Religion

My response to Islamic violence …

… but the problem is they’ll come back and say that those acts of violence is not justified in Islam and the culprits don’t represent the ‘true islam’ wherever that true Islam is. (comment from my interlocutor)

And my reply to that will be this: You claim, nay you believe that the Qur’an is the perfect word of god [sic]. Why does the perfect word of god [sic] not imbue its followers with peaceful intent? If the Qur’an is the perfect word of god [sic] and you believe that Islam is ‘The Religion of Peace’ then why are Muslims always at the forefront of religious strife? Why are those who appear to differ from you in a religious sense be being murdered in places as far apart as …

Nigeria:

“Dozens of bodies lined the dusty streets of three Christian villages in northern Nigeria yesterday. Other victims of Sunday morning’s Muslim rampage were jammed into a local morgue, the limbs of slaughtered children tangled in a grotesque mess.”

Egypt:

(AINA) — News of a massacre of two Christian Coptic families by Islamists just emerged from Upper Egypt with the return of the Internet connections after a week of Internet blackout by the Egyptian regime. The massacre took place on Sunday, January 30 at 3 PM in the village of Sharona near Maghagha, Minya province. Two Islamists groups, aided by the Muslim neighbors, descended on the roof of houses owned by Copts, killing eleven Copts, including children, and seriously injuring four others.

Sudan:

Islamic beatings and being chained up in a Qur’anic School

Thailand:

PATTANI – SUSPECTED Muslim separatists shot dead three Buddhists and burned their bodies in Thailand’s restive south, police said on Thursday, the latest violence in the rubber-rich southern tip of the country. The killings follow several high-profile attacks in the past three weeks, including a raid on an army camp, a massive roadside bombing, the execution-style shooting of a Buddhist family and a series of drive-by attacks.

I would point out to them that even in the Holy Bible (AKA The Holy Bunkum) Jesus set the laws of the Old Testament aside with his covenant of the New Testament. Islam is alone in retaining violent, murderous, homophobic, misogynistic maiming and slaughter as a way of resolving sometimes simple moral issues. It is, in effect, the worst of all religions: The most violent, the most sadistic, whilst it scriptures were laced with the laughable, the compassionate, the merciful …

And I would finish by saying: Give me clear evidence of where, on a world-scale, any two religions (excluding Islam) are killing each other. The answer is, on a world scale, there are no two religious beliefs in such violent opposition. The evidence is between Muslims and Christians, Muslims and Jews, Muslims and Buddhists, Muslims and Ahamadiyyans, Muslims and Zoroastrians, Muslims and Atheists …. and so on … but always Muslims.

Addendum:

I am going to stick my neck out a little further. In a study by the Centre for Social Cohesion it was recently revealed (by Wikileaks, hooray for them!) …

A survey of 600 Muslim students at 30 universities throughout Britain found that 32 per cent of Muslim respondents believed killing in the name of religion is justified.
A U.S. diplomatic cable from January 2009 quoted a poll by the Centre for Social Cohesion as saying 54 per cent wanted a Muslim party to represent their world view in Parliament and 40 per cent want Muslims in the UK to be under Sharia law.

Read more: http://www.dailymail….

Do you ever hear of Sikhs or Buddhists asserting themselves like this? Do Jews or Hindus harbour such evil beliefs? More to the point … would foreign Catholics believe this? No, no, no, no and no. None of them would. The simple fact is that Islam is different because it is NOT just a religion but a political philosophy. No, that’s wrong really because it is actually asupremacist political philosophy like Naziism, Sorry to be so blunt, but the fact is that you have to look extremely far and wide to unearth another theology and political philosophy that encompasses the supremacist views that Islam clearly does. Some of us, as ex-Muslims, have a responsibility to bring that to the forefront in our arguments because the first part of this post is a clear signposting of the violent intolerance of many Muslims in environments where they feel they can take matters beyond logic and claim, for example, that ‘Britain does not belong to the British, it is allah’s’ [sic]. For those who doubt my word I would simply refer you to the case of Theodoor “Theo” van Gogh and the aftermath of his murder.

Here are the words of an Imam in Holland some weeks before Van Gogh was murdered: Imam Fawaz of the as-Sunnah Mosque in The Hague gave a sermon several weeks before the murder in which he called Theo van Gogh “a ‘criminal bastard’ and prayed for the filmmaker to be afflicted with an incurable disease.” Can you imagine any other religion in Europe espousing such thoughts publicly?

Barry Thorne & Claire Cavanagh: Did imam’s sermon incite Van Gogh murder?, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 31 October 2006 (found at http://en.wikipedia.o…)

I have been asked to point out that the indications from the Centre for Social Cohesion in the Daily Mail article above are that these students were British Muslim students and NOT international students. The importance of this is that their belief, when considered against the wider environment of their upbringing, has left them with beliefs that leave them in such opposition to the culture of other Britons. I would also like to point out, having said that, that the term British Muslim is a contradictory label to many – esp. fundamentalists – as Islam has no frontiers and therefore it is not possible to ground belief in Islam by predicating that belief as ‘British’

PAPAL NONCIOS

The Pope’s remarks regarding “atheist extremism” in Britain, equating such non-believers with “a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society” only serve to underscore the vile, manipulative machine that is the Church of Rome. Not satisfied with the blood of millions of Africans on their hands because of their preposterous pronouncements on condoms and pre-marital sex during an AIDS pandemic, nor satisfied with covering up child abuse and refusing to release the Vatican’s files on these cases, the Pope now savages many of the people who have paid for most of his expenses whilst here in Britain by claiming that their ‘godlessness’ will fuel intolerance in Britain. I have to say that there is little that the Vatican could say or do now that would shock me. Over the years they have skilfully used their ‘infallible’ patriarchs to condemn anything that transgresses the spirit of their doctrine whilst manipulating the vile truth about the skeletons in their own cupboards.

The child victims that the Church of Rome has let down by allowing their criminal priests to cheat justice should be the one over-arching thought in the minds of British people as this fraudulent Christian tours Britain. Even his own pilgrims are being asked to pay to attend mass. Add to that the near servile response of our government — people such as David Cameron and Baroness Warsi — welcoming the Holy Father as a man of unquestioning faith! If that is so then I must ask the question: Would Jesus have demanded the then equivalent of £20 from those who attended the sermon on the mount? No, I didn’t think so. The only thing the Church of Rome has unquestioning faith in is that its followers will pour ever more money into its coffers.

Henry Page

16 September 2010

Where is our right to protest?

Now that the brouhaha over Qur’an burning has finally extinguished itself, the time is right to examine the rights and wrongs of such a protest; a critical analysis if you like.

More often than not, protests over the centuries have been highly confrontational. In these days of human rights, democracy and consensual politics we tend to forget that fact. Women, blacks, protestants, atheists and gay people owe a debt of gratitude to those who stood their ground, even though they ‘offended’ the wider public at the time. Without their protests we would not have the ‘equal opportunities’ society that we live in today. I am not saying our system provides equal opportunities, but that it sets out to do so and has enshrined those principles in law.

On Halloween of 1517, Luther changed the course of human history when he nailed his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg, accusing the Roman Catholic church of a multitude of heresies. Many people cite this act as the primary starting point of the Protestant Reformation  —  and in doing this Luther must have outraged and offended a great many people. Christ himself, if any of the parable is true, must have done the same when he overturned the money-changers’ tables in the temple. The fact is that it is inevitably confrontation challenging the status quo that makes a protest successful. Galileo certainly outraged the Church of Rome as he was brought to trial in 1633, bringing two opposing worlds into conflict: that of science and humanism pitted against the world of absolutism and ‘divine’ power that is the Catholic Church.  Galileo lost his liberty defending his reasoning. The prosecution famously claimed that

“To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.” (Cardinal Robert Bellarmine)

In response to Pastor Jones own protest, the proposal for an ‘International Burn The Qu’ran Day’, Hillary Clinton said: “Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation”. But why should we be tolerant of religion? Religions have destroyed each others books since the whole religious circus began, and respect for each other’s scriptures is superficial to say the least. All religions say that they are the true religion, but such a notion is impossible. Thus we are being asked to tolerate the majority of false religions on the premise that one of them may lead to the true ‘god’. Why should atheists and agnostics have to tiptoe around these seemingly mentally ill ‘believers’, who sporadically battle against each other because each believes his/her own ‘imaginary friend’ is the real one? Atheists would find it nigh on impossible to respect religious scripture, especially when they are damned in the name of it:

“Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”(Qur’an:9:5)

Pastor Jones, a Christian, was making the ultimate protest about what he saw as religious violence by planning to burn the Qur’an – even making it a worldwide and annual event. Muslims and their apologists on the other hand have claimed that this was not the case, that the perpetrators of 9/11 were a minority of hardline fundamentalists not represented by mainstream Islam. Many Muslims even put forward their theory that Muslims were not responsible for the atrocity, preferring to be in denial by suggesting that the Twin Towers attacks were the responsibility of MOSSAD, the Israeli secret service.

What is certain is the complete disparity of reactions in Muslim society to those in non-Muslim countries. Take the publication of the ‘Mohammed cartoons’ as an example. They may be considered unpleasant, even derogatory, but they are not exactly going to inflict any damage to Islam. Here is what was published:

The event: A newspaper publishes  these 12 satirical Mohammed cartoons.

The moderate Muslim response: protested peacefully against unconditional freedom of speech, requested punishments and laws strengthening press control; Islamic countries boycotted Danish industry; court orders ban the cartoons; Islamic requests for future banning of religious mockery; Islamic requests for severe punishment of responsible editors; Muslims burning flags worldwide.

The violent Muslim response: protesters issue death threats to all who publish cartoons; death threats to cartoonists and editors in most publishing countries; Muslim death threats to supporters of free speech in many countries;  jailing and persecution of editors; violent muslim protests in several countries; attacking and burning of western businesses in muslim countries; attacks on churches and killing of a priest; attacking and burning of several government consulates and embassies in five muslim countries

For those who may still be uninformed, Muslims claim that Islam is the religion of peace.

The responses are wholly disproportionate to the act and tend to indicate that Muslims generally wish to silence any form of dissent or defamation regarding Islam. In that respect the Pastor’s protest is virtually the pinnacle of defamation: the destruction of copies of the Qur’an. As an atheist I would have liked to have seen the pastor burning the Bible too, along with any other religious book he cared to warm himself with. In choosing only the Qur’an the pastor shows himself to be something of a bigot, as all religious books carry the same rancid message, albeit that such doctrine is now fetid and rotting in the light of knowledge and human intelligence. However,  if we do not support the right of this pastor for his protest because of Muslim unrest, then do we not send a signal to Islamists that we will back down from our hard won rights simply to appease them?

The question that we are left with is this: Which is the more threatening, the terrorist attacks that were apparently carried out in response to US foreign policy, or the attempt by Muslims generally to stifle our hard-won right to protest, or even mildly lampoon?

“Freedom is the right to live as we wish” (Epictetus)

Henry Page

14 September 2010


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