Posts Tagged “muslim”

Egypt sectarian violence / Christian, Muslim youths clash in Cairo / A dozen people have been killed in the clashes that occurred in the Cairo district of Imbaba (Aljazeera)Hosni Mubarak may be out of power, but all is not well in the Land of the Nile. Religious violence has become an increasing problem in Egypt and its new government is having difficulty dealing with it. Al Jazeera reports on a renewed eruption of religious strife in Cairo, in the wake of a woman’s conversion from Christianity to Islam (WebCite cached article):

Egyptian troops are out in force in central Cairo after weekend riots left 12 people dead and more than 200 injured.

Clashes between Muslims and Copts have raised fears that more sectarian strife could erupt in the country which remains under military rule three months after former president Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power. …

The bloodshed began on Saturday evening when word spread around the Imbaba neighborhood that a Christian woman who had converted to Islam had been abducted and was being kept in the Virgin Mary Church against her will.

About 500 ultraconservative Salafi Muslims gathered at the church, calling on Christians to hand over the woman.

Both sides traded gunfire, firebombs and stones, witnesses said.

Soldiers and police fired shots in the air and used tear gas to separate the sides but stone-throwing went on into the night.

Al Jazeera offers an excellent video report, but for some reason there’s no option to embed it, so I can’t do so here.

The idea that religious conversions must be met with violence is, quite obviously, absurd. No one is required to be happy about a conversion, but to hold her in a church and then exchange gunfire and Molotovs over it, is beyond rationality. It just goes to show that Egypt has a long way to go before it matures sufficiently. That’s ironic, since her civilization is among the oldest on the planet, meaning its people have no excuse for not having grown up enough to deal with things like this.

Note that the uptick in Muslim/Christian violence predates the revolution that toppled Mubarak. On January 1 of this year, a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria was bombed, killing 21 people.

Photo credit: Snapshot from Al Jazeera video.

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In Times Square, hundreds gathered to celebrate and watch the news flash across the big screens. Credit: Michael Appleton for The New York TimesWe’re finally getting more information about the death of Osama bin-Laden. First, it turns out he wasn’t in the wilderness between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Rather, he’d been living in style, deep in the heart of Pakistan, not far from Pakistani military installations, as the New York Times reports (WebCite cached article):

When the end came for Bin Laden, he was found not in the remote tribal areas along the Pakistani-Afghan border where he has long been presumed to be sheltered*, but in a massive compound about an hour’s drive north from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. He was hiding in the medium-sized city of Abbottabad, home to a large Pakistani military base and a military academy of the Pakistani Army.

This raises a lot of questions, not the least of which is how bin-Laden could have been right under the collective nose of the Pakistani government for quite some time. They are — supposedly — our allies. It’s clear they aren’t quite as “allied” to us as they might like us to think.

Pakistan is a deeply troubled country with a large number of Islamofascists … such as the crowds who gave “rock star” treatment to the man accused of killing the Punjab provincial governor because he criticized that nation’s blasphemy law.

While it’s great news that Osama bin-Laden is dead, clearly we face a continued struggle around the world, not just against the kind of Islamofascism that bin-Laden and his supporters promoted, but against all forms of religiofascism, everywhere. It will remain a problem for many years to come.

I close with this video of President Barack Obama announcing bin-Laden’s death to the United States and the world, courtesy of CNN:

* Yes, I admit it, I was one of those who believed this.

Photo credit: Michael Appleton / New York Times.

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PsiCop alteration of Dec. 24, 1998 file photo; AP Photo.At long last, after some 9.5 years of him hiding like a craven little sissyboy coward in the wilds of the Pakistan/Afghanistan frontier — being helped by local Islamist fundamentalists — the world’s current most-famous and infamous religiofascist has died. ABC News reports he was killed in a US military strike (WebCite cached article):

Osama bin Laden, hunted as the mastermind behind the worst-ever terrorist attack on U.S. soil, has been killed, sources told ABC News.

His death brings to an end a tumultuous life that saw bin Laden go from being the carefree son of a Saudi billionaire, to terrorist leader and the most wanted man in the world.

The rest of the article describes this horrific cretin’s putrid, sniveling life, but I need not go into that here. Details of this strike — or of bin Laden’s death — are also not offered, here or in any other breaking story I’ve seen so far.

This is the sort of news that speaks for itself, so that’s what I’ll let it do.

Update: My next blog post is a follow-up to this story.

Photo credit: PsiCop alteration of original AP photo via ABC News.

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Pakistani mob rioting / AP Photo via (UK) Daily MailIt seems Pakistanis are deadly fucking serious about not dissing their prophet … and I mean that literally. They’ve already killed two politicians who criticized that country’s blasphemy law. And now, CNN reports that vigilantes took out a Pakistani who’d been tried under that law, but had been exonerated (WebCite cached article):

Mohamed Imran had been accused, jailed, tried and cleared: if anything, society owed him a debt as a man wrongfully accused.

But his crime was blasphemy. He was meant to have said something derogatory about the prophet Mohammed, so in Pakistan justice worked a little differently. …

Two gunmen burst into the shoe shop where he was sat talking to a friend. Imran tried to duck, to seek cover behind the man next to him — terrified so greatly for his own life that he perhaps forgot about those around him.

But the gunmen found their target and Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws claimed another victim.

Here’s their video report:

As is usual in such cases, CNN offers the vigilantes the “poverty makes it OK” pass:

Others say that religion is all many people have, given the levels of poverty and state dysfunction, and that they don’t like it being insulted. It’s reported that more than 30 of the hundreds of people convicted under the blasphemy laws have been killed by vigilantes.

Sorry, but I’m not buying it. Fierce, unrelenting, unforgiving, immature religionism is what caused these people to act. That’s the only reason this particular victim was selected. Had the motivator been mere “poverty,” someone else would have been chosen, someone in a more public place.

Do we really need any further examples of what’s wrong with immature religionism?

Photo credit: AP photo via (UK) Daily Mail.

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In Mazar-i-Sharif on Friday, Afghans chanted anti-American slogans during a demonstration to condemn the burning of a copy of the Muslim holy book by an American pastor. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters)In an effort, I suppose, to demonstrate to the world just how irrational and immature they can be, a mob of Afghanis outraged over Pastor Terry Jones burning a Qur’an a few days ago, killed several UN relief workers. The New York Times reports on this example of the raging, violent behavior promoted by the “Religion of Peace” (WebCite cached article):

Thousands of demonstrators angered over the burning of a Koran in Florida mobbed offices of the United Nations in northern Afghanistan on Friday, overrunning the compound and killing at least seven foreign staff workers, according to Afghan officials. …

The incident began when thousands of protesters poured out of the Blue Mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif after Friday prayers and attacked the nearby headquarters of the United Nations, according to Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, spokesman for Gen. Daoud Daoud, the Afghan National Police commander for northern Afghanistan.

After disarming or shooting the United Nations compound’s guards, the crowd surged inside. Mr. Ahmadzai said that eight of the foreign staff workers, whose nationalities were not known immediately, were killed by gunfire, and that two others were captured by the mob and beheaded.

These sanctimoniously enraged Afghanis killed the relief workers, because — as well all know very well! — it’s crucially important that innocent people die, whenever a Qur’an is burned, anywhere in the world. It must happen even when there’s a mere rumor that a Qur’an might be burned! It just has to be that way. After all, al-Lah wills it!

In the barbaric minds of primitive religionists living in third-world hovels, that is.

I’m sure that, to Pastor Jones and the rest of the Neocrusaders in the US, this is precisely what they wanted to happen, and it certainly appears to prove their point. However, I’m not sure it’s to the credit of the “Religion of Love” that its adherents were able to goad a bunch of Islamofascist lunatics into killing people.

I get Neocrusaders’ point. I really do. Yes, it’s true, there are lots of raging Islamofascists out there, willing to kill for their metaphysical beliefs. But … this phenomenon also is found within Christianity, too. Over the course of its history, Christianity has proven itself to be every bit as violent as Islam appears to be, now.

Is it really a good idea for Christians in the US to engage in a pissing contest with the world’s Muslims, to find out whose religion can be more extreme and violent? Mature adults do not engage in such behavior. Isn’t it time for the more mature Christians in the US to finally take control of their own religion?

My guess is, they can’t be bothered. They prefer to let extremists run around, absconding with their own religion.

Call me crazy, but I think the world would be a far better place, if Christofascists like Pastor Jones would stop caterwauling over the existence of Islam, and Afghani mobs would stop burning, looting and killing because Qur’ans get burned. I guess my overly-simplistic, cynical, skeptical, godless agnostic heathen mind just can’t wrap itself around the importance of such matters.

Photo credit: Omar Sobhani/Reuters via the NY Times.

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Flagellants. From a fifteenth century woodcut.In what is sure to become fodder for anti-shari’a Neocrusaders here in the US, a 14-year-old Bangladeshi rape victim was killed because she’d been raped. CNN reports on this stunning victory for primitive barbarism (WebCite cached article):

Hena Akhter’s last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl.

Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh’s Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public.

Hena dropped after 70.

Bloodied and bruised, she was taken to hospital, where she died a week later.

I can only assume there’s something wrong with me; something that makes my brain deficient; because I haven’t yet figured out the rational reason why anyone would want to kill a crime victim for having been the victim of a crime. I guess that’s because I’m a skeptical, cynical, godless agnostic heathen who actually thinks about things, now and again.

At any rate, as I said, the Christofascists who want Muslims removed from the US likely view this as wonderful news that supports their poor opinion of shari’a. What’s ironic is that most of them would love to see an Old Testament Judges-era style government implemented in the US … because the roots of Islamic shari’a law lie, at least partly, in the Old Testament. Precisely all of the things they complain about in shari’a law, would also apply under the Christian Reconstruction system they would like to set up. In a dominionist US, people would be slaughtered for crimes as meager as working on Sundays … and yes, even women who are raped but who don’t scream loudly enough while the attack is underway.

In other words, this case points out the barbarity not only of shari’a law, but of the Old Testament world which helped inspire it. In turn, it points out the fatal flaw in the Christian Reconstructionists’ scheme.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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Muslim Brotherhood EmblemAccording to Franklin Graham, son of the world-famous preacher Billy Graham, the Obama administration is in cahoots with the Muslim Brotherhood and has saturated the US government with its vile Islam-loving and Christian-hating agents. We know this is true, because … well, he says so, and because his media outlet of choice, Newsmax, is reporting it (WebCite cached article):

The Muslim Brotherhood, with the complicity of the Obama administration, has infiltrated the U.S. government at the highest levels and is influencing American policy that leaves the world’s Christians in grave danger, warns internationally known evangelist Franklin Graham.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is very strong and active here in our country,” Graham tells Newsmax. “We have these people advising our military and State Department. We’ve brought in Muslims to tell us how to make policy toward Muslim countries.

Note that this isn’t really a new allegation; the American Family Association made a similar claim about a year ago — about the US military — after the Pentagon disinvited the younger Graham from its National Day of Prayer event.

Graham’s “evidence” for this, is the following:

A new report from the Roman Catholic aid agency Aid to the Church in Need supports Graham’s contention that the persecution of Christians world­wide has worsened exponentially in the past few years.

According to the report, Christians face increased suffering in 22 countries around the world, with Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Nigeria being among the worst countries to be a Christian in today.

Even if this report were true, it still does not prove that Barack Obama has allowed a cabal of Muslim Brotherhood adherents to infiltrate the US government and ceded control to them. What I can say is that Christians are guilty of no small amount of persecution, themselves, so Graham hardly has the “moral high ground” to stand on.

Generally speaking, I find paranoid conspiracy theories like this one amusing … if only because so many people buy into them, in spite of such little evidence that they’re true. In some cases the lack of evidence is, perversely, viewed as being evidence itself; i.e. “If this conspiracy existed, of course, they’d make sure no evidence of it was available, so a lack of evidence is precisely what we’d expect!” The illogic of this just shows how abysmally ignorant people are. It’s as though they walked around with neon signs that say “Idiot”!

Hat tip: Mark at Skeptics & Heretics Forum at Delphi Forums.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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