Thursday, March 30, 2006
The more I watch the new Battlestar Galactica, the more the Cylons seem like Muslims. Now the detractors of this argument will say that it only seems that way because the Muslims are our enemy of the moment, and the Cylons are the enemies of the humans in the show, and there's nothing more to it than that. However, I see a lot of other similarities.
The Cylons are religious. They believe that they are killing the humans for their god. This is very much like the Islamic concept of jihad which instructs Muslims to spread their religion through war. The humans also have religion, but most are secular and don't seem to spend a lot of time thinking much about it. This sounds like the United States.
When the Cylons die in war, they don't just vanish, their conscious is reborn in a new body. This is similar to the Islamic belief that those who die in war will ascend to Paradise. The resurrection ship isn't exactly Paradise, but the point is that for both Muslim and Cylon, death in battle doesn't mean the end of existence.
In the last episode of the season Number Six kills herself by detonating a nuclear bomb, taking out several ships in the process. Obviously similar to how the Muslims use suicide bombers to attack their enemies.
The Cylons have a plan, or so we are told. It's a long term plan. Unlike the humans, the Cylons are very patient. Similarly, the Muslims have a plan to take over the world by spreading all over and gradually edging out the other religions. The West doesn't take the plan seriously because of the long term nature of it. Pat Buchanan writes a book pointing out that if demographic trends continue, Europe will be majority Muslim before the end of the century. Most in the West laugh at Pat and call him a reactionary, because their focus is too short term. But the Muslims see it as part of their long-term plan to take over the world.
For the same reason there can be no peace with the Cylons, there can be no peace with Muslims. Both have a religious belief that their duty is to kill the infidels and become the only religion in the galaxy/world.
Short answer, not really, as I commented in the last post, the cylons display traits from many religions. and The vast majority of religions adherents spurn violence and want to live in peace undisturbed.
Seeing all Muslims as a threat is a Bad generalization. Sort of like the one the Muslims or pagens of europe would have made of the christians durring the crusades, when their lands were actually under invasion by foriegn armies or as the people of Jericho saw the Jews.
The Cylons are a greater metaphore of religion vs Secularism.
Let's have a closer look:
"Muslims to spread their religion through war" - Well, they kill people who don't believe in Islam. But I'm not sure whether this can be called SPREADING a religion? I don't recall anyone converting to Islam because of recent attacks. I wouldn't even say "muslims", since it's only a minority of Muslim believers, also known als fundamentalists, who actually kill people. As long as they don't have the means to kill billions of humans, i don't see a threat. Does anyone have figures how much westerners actually have been killed by muslim fundamentalists?
"... but most are secular and don't seem to spend a lot of time thinking much about it. This sounds like the United States." - In my eyes, those of a European citizen, I see the US as a very religious country. Well, at least your current ruling elite is know for its affection to Christianity. And since someone has to have voted for them, I assume voters tend to be religious too. Maybe I am wrong?
"This is similar to the Islamic belief that those who die in war will ascend to Paradise." - The belief you continue "living" after death is common to Christian religions as well. Actually, I see the Cylons behaviour more as a reincarnation, aligning it with Buddism and other Asian religions, not primarily with Islam.
"The resurrection ship isn't exactly Paradise, but the point is that for both Muslim and Cylon, death in battle doesn't mean the end of existence." - I don't remember a religion at all which states: "When you die, you vanish. No more consciousness, nothing. Finito".
"Obviously similar to how the Muslims use suicide bombers to attack their enemies." - True, but: The Muslims didn't invent it (well, in fact they did, but some centuries ago as a result of the crusades). Bombing is/was also common to the IRA in Ireland or the ETA in Spain. Both terrorist groups consisting of people with Christian belief.
"Similarly, the Muslims have a plan to take over the world by spreading all over and gradually edging out the other religions." - I guess the US is much closer to fulfill this "plan" ;-) The US sports a well trained army, weapons of mass destruction and even the money to get closer to "ruling the world" than any other power in history ever has.
"But the Muslims see it as part of their long-term plan to take over the world." - I guess there you really misinterpretatet the situation: I'm not sure at all whether you can even call them "the Muslims" expressing they're acting as a whole. Muslims aren't lead centrally and most of them (maybe ... 99%?) aren't even aware of such a plan. Muslims are spread over the world, living in a lot of different countries, some not democratic at all. They're not homogenous, but heterogenous and even form different religious movements like Sunnites or Shi'its.
But, of course, it is true that the numbers keep growing in the West. I'm just saying this growth isn't based on an evil plan to take over the world. Reproduction, stupid. It just happens, but the outcome isn't sure. Let's hope for the good.
Conclusion: Your thesis doesn't work out for me since it's biased.
Probably some elements of the plotline resemble current events, both for topicality and for ratings. Generalizing evil acts as pertaining to a category based on their religion, that is how religious wars and ethnic cleansing starts. It is a dynamic as old as history, but still a very dangerous one in our modern times. So no, I don't think the Cylon are supposed to represent Muslims any more than I think the Cylon represent 300 years of European expansionism and the destruction of indigenous cultures in order to Christianize and civilize them.
What I found interesting in the storyline was the vacuum-like disappearance of the peacenik insurgency: those humans who wished to make peace with the Cylon. The season finale kind of closed the book on that plot angle, but you basically had three episodes that promised a liberal (or "progressive" if the liberal label offends certain sensitivities) viewpoint which was quickly extinguished. I asked myself, why? It was interesting, it was topical, it gave a fresh look to events in BG.
I can only surmise that either the peacenik subplot ran into a wall when the draft of the season finale finally came together, or the treatment of the peace movement was too esoteric to continue. For example, we never saw true "peaceniks" so much as we saw an armed insurgency on BG -- two, in fact, since the extremists of now-defunct Dana Delaney's character were not really affiliated with the peaceniks of now-defunct Fugitive Six. But call them all insurgents, for they were sabotaging, holding hostages, and detonating nukes, in that order and for the purpose of challenging the legitimate quasi-government aboard BG. The writers could have really gone to town plumbing the depths of this kind of battlefield psychology, but Moore and Eick probably killed it because it was too off-topic from the continuing storyline. I still think it had promise as a plot brake; they were going to need one in order to keep the series afloat until this holy grail of Earth was discovered.
If you liked Pat's book you will certainly like the book "Eurabia" by Bat Yeor and any recent book by Oriana Fallaci (sp?). You also may like to take gander at http://www.jihadwatch.com.
At that web site they are always talking about muslim issues in Europe like Malmo, Sweeden or how things have changed in the Netherlands since Pim Fortyn and Theo Van Gogh were murdered. I worked in the Netherlands in the late 90's and it is incredible how attitudes have changed toward the idea of multiculturalism. Take for example the proposed new "immigration" film that new immigrants from "certain" countries must watch. It shows a woman topless at a beach and some gay males kissing. If you cannot stand that then you need not apply.
Anyway I am not anti-muslim or anything like that. For example I enjoy reading Jihadwatch.com web site for the articles they point to from the European press but the comments people make just full of hate.
I just find European issues facinating since they are the "future" according to so many in the press and academia. It reminds me of when I was growing up during the 80's that the press was telling us Japan was the "future". At that time I was interested in everything Japanese to better understand them. Same thing with Europe... I prefer to learn as much as I can to see what all the hype is about.
Anyway as for the Cylons==Muslims... there is some similarities but overall it is sort of a stretch. One could also argue it applies to polytheism vs. monotheism in the years prior to the Edict of Milan in the Roman empire.
I think the storyline takes it cue from a number of historical events and perhaps makes some new ones as well.
Of course they are Muslims. They keep harping about one God, just like Muslims do in real life as well. This makes sense in comparison to Christians as well because Christians talk about Trinity and according to Muslims, this is praying to multiple Gods in a way (but they do/should not care either way since Koran says to leave everyone alone -except this Osama "Yo Mama" Bin Ladin motherfrakker-).
I like what the show has done with this idea. The good guys are multigod society, bad guys are not, but it's fine and should be fine. This is great for instilling religious tolerance.
well i think is a worthy comparison, but it seems kinda an obvious comparison. i think that bsg is more complex than a show about the west struggling with EXTREMIST islam, not all muslims commit terrorism or support it, and the colonials are quite a bit different than the united states. they are polytheistic, come from 12 colonies, and they created the cylons. as far as i know the us didn't clone millions of muslims to be terrorists. your comparison only goes so far...good try though
Wow, what a fantastic baseless analogy?
Does anybody else find this post deeply intolerant and woefully devoid of facts.
My post here is from a US Christian who believes that intolerance is a tool used by political leaders to motivate their base, which in turn gives the political leader more power and/or money. I find this post offensive and don't like being lumped into an us(US) v. them (muslims) classification. There are many people of muslim faith that live in the US and form part of our identity.
I would stay away from these black and white comparisons and generalities that imply that a very small sect of muslim fundamentalists actually represent the whole.
I'm amazed there aren't any Muslim responses, let alone from those who are slightly lapsed. So here's my take.
Hi, I'm from Malaysia, and I'm a Muslim. My country has diverse Asian cultures living together, and we intend to keep it that way. Thus there's this challenge of Muslims & other cultures trying to co-exist in a same country.
To read your article is to see how ignorant & bias your viewpoints are. Not all Muslims like that. We Muslim majority in Malaysia worked hard to maintain balance between different cultures. While it's not perfect and there are few rows over some at least minor issues, it's all we've got.
To consider us the kind who would take over the world through forced conversion is your ignorance of the wider issues we Muslims have fought internally, which is unfortunately ignored by Westerners. In Malaysia, we had fights, often, in the Parliament, with the fundamentalist Muslim majority in the Northern states of the Peninsular, which goes to show things are.
We kept being portrayed as suicide bombers & fatalistic types who die for God & get to fuck a virgin in Paradise. If that's what you think, have a discussion with a typical Muslim next door in your area. Don't you have Muslims in your town? Anyway, stop watching TV news and get yourself acquainted a normal Muslim.
Meanwhile, let us Muslim fans enjoy Battlestar Galactica in peace.
hi,i'm just a typical muslim from Malaysia with a not so strong religion type..when is read this, i'm also start to questioning...
why when a suicide bomber or a terrorist related activites that is done by a eg. arab people that his religion is islam,automatically labeled as a muslim rebel/terrorist instead a IRA mostly Christian don't count in as a terrorist but as a REBEL?They also has commited suicide bombing,street killing etc. DONT judge the book by it's cover.All of this is just a political/some religion play to manipulated the viewers just to make a simple conclusion all muslim are badass terrorist is it?Look at the mirror and see ourselves before we start pointing at anyone TQ
As another Christian living in the United States, I find this post incredibly offensive and I believe it shows how unaware certain people are of both past and present events. While I don't believe the Cylons are meant to represent any particular religion, they are certainly far closer to Christianity during the time of the Crusades than modern Islam. These Muslims that you speak about represent a tiny fraction of the world's Muslim population, while nearly all (if not all) Christians supported the Crusades at the time. If this isn't enough for you, look at the Spanish Inquisition, or the efforts of Spain to spread Christianity throughout the New World (and no, this wasn't the action of just one state, Spain was "given" the land by the Pope to do so). Therefore, the idea that Cylons represent Muslims can only have come from your personal belief that Muslims are bad, not any actual evidence or logical thought.
What a terrible analogy! The points you have made about Muslims are largely false! I do "find this post deeply intolerant and woefully devoid of facts." I have some Muslim friends ( I live in a diverse city in USA ) and none of us find your thoughts to be valid. The Muslim Fundamentalists that use suicide attacks are a small minority of the Muslim sects in the world. In fact many organizations use this terrorist tactic for political statements. Our European friend has written a thoughtful post to counter your bigotry!
If anything, I would think the Cylon religion, and the prediction of a birth of a baby is analogous to Christianity because of the strong theme of the birth of Jesus Christ our Savior. This theme is not prevalent in the other monotheistic religions of the world.
Are you guys kidding? The Cylons are Israeli's (occupying), the humans are Palestinian's (fighting for a home).
When I heard the first meniton of "insurgents" I thought "oh boy, here comes Hollywood's view of the world." When I saw the suicide belt, I clicked off the TV and went to bed. Obviously I can't comment on the rest of the episode, but I can say that they have probably lost a committed fan.
To imply the battle between the cylons and humans is a metaphor between christans and muslims is a shallow interpration of the show. A better reading (which I believe is what the writers are trying to get across) is that evil actions are never justified and always create bad results.
Killing innocent people is EVIL. Whether blowing up a planet or flying a plane into a office buidling - there is never justification of such action. The issue we all need to think about, and the show raises, is it OK to do evil things to fight evil people? Are we, humans, justified in killing innocent cylons or carpet bombing arabs? Or in doing so did we just become a little evil ourselves.
There is a big difference in being a winner (at any cost) and being good.
In answer. Is quiet interesting how you confuse muslim with cylons....People praying and acting like muslim, and the music that appear when is necesary,... To me it looks like survivors are more like muslim. Humans are mon likely muslims in BSG. And ... Check out JEDI's in STARWARS!!! How they are dressed and where they live! Man...There is something in our fantasy that relay muslim to last human fighters against "what ever".
But even in RIDIK CHRONICLES...Good people are muslim like and bad are techno muscles geeks necromancers.
tell me why? I have no answers. But I saw tha analogy long time ago in starwars.
For the best view of Battlestar Galactica from a Muslims point of view, got to http://www.HotConflict.com.
You can listen to a a Podcast of a review of BSG Razor from a Muslim leader in the US.
Discussing Jihad and Monotheistic religion in the War with the Cylons!
Are the cylons Muslim?
Its a awkward question...
I see political islam more like the STAR TREK BORG...
'Join the collective or die'....
After all in order to be a muslim you must change your culture...
For the males get circumsized & grow beards...
For the females they should wear a burka & hijab...
And of course with thier diet no bacon or other Western foods...
So although this is generalized... you can see my point.
this is exactly wat the cylons want you to believe :) . are muslims really america's enemy ? or have they been the enemy of another group of people , for centuries?
Cylons could be more similar to jews in america .they have their own base world , israel .
they see americans as imperfect . just look at all the movies coming out of hollywood . all whites and blondes americans are villains where as all jewish guys and women are heroes , ppl who care and will save your day in the end . its weird that most hollywood movies end up with fairytale jewish weddings than ones in churches .
look at the cylons, wat is their sole purpose now ? to spread , procreate and mix with the others .
jews used to be easily distinguishable from americans a generation ago , but now after intergration (infiltration ? ) its hard to find the difference between americans and jews .
even a search for people in wiki , highlights them if they have even a slightest background of jewish in them .
all people surrounding the us govt are jewish , as are the cylons . the cylons just use puppet humans to do their work .
its always pointed out that humans created cylons and they got back at them . who helped create israel?
even some people love cylons , which is now becoming a fad in bsg universe .
well there are hundreds of more similarities but then people just wouldnt look too deep and just ignore it as bashing .
Wild that you mention all this. A lot fo us have seen this parallel and it really seems that the Cylons are Muslims, not that I am trying to villify them or anything, but its pretty obvious.Post a Comment
Even in what they say, just listen to the dialogue.