Wow ... people talking about the practice of islam being "meaningless" and "mechanical," plus the possibility of a reaction to the recent declaration of atheists being terrorists ... could it be that the home of islam is showing cracks in its facade?
Sure looks that way.
The prayer several times a day, the kneeling only facing Mecca, the constant refrain of "Allah Akbah!" -- all of these religions have their reinforcements but I really do think the Muslims are the worst. (Some might argue that Mormon men have it worst: they have to put on their magic underwear every day, and the fact that they have it on shows a design to remind them at least until they go to bed that God has his eye on you. Just one eye, the other being on the lookout on the rest of the world's several billion people.) I keep carping on the small boy I saw on a local bus in Uruapan, Michoacan, Mexico, who crossed himself without even thinking about it every time the bus came to an intersection and at churches. I understood the RCC church part: they even cross themselves when entering a pew or leaving one. But the intersection crossing eluded me until I realized it is a cross, literally a cross-roads. I found him pitiful. He will go through life with a learned behavioral obsessive-compulsive complex. If he marries, it could only be to a girl who does precisely the same thing. But think of the potential value that boy initially presented: he might have become the next Gabriel Garcia Marques or the next Pele. A total waste of personhood. The Priesthood realized early on that constantly reminding the sheep of the shepherd kept them flocked (or is that fucked?) and ever-mindful of God. Don't you know those gullibles wait with baited breath through all those cornball jokes just to hear Joel tell them to "hold up your bible, saying 'this is my bible"...etc. Listening to him is sheer torture, both because he exudes snake oil unctuousness but also he gets through it weekly thinking about the $800,000 in tithes on any weekend in the year. (Probably a lot more at Easter and Christmas.)