Do not put your head in the sand

Please take just a few minutes to read this article and then write a brief message

Be polite and respectful in appealing for the release of Asia Bibi. The messages we send could save a life! Thanks. ~ Sam

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/11/18/pakistan.blasphemy/index.html

I think they look like they want some turkey with dressing. After all, we are all one big, happy family on this planet. We are all decent folks. We must TOLERATE each others beliefs. Why, we all worship the same God! Right? G.W. Bush told me that and he was President. And if there is something which seems, well… rather unpleasant… then we can just ignore it and act as if it isn’t even there. In fact don’t you DARE talk about that unpleasantness being there because… well… then you would be hateful and intolerant and that just would not do at all! If some people begin to feel a bit uneasy why we shall just distract them with hand puppets just the way we distract small children.

I am criticized as follows:

Oh, William, don’t go down that road. I, for one, am an atheist and am not exactly what you would call tolerant of any religion, but I also recognize when I’m standing at the top of a slippery slope. I would like to discuss this more if you’re open to it, but if not, then we can just leave it here for the sake of peace.

Well, I don’t want to get into a battle about which religions are violent (most are), or what their books say, I’m more interested in tolerating other people’s viewpoints, even if you don’t respect them. Personally, I find Christianity kind of odd, it’s like the world’s first zombie and his followers worship him by either metaphorically or in the case of Catholics (so they believe) actually eating his body and drinking his blood. All religion to me seems a bit suspect in the logic/probability department. But having said that, there are evil people of all stripes and that’s what we need to stand together against, is the evil, not lump good people in with the evil because they have the unfotunate circumstance of having been indoctrinated into some religion.

I am not in denial, considering I feel that Islam is no more foolish (or violent) than Christianity which is no more foolish or violent than Judaism … I’m just saying that what ::you:: might consider relevant, others may not. So, let’s back up a little bit and before we get into some muslim bashing, maybe we should look at the people who are making these claims of blasphemy and what their motives are, and I’ll bet you’ll find they have more to do with some petty politics, like back when the colonists burned witches ….

William, you are hell-bent on hating on Muslims so I’m bowing out of this conversation. Peace to you, and may you find tolerance and forgiveness in your heart.

William replies:
I suspect that the Qur’an may contain passages that suggest the death sentence for blaphemy:

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/023-violence.htm

Definitely one finds explicit statements in Hadith which is the redacted oral tradition which came in the century after Mohammad’s death:
Tabari 7:97 The morning after the murder of Ashraf, the Prophet declared, “Kill any Jew who falls under your power.” Ashraf was a poet, killed by Muhammad’s men because he insulted Islam. Here, Muhammad widens the scope of his orders to kill. An innocent Jewish businessman was then slain by his Muslim partner, merely for being non-Muslim.

Tabari 9:69 “Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us” The words of Muhammad, prophet of Islam.

Quran (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”
Quran (9:73) – “O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.” ……. Quran (33:60-62) – “If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the alarmists in the city do not cease, We verily shall urge thee on against them, then they will be your neighbors in it but a little while. Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter.”

The books say what they say, many different translations are available on line, so it is not true that Qur’an/Hadith are free of such things…

The Sikh religion says “sometimes it is honorable to take up the sword” and two Sikhs assassinated Indira Gandhi because she messed with the Golden Temple… so other religions have notions of violence, and the Old Testament says that God ordered the genocide of Amalek and his nation… these books say what they say… no point in denying that

I am not in any battle… I just posted the relevant excerpts from Quran Hadith…. it is foolish to be in denial. Now the Torah of the Jews DOES say an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but Rabbis are quick to point out that never in the history of Judaism has that verse been invoked as law; rather they have always found ways to work around it… IF you were to post that 2 + 2 = 5 …. I would not be in a battle with you…. I would just say 2+2 = 4 and leave it at that… denial doesnt help Muslims and it doesn’t help the non-Muslims … as Salman Rushdie said IF there is reform then it must come from within Islam AND it will most likely start in the diaspora where people are in a multi-cultural pluralistic secular environment

I never said that I disrespect anything,…. I just quoted Qur’an and Hadith… you are the one who is putting the word “disrespect” into my mouth… I am just stating well known facts.

IN FACT right after Cat Stevens converted to Islam, there is an interview in which he is questioned about the death penalty for insulting Mohammad and he says right on camera that he agrees that such a person should be put to death… I viewed the interview myself… and it was long before 9/11.

How can you even talk about the “strict sense of Islam” ? Have you READ the Qur’an? Have you READ Hadith? I doubt that very much. The state of Texas is very Christian and the New Testament does not talk about the death penalty, but Texans are very enthusiastic about capital punishment. The European Union becomes less religious and more secular with each passing year and yet they forbid capital punishment (although they are indifferent strangely enough with regard to the abortion issue.)

@William: Last Thanksgiving dinner I had a Muslim student from DC, a reformed Jew from the Naval Academy and a couple of Catholic friends at my home for dinner. (I’m Presbyterian.) We had an incredible discussion and understanding. It was a great American Thanksgiving.

@Sam, you can do all sorts of lovely things, but that has no bearing on what the text of the Qur’an and Hadith says, or the Torah or the Talmud or the Adhi Granth. I mean a lot of people like to sweep things under the carpet where no one sees them, but that doesnt mean they have a clean house.

90 percent of all Roman Catholics arnt very Roman Catholic. 90 percent of all Muslims aren’t very Muslim or observant and will have a beer with you or eat some pork. 5/6 of the Israel Knesset is secular non observant… more than half of Israel is probably non religious… and they can all have great Thanksgiving dinners and parties… but that doesnt mean a thing… and it is the 10 per cent of each religion who is serious and does practice and determines what the nature of that religion is… The ostrich stick its head in the sand and thinks that no one sees it… but we all see the ostrich..

I have NEVER ONCE used the words HATE… you are putting words in my mouth. I dont think you have the background to even understand the history of Islam. I have friends who are Muslims. I can speak a little Arabic… I can have these discussions with Muslims who will agree with me and say “yes the Qur’an does say these passages.” You have to read and do your homework if you want to discuss things intelligently. The problem with American RIGHT NOW is that a huge number of people who rarely read a book and love watching Dancing with the Stars are enthusiastic about a media ho like Palin who QUIT her post as Governor because she could make more money with books and reality shows, and that is what people are turning to to run the nation. I dont want to be mean, but if someone wants to discuss these things they have to have some education, read some books, and do their homework. You cannot come to Show and Tell unless you have done all your homework. That is just the way life is.

Sam just posted a video of an entire town raising their hands and saying “Yes the woman should be executed for blasphemy.” Do you people even BOTHER to watch these video clips? I am not bashing anyone or hating anyone … It is a fact that Texas is in favor of the death penalty. GW Bush signed more death warrants than governor in a long time. That is not “bashing” Texas or bashing Protestant Christianity or hating anyone… it is simply a fact. Kurt Vonnegut pointed out that Bible belt folks are always anxious to put up a monument to Moses 10 commandments but no one EVER wants to put up a plaque to Jesus’ beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount. Kurt Vonnegut was not “hating” or “bashing” anyone. He was just stating an ironic fact. There is a huge segment in America who INSIST that the founding fathers loved the Bible and wanted this to be a Christian nation. They condemn abortion and stem cell research. The only thing they DONT try to outlaw is DIVORCE and that is one of the few things that Jesus bothered to condemn: DIVORCE – that you should not put away your wife except for reason of ADULTERY. Now I am not hating or bashing America or Christianity if I simply point out the irony that no one wants to criminalize divorce in America yet divorce is one of the FEW things that Jesus openly condemned. I am not bashing or hating Switzerland when I state the fact that euthansia and heroin use is legal in Bern and not criminalized. I am not hating or bashing the European union when I say that they allow abortion but forbid capital punishment. I am just stating well known facts.

I just now wondered if perhaps the source of those quotes was biased so I went to a different site which seems unbiased and gives even STRONGER reasons why the blasphemer should be condemned.

At least Philip Combs agrees with me.

You can all have a shot at tolerating Cat Stevens in this interview. Perhaps Sam if you have that Pakistani town over for Thanksgiving you can get them to lighten up a bit

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-wjxwpvqps

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