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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Blasting the mind…criticising Harry Potter

Ahmed Al-Moslemany , Friday 17 May 2019
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Views: 2814

In our region, the book titled Physics and Philosophy by Werner Heisenberg didn’t sell much. Sometimes hundreds of copies were sold, but usually it was tens of copies. On the international arena, it reached a legendary number for the total sales exceeded half a billion copies!

Hundreds of people read carefully and reverently about science and logic while hundreds of millions have paid much in order to buy a book its entire mission is to challenge the mind and belittle logic.

Harry Potter is a fictitious character invented by the British authoress J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter novels’ general course is superstition…that is magic. Some say that Harry Potter is a good person who works against the axis of evil. He is instilling values throughout his journey against big villains and he wins at the end.

This interpretation isn’t necessarily accurate. Because the triumph is brought about by a superstitional hero, who in order to win, uses no logic in his battle. This doesn’t consolidate the idea of the triumph of good over evil, but causes a real despair from the triumph of good by means of logic.

Through natural means and real abilities, the good is incapable of triumphing. Harry Potter’s equation isn’t the triumph of the good over the evil, but rather the triumph of magic over evil. In the spring of 2019, some Catholic priests in Poland burned a number of copies of Harry Potter. Many objected over the burning of the novel in that way and announced they are afraid that this might lead to violent behaviour in confronting opposing ideas.

The BBC site quoted one of those saying: “This is dangerous. The German poet Heinrich Heine wrote in 1823: ‘Where books are burned, in the end, people will also be burned’”. This has actually happened in Germany later when the Nazis started with burning books and ended up with burning human beings.

Religious Christians saw that Harry Potter is promoting paganism and opposes religion. In 2007, Christianity Today magazine wrote: The Harry Potter series, which is served to children, is rat poison mixed with orange soda. Christian circles accuse Harry Potter of supporting his Wicca religion. This is a new pagan religion

claiming that it is regaining the pre-Christianity religion of Europe and relying on magic as a central part of its beliefs. It also calls for polytheism and builds temples for idols like the old paganism. New paganism began to expand globally and some of its temples appeared crammed with idols in Northern Europe. Researchers say that its followers numbers are increasing on an alarming scale and it might be the third religion in America after Christianity and Islam.

Some Islamic circles also have attacked the novels on the basis that they exalt magic and magicians and are full of beliefs that are contrary to the doctrine of Islam. Some Muslim sheiks issued a fatwa that buying Harry Potter novels is forbidden.

The Harry Potter authoress isn’t against Christianity she even describes herself as a practising Christian and she isn’t also against Islam. When the far-right in America attacked Islam, Rowling defended Islam and wrote an eloquent phrase expressing her views: Islam doesn’t kill people. People kill each other.

Religious debate concerning the novels grabbed much attention. It is an important debate that has its bases and corroboration. However, the debate of the mind’s defeat in Harry Potter didn’t receive its due attention or discussion. That’s what I wanted to shed light on in this respect.

Harry Potter is a magician whose both parents are magicians and his wife is a magician. His godfather is a magician and his friends are also magicians. Throughout the novels, the magic wand is used in confrontation with another. Those using magic or attempting to are millions around the world.

A great number of magicians and sorcerers became influential and wealthy figures whom people flock to in several places. In many societies, some people believe that all solutions may be found through magic from marriage to having a post, from managing love relationship to running a war. The Harry Potter dilemma lies in that it weakened the efforts of combating magic and strengthened its idea, capabilities and methods.

Moreover, it presented the reader and the viewer with despicable depictions: drinking dead animals’ blood in order to get energy, sacrificing humans for the devil for the sake of obtaining a new life, treating those touched by the devil in a positive way, communicating with the dead and talking to ghosts in the world of spirits in a natural and acceptable way.

Harry Potter presents along with the superstition other negative values such as racism for there are those who are of pure blood, Muggle-born (polluted blood) and half-blood. All these ideas run against justice and equality. Undoubtedly, the Harry Potter novels are attractive; even the most attractive in its field as well as being the most widespread throughout history.

Definitely, hundreds of millions of people don’t take them seriously whether in religion or in politics. They even place them in their specific filed as a tool for entertaining, thrilling and having an enjoyable time. However, the danger on the values of the mind still exists for there are youngsters who are growing up believing in them now. Nobody has studied the mental persuasions of the Harry Potter’s generation and the impact on children who are youths today or the children of today who compelled their families to buy and respect the Harry Potter library in their homes.

Magic and racism, exalting superstition and irrationality are all notions that are anti-modernist and anti-civilisational. All of them are in favour of the wrong side. If the advanced West has enough power to place entertainment in its specific zone, the Arab World due to its knowledge fragility can’t handle matters in the same way. There is no such a strong cultural immunity that makes entertainment only as such.

The culture of superstition is a destructive weapon in societies that are have limited scientific strength. It should be confined within its boundaries. Humour should be put in its place, no more no less. Superstition is dangerous to the state and the nation. Science is the solution.

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