Religious bullies

Deal with the religious bullies that deploy ancient texts to browbeat the young and vulnerable into actions they would shun if they were older or more mature.

I was once bullied by such a chap. Ah, but that fellow is now celebrated all over, embraced by the same media which vilifies his victims. Today he is a talkshow host, a social commentator, a published author and apparently an authority on extremism.

I just feel fortunate that I was a young Muslim before the age of social media. Thank goodness I only had to deal with one man visiting my flat to talk me into submission, into to agreeing with him that it was my religious duty to strive towards all those goals he said were obligatory. Thank goodness I could escape his harassment.

Perhaps he is penitent today. Perhaps he has made amends. I have not spoken to him in over twenty years. I don’t care to. But sadly he has been replaced by a vast army of religious bullies, who now teem online, who will pressure the young without relent with their religious-sounding arguments.

I don’t let my own kids have smartphones. They have limited access to the web at home. I have already had a conversation with them about religious bullies, about extremism and this false call to faith. I will keep on having that conversation with them. I am protective of them and will not let them chat with proselytisers online.

For me, religious bullies are beyond the pale. They will exploit the young and vulnerable once, and then they will dump them when society turns on their victims. Protect your kids from religious bullies. Tonight, another conversation with my kids, prompted once more by that interview with that girl.

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