Guest Author - Linda Heywood
Wars are raging on the land, from the sea and in the sky but there is a far more sinister war being fought on Earth. It is out of sight to most people but it exists none the less in the cyber world of the religious chat rooms.
Yahoo especially has chat rooms for every religion and people congregate at their computers to visit these rooms from all over the world. They come from every country, from every religion and from every cult, male and female. They give themselves cyber identities and sit in chat rooms full of other people they do not know and cannot see.
All the chatter sees is a screen full of typing in different colours and font sizes and sometimes someone is speaking on their microphone. The spelling and grammar in these chat rooms may be appalling but the message gets across just the same. English, short hand, slang and emotes are the common form of communication in chat rooms.
Islamic chat rooms have a high traffic rate. There are twenty one chat rooms dedicated to Islamic chat and there can be over seven hundred people frequenting these rooms at any one time. There are chat room kings and queens who rule over the rooms temporarily until they are usurped by other kings and queen and the minions attack each other. They don’t have guns or bombs they have keyboards and the freedom to say what they like. As one chatter said to me, “If we said the things we say in these chat rooms out there in the real world, we would be arrested for breaking the law.”
Chat rooms allow people to vent their frustrations on others, no matter how hurtful or untruthful the words they type are, because they are invisible and unable to be physically harmed for what they say. These chatters represent the human race as we really are when the ego is allowed to rule the mind. Religious discussion can invoke much hatred between people. Insults and threats are hurled at one another like children in a playground, “Your momma is… no Your momma is… NO YOUR momma is… NO YOUR MOMMA IS…! People forget God is aware of their every thought and word, even in a chat room.
Chapter 50, verse 16
We created the humans and we know what he whispers to himself. We are closer to him than his jugular vein.
Muslims disagree with other Muslims about how Islam should be practised and which deviant sect are the best follows of who or what. Muslims argue with Christians, Hindus, Jews and Atheists. Everyone argues with each other, about who obeys which god or follows which prophet and scripture or how to pray or fast or give to charity. Everyone has an opinion but no one listens. Does that sound familiar?
Islamic chat rooms are great places to do research on Islam today and they could be outlets for unity but instead they are war zones of division. The people who dwell in the seedy world of chat are real people, sitting behind real computers, talking about their points of view on Islam.
There is an ignore button provided that can be used to remove the comments of chatters whose point of view is offensive. It is not used very often because chatters love to argue with and insult each other.
Chat rooms are an addiction for some people no matter which religion, culture or background they come from. Some of the chatters have been going to the same rooms for a decade now and the one thing that is always consistent is the arguing and fighting and abusing because of religious belief and race. Islamic chat rooms house multiple beliefs and races.
These chat rooms show the true animosity between us as a world nation. They reveal that mankind has not evolved into a peaceful, loving creature like those of the animal kingdom but into a hate filled, obsessed virus that infects other human beings around him. That nasty, little computer virus you get from time to time is man-made and designed to destroy. So are the thoughts and theories imparted in the underworld of Islamic chat rooms by every nationality.
The cyber soldiers who stalk the chat rooms with their propaganda and vitriol are just as vicious as those who take up arms and kill in the name of their god and out of ignorance. Life in Islamic chat can be harsh and you need a thick skin and a sense of humour to survive.
As in the real world there are some people sitting behind their screens, who take the time to read and learn and make their own decisions about what Islam means to them.
World War Three is taking place under our very noses, but it is hidden from sight in cables buried in the earth or laid on the sea bed and from satellites above our heads in space. In this war no one is physically harmed but egos and theories are often put to the test.
Chapter 2, verse 124
Recall that Abraham was put to the test by his Lord, through certain commands, and he fulfilled them. God said, “I am appointing you an imam for the people.” He said, “And also my descendants?” He said, “My covenant does not include the transgressors.”