April 3, 2009

Religion of Peace and Compassion

Elsewhere, I drew your attention to the contention of the Honorable Minister for External Affairs of India, Mr. Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, that Islam, which preached love, universal brotherhood, and communal harmony, was against terrorism. Of course, the public flogging of a teenage girl in the SWAT Valley, Pakistan, ruled now by the Taliban, the preeminent enforcer of Islamic Law, vindicates Mr. Mukherjee, and his fellow apologists for the religion of peace and compassion:

What could be more compassionate than disciplining a wayward girl, eh?

Come now, Mr. Mukherjee didn't say that Islam preached universal sisterhood, or prohibited terrorizing young girls, did he?

  1. As opposed to a religion which used to have women kill themselves on the funeral pyres of their husbands and another which killed scientists fro showing Earth is not the center of the Universe, I don't see how what was done can make Islam look any worse than its competitors. Don't blame the religion for the how a few choose to follow it. Every religion comes with its baggage, even now.

  2. This is just vote bank politics to appease those people whose heaven has 72 virgins per inhabitant.

    I was looking at their holy Quran to see what a peaceful religion Islam is. I reproduce some bits here.

    Chapter 98, Verse 6: Those who disbelieve from among the People of the Book and the
    idolaters will be in the Fire of hell, abiding therein. They are the
    worst of creatures.

    Chapter 8, Verse 12: When thy Lord revealed to the angels; I am with you, so make firm those
    who believe I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve.
    So smite above the necks and smite every finger-tip of them.

    Chapter 9, Verse 5: So when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters, wherever you
    find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for
    them in every ambush. But if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the
    poor-rare, leave their way free. Surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

    Chapter 9, Verse 73: O Prophet, strive hard against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and
    be firm against them. And their abode is hell, and evil is the

    Chapter 69, Verses 30-37

    Chapter 44, Verses 43-50 Read the verse number 48.

    Chapter 9, Verse 123: O you who believe, fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you and let them find firmness in you. And know that Allah is with those who keep their duty.

    Chapter 4, Verse 144: O you who believe, take not the disbelievers for friends rather than
    the believers. Do you desire to give Allah a manifest proof against

    Chapter 9, Verse 29: Fight those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid
    that which Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, nor follow the
    Religion of Truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until
    they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a
    state of subjection.

  3. TRF, I will be posting an article on Islam soon on my blog. I will send you the link when it's up.

    I am not sure if we can call Islam a religion in the sense we can call hinduism or christianity. It's more of a political ideology than a religion.

    Even if we do for teh sake of argument, I agree with you that all religions come with their baggage but we have to see whether a pratice is mandated by the religious texts or not. Sati wasn't, neither was the treatment of galileo (Btw if you read history carefully Galileo wasn't killed by the church only put under house arrest. He died a natural death).

    The difference between Islam and other religions is that certain rules and laws in other religion are not MANDATED and as such can be changed or abrogated. Laws in islam are set in stone and anyone who tries to change them is instantly given the tag of an apostate- the punishment for which is death.

  4. @ Nitwit Nastik : My bad. I was actually referring to Copernicus and not Galileo, but it turns out he died peacefully and choosing not to invite the ire of the Church during his lifetime.

    Essentially, I was trying to point out it is the people who are to be blamed and not the religion itself. Both Christianity and Hinduism has evolved over time, while Islam hasn't. Also, Christianity was the political idealogy of the Roman Empire, if u interpret Islam as one.

    A rule book written over a millenium ago is unlikely to be effective forever. People need to wisen up and adapt.

  5. It is a fact that people living with the consciousness of modern times (as opposed to medieval or tribal state of consciousness even in these days of advanced science & technology)do not really read deeply the basic texts of the religion of their birth (or of conditioning) and seem to worship only material success and the sensory pleasures that such success seem to bring about. They really cannot understand nor appreciate the texts of ancient religions. For them what matters is their house, car and money in the bank and more and more of it. Why would they even bother about the world as it is and write blogs about it, I simply cannot understand!

  6. @Arby K
    The difference is that
    Sati was a mere tradition in certain parts of India and never a religious doctrine. It is wrong to associate it with religion.
    That is precisely why the tradition dissapeared with time and there is no single organization supporting it.

    Where as whipping is one of the most important part of Islam.


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