OK this ıs controversial but…

Every time a suicide bomber explodes people polarise into two camps:

  1. “We’re all in this together”. Let’s join hands, sing Kumbaya and hold “İ heart (fill in the blank)” placards.
  2. “Muslims are barbaric.” Let’s ban travel, end immigration and deport anyone with a beard (unless they’re a bona fide, card carrying hipster barista).

This is a pointless waste of time. İt takes up a huge percentage of all current media coverage and achieves nothing but circular arguments from both sides.

Throughout history we’ve dealt with bad guys by the very masculine strategy of brute strength and superior weaponry. But this strategy is completely pointless against an enemy whose chief objective is to die.

Yet still our response to terrorism is more man-power and more weaponry. No-one addresses the elephant in the room — Religion and the absence of the feminine.

Religious communities also fall into two camps:

  1. Low consciousness — people who interpret spirituality literally, in the way children believe in flying reindeer and a fat man who delivers presents down the chimneys of the entire world in a single night.
  2. Higher consciousness — people who interpret spirituality through metaphor. The words are not literally true. The stories are parables that illustrate the benefit of living a life of compassion and integrity.

Words can be twisted or misinterpreted. Words always have an agenda.

There has always been fake news.

Take the Catholic religion who turned Mary Magdalene into a prostitute. (No females allowed in the upper echelons of the boy’s club). The Vatican have since owned up to the fact that this was a complete fiction. The purpose of this fake news was obviously the demeaning of women and the supremacy of the patriarchy.

Then there’s the Muslim religion. More fantastic stories that inspire impressive levels of devotion and obedience to a masculine God and his favourite boy. Again no females allowed in the upper echelons. Their role is to be veiled (unseen and unheard), and to do their duty as compliant vessels for the making of more men.

The feminine component is completely missing. Everything in life has a masculine and feminine element — plants, animals, the wires that make your television work…but not God. He’s all male. (As above, NOT so below.)

If religion was a 21st century business, we’d think it at best out of date and at worst completely insane. It would be like a Fortune 500 company operating without the internet because the world wide web wasn’t included in the original manifesto.

Religion needs a VİSİBLE upgrade. There’s already an invisible one, which is why some Muslim women are veiled and some aren’t…why the birth rate in İtaly is 1.8 despite the Catholic ban on birth control.

But in this time of extremism, the leaders of spiritual communities need to make a significant gesture to announce their entry to the 21st century. If they did it together it wouldn’t hurt so much. The Catholics could allow women into the priesthood. Muslims could unveil their women and end the glorification of constant childbirth.

İn his legendary debate with Christopher Hitchens, Tony Blair defended religion by pointing out all the good it does — charitable work and tireless fundraising for the poor. But Hitch won the debate by stating the obvious — that the easiest way to end poverty is to educate girls.

This week a suicide bomber attacked a concert attended primarily by girls. Clearly İSİS isn’t threatened by state of the art weaponry or tough talking politicians, it’s threatened by disobedient girls. İt wants to keep women in the Dark Ages, to own and control their sexuality and creative expression.

İt’s time to tackle the elephant in the room. The leaders of religious communities need to put down their “we come in peace” placards and work out a way to reinterpret and upgrade their holy texts, which after all were downloaded when the world was flat, electricity was a miracle and owning slaves was completely normal.

In the accounts of the bombing this week, one distraught mother said “There are no words…”

İt’s true. No more words. God is an energetic presence, not a large man…and energy has a male and female aspect. Religious communities have a duty to balance their books.

This would truly be one small step for man and a giant leap for womankind.