27 February, 2015. 15:14
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | [email protected]
AN UNUSUAL rise in international religious extremism over the last few months has dominated both news headlines and household conversation – with many educated and uneducated experts willing to offer their condemnations and explanations of the events unfolding in both Sydney, Pakistan, Syria, Nigeria and Northern Ireland.
The attacks, which all differ in terms of motivation, are similar in the sense that they have resulted in the terrorisation and murder of thousands of innocent people of many different faiths and backgrounds.
While conservative commentators are quick to point out the reoccurring themes in each attack, left-leaning scholars seem intent on condemning the individuals as opposed to their religious community.
One man, however, simply has no idea how to address the issue of terrorism in 2015. Particularly Islamic terrorism.
Ashley Hickey, a devout atheist web-designer from Melbourne’s northern suburbs, says Christmas is usually his favourite time to be a non-believer.
“I usually have a field day in the back-end of December. Chatrooms, monday night poker, family gatherings and occasionally work functions… those are my favourite forums for debate… But with all this Islamic extremism – I don’t really know enough about it all to rip in like I would with Christianity,”
Hickey admits that while he “hates all religions equally”, the marginalisation of Islam by the “Murdoch Press” has turned him into somewhat of a sympathiser.
“I never wanted to be this way… But Islam really is so diverse and culturally significant throughout the world that I just choose to just not comment on the issue. So many bogans insist on making xenophobic and racist remarks. I have more class than that.”
When asked by The Betoota Advocate if he felt that non-Christian religions were attracting more sympathy than they deserved from “die-hard Atheists” like himself. Mr Hickey responded by drawing an obscure parallel between the 9/11 attacks in New York and the controversial Westboro Baptist Church.
“I think its clear that Evangelical Christianity is almost as dangerous as extreme Islam, how much are they telling us? 9/11 was probably an inside job… I guess you could say the Scientologists are a form of terrorists as well. My religion is Jedi lol”