Saturday, 25 February 2012
Is Islam a 21st Century Religion?

Richard Butrick writes:

Najeeb Kashgari was  boarding a flight at the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam when he was apprehended and detained by Interpol. His crime? He had violated the  2009 UN resolution making it a “violation of human rights”  to denigrate a religion. Mr. Kashgari is a young Indian journalist and he had tweeted his friends that Hinduism is just Voodoo with a Ph.D.

Despite vigorous protest from Geert Wilders, after being detained by Interpol, he was then handed over to the  Indian Religious Police who flew him back to New Delhi for trial and possible beheading for the crime of blasphemy.

Ok. Not credible. Even ridiculous. Here is the real story.

Kashgari is a Saudi Muslim and he tweeted his friends to the effect that he no longer was convinced that Muhammad was the perfect role model for Muslims. Realizing he was in trouble for daring to suggest  Muhammad was not perfection personified, he fled Saudi Arabia and was boarding a plane in Malaysia for New Zealand when he was detained by Saudi authorities (with the help of Interpol?) and then flown to Saudi Arabia for trial.

What is the point? Let me quote from Dr. Salim Mansur’s new book Delectable Lie: A Liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism   “The worm inside the doctrine of multiculturalism is the lie that all cultures are worthy of equal respect and equally embracing of individual freedom and democracy.”

Most people reading about a Hindu being abducted by Hindu authorities and threatened with beheading for “defamation” of Hinduism would regard as much as being absurd. That is because it is obvious even to the casual observer that the beliefs and internal dynamics of Islam and Hinduism are by no means on a par as regards “freedom and  democracy.”

Whatever  the outcome, the Kashgari case is the most recent case in which it becomes obvious that those forms of  Islam in which apostasy and criticism of Islam are punishable offenses are at odds with the basic individual rights of freedom of speech and association. Punishment for leaving  a religion or criticizing a religion is contrary to those two basic human rights. The UN resolution making it a violation of human rights to denigrate a religion is actually itself a violation of the individual human right of  free speech and in effect gives “human” individual rights to religions. As the Canadian representative to the 2009 UN council meeting  argued, "It is individuals who have rights, not religion. Canada believes that to extend (the notion of) defamation beyond its proper scope would jeopardize the fundamental right to freedom of expression, which includes freedom of expression on religious subjects."

The human rights enshrined in the US constitution did not come about without a fight. Unfortunately, rights do not become institutionalized in a society just because enlightened minds declare them to be universal. They must be fought for. Countries which pay lip service to basic human rights must step up to the plate and argue that no form of Islam which regards apostasy or blasphemy as punishable offenses is acceptable as a 21st  century religion. The yoke of multiculturalism inhibits such action and must be thrown off. Just reacting to such cases with the multicultural shrug will only embolden Islamists and weaken basic human rights. Nor will it do to just bemoan individual cases as they arise. Unless the core problem of doctrine is addressed there will be more cases like Rushdie and Theo Van Gogh and the less well-known cases like Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator of The Satanic Verses, who was stabbed to death on the campus where he taught literature and the Italian translator Ettore Capriolo who was knifed in his apartment in Milan and William Nygaard, the novel’s Norwegian publisher, who was shot three times in the back and left for dead outside his Oslo home.

Leading European politicians  have come out against multiculturalism and the most recent move by David Cameron shows real promise. His conservative government has just released a new strategy document titled "Creating the Conditions for Integration" which states: "We will robustly challenge behaviors and views which run counter to our shared values such as democracy, rule of law, equality of opportunity and treatment, freedom of speech and the rights of all men and women to live free from persecution of any kind. We will marginalize and challenge extremists who seek to undermine our society and we will neither engage with nor fund such organizations."

The strategy needs to be taken a step further and claim that no religion which, in its doctrines, violates basic individual human rights, including freedom of expression and association, qualifies  as a 21st century religion and hence has none of the rights and privileges bestowed on religions from tax-free status to building permits.

Posted on 02/25/2012 7:02 AM by NER
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