Durango Skeptics and Atheists

A Community for Critical Thinkers in the Four Corners Region

Holy Wars Documentary

Had I known that this Durango Independent Film Festival documentary would have been so powerful I would have dragged a few of our friends with us.  “Holy Wars” is a great film about a confrontation between a fundamentalist Christian and a Muslim extremist.  This one was particularly interesting because the Muslim is an Irishman who calls London home.  Terry “Khalid” Kelly takes us through areas of London where throngs of passionate Muslims implore Englanders to adopt Sharia Law.  Khalid and his cohorts are refreshingly honest as they critique the West for not executing women who commit adultery and not removing the hands of thieves.  His reasoning is simple:  Allah’s law commands these things, and we are to follow His law.

His Christian counterpart, Aaron, begins the journey as a slightly naive bible-thumper from the Midwest who undergoes a bit of a transformation as a result of meeting Khalid.  Unfortunately, Khalid is not moderated by his experience and eventually moves to Pakistan to join the Taliban.

To those of us who have lived in the Middle East, it is painfully clear that Islam is not compatible with Western values.  Any Muslim who claims otherwise has either watered down their faith or is ignorant of the Koran.  Of course, it can be said that the slightly more reasonable views of Christians in the West are only a product of the Secular Enlightenment having dragged them kicking and screaming into modernity.

The true nature of these religions is betrayed in this movie as the director removes the cloaks of comfort and brotherhood that often hide the bare, disgusting realities of living by faith.  It was chilling to watch scenes shot at Tube Stations in London that I have used many times where hundreds of hysterical Muslims shouted for an end to democracy.  Or Muslims telling the authorities that they (the authorities) and their wives will be dragged from the beds as they sleep.  Or yelling at non-Muslim women for walking in the streets without their faces covered.  In London.  Back in Missouri, Christians claim with a straight face that US military forces are guided by the Holy Spirit.  Go Team.

I highly recommend this documentary.  You can watch “Holy Wars” in its entirety on YouTube:

We should always defend the rights of all people to worship as they see fit.  But let us not for a moment apologize for our Western values that sometimes conflict with those of religion.  Let us not apologize for respecting the rights of women.  For using human ingenuity to create medicine and cures that save lives and improve them.  Or for insisting that questions of morality should begin with empathy and reason, and not collections of writings from superstitious semi-literate desert nomads.


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1 Comment

  1. kathy with a k

    Great blog post, Clayton. I’m gonna watch this as soon as I can. It sounds really intersting (and also a bit scary….). Also, Sam Harris talks a lot about this very thing. There is one video of his that springs to mind. It is a debate on this issue with Chris Hedges. I recommend checking it out.

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