Generally speaking, burning books is not an overly good idea, and the reaction to the Dove World Outreach Centre’s Qur'an burning this Saturday will be a predictable outpouring of outraged hatred by Muslims across the globe. Life, limb and property will be threatened and lost. It will be a demonstration of the hair-trigger sensibilities and irrationality of doctrinaire Muslims who are more concerned with the well-being of a few pieces of paper than of a woman buried up to her neck being pelted with stones, a little girl having her clitoris mutilated, or of an apostate whom they believe deserves death. Their sense of proportion I find to be slightly askew.
I’m not a Christian, so unlike Pastor Terry Jones I do not believe that Islam is the work of the Devil because I believe in neither Devil nor God, but I do understand the point that he makes when he contrasts the widely differing personal examples of Christ and Mohammed. Whereas the reported acts of Christ present us with an overwhelmingly positive figure, those of Mohammed depict a sadistic butchering paedophile. The US Constitution protects the freedom of expression, so Pastor Jones has every right to burn Qur’ans if he so wishes. No problem.
The BBC, typically, has picked up this story and sought to portray Jones as if his planned act constituted the declaration of World War III. Is Jones’s quranic barbeque an insensitive act? How does it look in comparison to the Muslim world’s reaction to the following: Mohammed cartoons – kill the infidels responsible! Sudanese Mohammed Bear – death to the infidel! International Draw Mohammed Day – death to the infidel! Robert Redeker’s criticism of Islam – death to Redeker! Geert Wilders’s criticism of the violent aspects of Islam – death to Wilders! Theo van Gogh – killed the filthy kufr!
It all gets a bit repetitious doesn’t it? Death, death, death, death! And these people wonder why we don’t believe them when they claim that Islam is a religion of peace (sic). It’s a mass death-cult, end of story. For the BBC though, it will always be the cosy ‘religion of peace’ which deserves respect and reverence from all, with Muslims requiring constant and vigilant protection from nasty ‘Islamophobes’ who threaten Muslims with . . . debate.
So, whilst the BBC gets all exercised about the injury that will be suffered by a few pieces of paper this Saturday what I would like to know is the following: why are the morally bankrupt journalists at the BBC not reporting the Facebook fatwa placed on the head of French secularist and anti-Islamist Christine Tasin? This woman is threatened with murder. Does she feel less pain than a book? Christine Tasin is unique: there is only one of her. Copies of the Qur’an however are ten a penny. Why will the BBC not see that the violence linked to the Qur’an burning and the death threats to Tasin all arise from the same source: belief in Islam. Islam is the most violent barbarous ideology on the face of this planet. Is a woman’s life less important to the BBC than protecting Muslim sensitivities? It would appear so. Come on BBC, get a grip and report the Tasin case!
As for vast hypocrisy about book burning, take a look at the following Al-Jazeera report which shows the US military burning copies of the Bible in Afghanistan last year. Was there global Christian outrage, rioting and bloodshed? No, of course not, because Christian psychologies are characterised by the central notion of guilt and personal responsibility, whereas Muslim ones are characterised by notions of 'honour', blame and shame. So, this Saturday when Qur’ans burn in Florida, remember that any violence that arises will be entirely the responsibility of the perpetrators of that violence.
Thursday, 9 September 2010
BBC: Qur’an Burning Bad, Fatwa – No Comment
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Absolutely spot on, again. I once spent a considerable amount of time trying research any good, selfless works performed by Islamists on behalf of their religion. Charitable work done by Christians is common, especially in third world countries, and I supposed that maybe the same applied to muslims. I was wrong, I found absolutely nothing. Not one single example. I'm not a Christian, but to me it highlighted the difference between the two ideologies. Cygnus.ReplyDelete
It is quite remarkable how much is seflessly given by Christians to charity irrespective of the beliefs of the recipient. Rather a contrast to the reports coming out of Pakistan recently with Christian flood victims being denied food unless they convert to Islam.ReplyDelete
I need to defend authentic Islam here. I have lived and worked with thousands of Muslims in the Middle East. Their hospitality and generosity is legendary. I have known some real saints among the Wahhabi and Shiite Muslims I have known.ReplyDelete
Within Islam there is great concern for the care of widows and orphans. Giving 2% of your wealth to charity is one of the five pillars of Islam. For pious Muslims this is a serious obligation. They will go to Hell if they fail to do this.
I do not fault Muslims for not extending the kind of aid given by Western organizations. Most Muslims live in very poor countries and local Muslim charities are over-whelmed.
As for Muhammad, we need to realize that the portrait given of him is largely the tendentiousness of Islamic rabbis (ulema) written two centuries after the death of the Prophet.
Most Muslims take what is good in that portrait and ignore the features that are repugnant.
Islam has been engaged in aggiornamento since the 19th century. It took Catholics and Protestants several centuries to stop fighting each other.
There are two outstanding voice among North American Muslims: Raheel Raza of the Muslim Canadian Congress and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of the American Forum for Islam and
We non-Muslims need to be a megaphone for these people. Only about 20% of US mosques are funded from American Muslim sources. The rest are foreign-funded and thus exposed to Islamist influence.
Raheel Raza takes the Ground Zero mosque to be a complete provocation:
So what gives Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the "Cordoba Initiative" and his cohorts the misplaced idea that they will increase tolerance for Muslims by brazenly displaying their own intolerance in this case? ...
Do they not understand that building a mosque at Ground Zero is equivalent to permitting a Serbian Orthodox church near the killing fields of Srebrenica where 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered?...
The fact is we Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the "infidel." The proposal has been made in bad faith and in Islamic parlance, such an act is referred to as "Fitna," meaning "mischief-making" that is clearly forbidden in the Koran.
The Koran commands Muslims to, "Be considerate when you debate with the People of the Book" -- i.e., Jews and Christians. Building an exclusive place of worship for Muslims at the place where Muslims killed thousands of New Yorkers is not being considerate or sensitive, it is undoubtedly an act of "fitna"
Zuhdi Jasser calls himself a Jeffersonian Muslim and writes:
Political Islam is a theocratic system of shariah law that is anathema to Western secular liberal democracies and an impediment to the genuine practice of a spiritual Islam. The Muslim consciousness needs a separation of mosque and state, which these Islamist imams will deeply fight.
We need to focus our efforts more transparently on teaching Muslim youth that the American concepts of liberty and freedom are preferable to sharia and the Islamic state. American Muslims represent the best opportunity to fight Islamist radicalization not because we understand Islam but because we have experienced and understood what American liberty provides to the Muslim experience.
Have you seen http://www.fireonquran.com/ ?ReplyDelete
A group of Muslims and non-Muslims in Iran (self-identified) burns a Quran as a protest against the oppressive Iranian theocracy.
Explanation: since the Iranian regime uses th Quran as a justification to oppress them, they are justified in burning th Quran in a political protest. This group includes Muslims....just not religious fanatics...
Thanks for your lengthy and thoughtful comment Michael. I appreciate that you will have met many innately decent people amongst the Muslims whom you encountered whilst working in the Middle East. I too have met many wonderfully generous people who would class themselves as Muslims (although not of the doctrinaire variety). It is however my contention that the positive aspects of their characters derive from their innate human decency. I am certain that in the past there will have been many decent people who by circumstance of birth would have found themselves brought up as Stalinists, Maoists or Nazis, but who through indoctrination would have identified with the perverse regimes and belief systems that surrounded them. Thus it is with Islam.ReplyDelete
Giving 2% of one’s wealth to charity was indeed a positive thing to do in the Seventh Century, but in the modern world we have things called Income Tax and National Insurance to pay for a welfare state to ensure that the old, the disabled and the unemployed are taken proper care of. Despite the economic depression and massive public expenditure cuts, the current UK government has increased its aid budget to Pakistan (and this was before the flooding for which it made available additional funds). Here in the UK, basic-rate taxpayers such as myself pay 31% of our income in these taxes. In Saudi Arabia the equivalent rate of personal taxation is 0%, so a Saudi giving away 2% of their income to good causes is a pitifully miserly contribution to charity. This is a risibly insignificant sum. Syrian personal income tax runs at between 5-15%; Jordanian at 5-30%; Egyptian at 10-20% (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_rates_around_the_world). Add 2% to any of these (except for top-rate Jordanian taxpayers) and you see that they still pay far less than in the UK, or in any other developed social democracy.
The portrait of Mohammed created by Muslim hagiographers is the one to which doctrinaire Muslims offer their admiration. None of the four Islamic schools of jurisprudence (shariah) ignore the hadith and the sira, and there is no fifth school, so quibbling re what he ‘might have been’ and how he has been portrayed is pretty irrelevant to those who place religious faith before cool rational examination of the historical record. The Mohammed as portrayed in these documents and traditions is the paragon of human virtue for all doctrinaire Muslims.
I’ll take a look at the links you’ve posted.
You’re right: the so-called ‘Cordoba Initiative’ is an ugly and deliberate provocation. I am however encouraged to see the statement you cite from Zuhdi Jasser, especially the section in which he states that ‘American concepts of liberty and freedom are preferable to sharia and the Islamic state.’
Thank you very much for the video link Xanthippa. The Iranians who did this are very brave. It's good to see that they are trying to make a stand and reform their society so that it ditches its barbarous Shariah system, but they've got one hell of a struggle on their hands.ReplyDelete