28 January 2009

Why should I respect these oppressive religions? Whenever a religious belief is criticised, its adherents say they're victims of 'prejudice'

The right to criticise religion is being slowly doused in acid. Across the world, the small, incremental gains made by secularism – giving us the space to doubt and question and make up our own minds – are being beaten back by belligerent demands that we "respect" religion. A historic marker has just been passed, showing how far we have been shoved. The UN rapporteur who is supposed to be the global guardian of free speech has had his job rewritten – to put him on the side of the religious censors.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights stated 60 years ago that "a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief is the highest aspiration of the common people". It was a Magna Carta for mankind – and loathed by every human rights abuser on earth. Today, the Chinese dictatorship calls it "Western", Robert Mugabe calls it "colonialist", and Dick Cheney calls it "outdated". The countries of the world have chronically failed to meet it – but the document has been held up by the United Nations as the ultimate standard against which to check ourselves. Until now.

Starting in 1999, a coalition of Islamist tyrants, led by Saudi Arabia, demanded the rules be rewritten. The demand for everyone to be able to think and speak freely failed to "respect" the "unique sensitivities" of the religious, they decided – so they issued an alternative Islamic Declaration of Human Rights. It insisted that you can only speak within "the limits set by the shariah [law]. It is not permitted to spread falsehood or disseminate that which involves encouraging abomination or forsaking the Islamic community". [independent.co.uk] Read more

22 January 2009

It's OK to hit your wife, says Melbourne Islamic cleric Samir Abu Hamza

A MELBOURNE Muslim at the centre of a storm over a lecture where he apparently directed his followers to hit their wives and force them to have sex reportedly says his message was taken out of context.

Coburg mosque cleric Samir Abu Hamza has told a confidant his message about hitting was meant in a metaphorical sense. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Islamic leaders have condemned the lecture. Mr Rudd said Mr Hamza's comments had no place in modern Australia. [The Australian] Read more

11 January 2009

Is Geert Wilders inconsistent in calling for banning the Qur'an and defending free speech?

Ian Buruma said it awhile ago in the New York Times:

"Whether Mr. Wilders has deliberately insulted Muslim people is for the judges to decide. But for a man who calls for a ban on the Koran to act as the champion of free speech is a bit rich."

Then Charles Johnson said it yesterday at the once-worthwhile site Little Green Footballs (no link, as the adolescent Johnson has blocked links from this site), as he continued to libel anti-jihadists with false charges of "smelly fascist associations.

"However, Wilders himself does not deserve to be called an icon of free speech, since he explicitly wants to ban the Koran and make Islam illegal in Europe; in other words, he wants to take away other people’s freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and that is simply wrong. Book banning is what totalitarians do, not believers in free speech." [Jihad Watch] Read more