Sunday, January 9, 2011

Death For Blasphemy

A governor in Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, was murdered by his bodyguard, an unstable man by the name of Malik Mumtaz Qadir, after working to reform blasphemy laws.

Blasphemy laws. A law that says that blasphemy is punishable by death.

From Wikipedia, a concise definition of what, specifically, is blasphemy: defiling a Quran, defaming Muhammed, or generally saying just about anything that mocks or questions someone's faith.

This is beyond absurd, beyond monstrous, beyond barbaric. People are being thrown into prison for criticizing a violent religion that seeks to quiet dissent, by threats, murder, and intimidation, and some poor governor has now paid the ultimate price.

The person who murdered him, and openly confessed the crime, has been offered all kinds of legal support, and was awash in kisses and rose petals when he appeared in court.

Do these people have the most incredibly fucked up list of priorities ever, or is it just me? He KILLED SOMEONE, for working toward making the law a bit less harsh to people who criticized their violent  religion or ripped up a book full of outmoded, antiquated, evil ideas. Not only do the people of Pakistan think that someone should die for that, but they are practically venerating the man who performed the deed.

Where are you, moderates? Why are there no loud voices saying that this is not Islam, violence isn't the way of our religion, we really aren't like that? Where are the people stubbornly insisting that Islam is a religion of peace? Why am I only hearing crickets?

If Islam is a religion of peace, then why does it open the door for things like this to happen? Why is it as a collective body actively trying to squash dissent and criticism to the point where people must fear for their lives?

What happened to Pakistan? It is seriously devolving into something that Muhammed, were he alive today, would be very proud of. And that is terrifying.

Let me break it down for you, in case the point has yet to be made clear: 900 years ago this behavior by your savior wasn't exactly appropriate, and it certainly isn't today. There is no excuse for this barbarism. I would have thought that most people would have grown past this, and now here you are, proving my optimism for the human race wrong yet again. This is a plague of mental illness that is sweeping the Middle East, and unfortunately a lot more people will have to die for this lunacy before people realize that killing someone over a book probably isn't the best way to treat your neighbor.

People who openly criticize the religion and the things done in the religion's name are having to go into hiding or are being killed. Atheist Oasis has a brief list, but unfortunately these are just the high-profile cases.

What can be done before this is brought to a halt? It seems like it would take a major social revolution to make that happen, if the thousands upon thousands of people that hit the streets after the governor was murdered are any indication. It was obviously a popular move. Butterflies and Wheels has a a statement made by the deceased man's son, expressing with clarity his sorrow over a Pakistan slipping away into theocracy.

In Reason,

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