The best part of my few days in Doha was that it was the complete opposite of a normal weekend working away with comedians. I mean, obviously there's always at least one cunt but besides that it was very different. It was just very civilised. Not much drinking, doing some work (well, a bit) and staying in a really, really, really nice hotel. That's not how I do it normally. Normally it's do the gig, get very pissed and cry myself to sleep in a single bed next door to a couple who are fighting and fucking into a huge PA system.
And it was healthy. Sun does you the world of good. I ate good food and I saw a culture that I think I'm supposed to be afraid of. Middle East's Muslims don't always get good press, I don't know if you've noticed, and I certainly have little to no tolerance of any religion so to be in a country where strict religious beliefs are the norm is...odd. I just don't feel that comfortable around people who's faith dictates the way they treat other people and even how they dress. It's too alien to me and makes me question the freedom of their thought. Of course, our press doesn't help but, luckily, I'm nearly smart enough to ignore all that. Nearly. I guess my problem has always been the view that we must respect all beliefs and show tolerance for people who think differently than we do. I really don't know why we should respect all beliefs. Some beliefs just aren't worth respecting. I was raised Catholic but lapsed pretty much when I was a child. Using terrifying images of crucifixion and blood to keep people in check just seemed suspicious to me even then, and after all the paedophile covering up that The Pope has done I just think that any Catholic who sets foot back into their chapel really is living in complete denial. When the head of your church, and the man who speaks directly to God on your behalf, claims that we are all loved by God yet wants to "correct" gays and let's his workmates fuck children, it's time to rethink your religious stance.
But all religions are suspicious. Muslim women are covered up (for reasons that I can never fathom no matter how often it's explained to me) and having sex out of wedlock can land you in jail or, occasionally, stoned. And I mean bad stoned. Christianity is just complete hypocrisy. It's based on forgiveness, something that they never, ever do. And how the fuck in 2010 circumcision is still performed by Jewish and Islamic faiths is beyond me. That is just barbaric. That's not your cock to go chopping. It's a cock, for fuck's sake. How the fuck can you justify that? At least let the cock grow up and let it decide for itself.
Maybe my mind has changed over the last few days. Not about cock chopping but about tolerance of beliefs. After the Doha Debates show on Monday most of the audience wanted to meet the comedians, have their photographs taken with them and laugh with them. They were good fun people. The audience were 80% Muslim and dressed as their take on their religion dictates. Warm, lovely people who wanted to connect with the people who had been debating something that never needed debating in the first place. I say their take on religion because that's what finally dawned on me. You can read the Bible or the Koran or any other self-help book and take what you want from it. Take what makes your life feel better. It's when people start seeing things in these books that aren't there or, worse, never reading them in the first place but happily quote stuff from it that was never there that it gets terrifying.
This blog is naive and stupid. I'm aware of that. Partly because I just wrote it in 20 minutes without looking over it or editing but also because religion is a door I closed firmly a long time ago. I know I'll never believe in the supernatural but after this weekend I might just open the door a little bit and have a peek around.
Some of these weirdos are quite fun.