

    The quickest answer I can give for why I left Islam: because I’d rather live in the present where we judge people based on who they are and whether their actions really harm us, not their relation to the Creator of the Universe or his (or rather the mullahs’) idiotic “laws”.

    Even if you think, like I do, that Islam is unjustified and irrational beliefs, we can all recognise that it is Muslims who suffer mostly from such idiocy.

  6. says

    And again I wait, and wait……, for the outrage to show up on the MASSIVE religious notice board they have here at York University after one of these atrocities. Never happens.

  7. says

    Tauriq – oh hell yes – it’s definitely Muslims who suffer most. No question.

    Same with for instance Quiverfull – it’s the inmates who get the worst of it.

  8. F says

    Partying is for men only, after death. All other instances shall be punished. (Except for when men want to have a good time.)

  9. says

    I think that in this situation it might make more sense to look past the religious justification and see the taliban’s behavior as simply political control. Do they really care that god doesn’t want people dancing, or do they just want to establish their control, through fear, in the region? I am not excusing religion for its role in this horrible event – far from it – religion (after the club and spear) is one of mankind’s oldest techniques for political control. In regions where the political landscape is shifting, we should expect claims of religiously-motivated violence to increase – but writing them off simply as religious insanity is going to reduce our chances of understanding what’s really going on. It’s also because it helps respond to claims of atheistic atrocities, which were also committed to establish political control. The closest analogue to what I think is going on in Afghanistan with the taliban is the vietcong’s horrific punishment of collaborators and/or ethnic cleansing against the montagnards.

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