Posts Tagged “protests”

Dalit demonstrators shout slogans and protest in the Indian capital New Delhi, on January 3, 2018. / CNNTo a large extent, the occidental world views India through the lenses of Mahatma Gandhi, the man who used civil disobedience to lead his land to independence, and inspired many others to use that same tactic elsewhere. Also, India is home to a number of movements and sects which are famous for being pacifists; Buddhism, for example, originated there, as did Jainism, whose adherents sometimes go as far as to brush the ground as they walk so as to ensure they don’t step even on the tiniest insect.

The West has an often-idealistic view of India which, unfortunately, doesn’t coincide with reality — which is that India is more or less as violent as any other nation on earth. It’d be wonderful if it weren’t so; if India were in fact a grandly sacred land full of deeply spiritual people who’d never harm a fly; but that’s just not how it is. I don’t mean to say this as a specific condemnation of India: Human nature being what it is, it can’t really be any other way. India’s people have the same human nature as the folk of every other country.

As an example of this, as CNN reports, recently India has been rocked by protests and assorted violence, over its ancient caste system (Archive.Is cached version):

Security forces were out in full force in India’s financial capital Mumbai this week, as members of the country’s low-caste Dalit community demonstrated against alleged violence by right-wing Hindus.

The unrest was concentrated in suburban areas on the outskirts of India’s largest city, which also saw transport disruptions.

There were also sporadic protests across the state of Maharashtra, which Mumbai is located in.

These Right-wing Hindus were responding to protests by the Dalits, aka “the Untouchables”:

It all began when tens of thousands of Dalits, who rank at the bottom of India’s ancient Hindu caste hierarchy, gathered in the village of Bhima Koregaon, 170 kilometers (105 miles) outside of Mumbai, on New Year’s day to celebrate the 200th anniversary of a battle in which British colonial forces staffed with local Dalit fighters defeated a numerically superior army belonging to upper caste rulers of the region.

In the years since, many Dalits have come to regard the battle as an important historical moment when their community stood up against oppressive higher caste Hindus.

This year, Dalit activists claim that the annual commemoration was interrupted by right wing Hindu nationalists, who they say threw rocks at the gathering.

The situation deteriorated as riots broke out and two men died in the chaos, according to local media [cached].

CNN goes on to provide background for the Dalits’ protests and an oh-so-very-brief overview of the caste system itself. In the process, CNN mentions that the caste system is explicitly outlawed in India’s Constitution, but the article does not explain how deeply ingrained it is within India’s chief religion, Hinduism. In that religion, people reincarnate, via karma, into particular stations in life, i.e. their dharma, and hence into their castes. In Hindu tradition, and in the minds of some modern-day Hindus, the Dalits are “untouchables” — fit only for the lowliest jobs and the objects of societal oppression — because of this. To treat the Dalits any other way violates dharma. Thus, Right-wing Hindus view treating “the untouchables” as their equals in a democratic system as profane or even blasphemous.

It’s time for everyone to realize the very-real harm that religion inflicts on people … not just the Abrahamic faiths, which which most in the West are familiar, but the Dharmic faiths as well.

Photo credit: CNN.

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Supporters of Islamic political parties burn and kick an effigy of a blogger inside a madrassa, or religious school, during a nationwide strike in Dhaka on February 24, 2013. Islamists demanding the execution of bloggers they accuse of blasphemy clashed with police in Bangladesh for a third straight day Sunday, and at least four protesters were killed when police opened fire (AFP Photo)This is such an old story, I almost don’t want to blog about it any more. The Islamic world’s inherent and pervasive immaturity continually rears its head, every time something happens that Muslims think is an insult to their religion. All too often, that immaturity results in people being killed, simply because too many Muslims cannot, and will not, control their fury and rage over what they perceive as affronts to Islam and its founding prophet. The AFP via Yahoo News reports on the latest example of people being killed because of this juvenile murderous impulse (WebCite cached article):

Islamists demanding the execution of bloggers they accuse of blasphemy clashed with police in Bangladesh for a third straight day Sunday, and at least four protesters were killed when police opened fire.

Up to 3,000 protesters, including students from religious schools known as madrassas and supporters of the main opposition party, barricaded a highway at Singair in the central district of Manikganj, police said.

The protests, and the killings that resulted, have been brewing for some time:

The violence broke out as 12 small Islamic parties, backed by the largest Islamic group Jamaat-e-Islami and main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, called a nationwide strike in protest at Friday’s police action against Islamists.

Four people were killed, three in police shooting, and about 200 injured during Friday’s protests by tens of thousands of Islamists demanding the hanging of bloggers whom they say blasphemed Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.

Tensions have risen over allegedly anti-Islamic blog posts by Ahmed Rajib Haider, who was hacked to death last week near his home in Dhaka.

In recent weeks Haider and fellow bloggers had launched massive protests demanding a ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami, and the execution of its leaders for alleged war crimes in the 1971 independence struggle against Pakistan.

The government of Bangladesh has been trying to pacify the santimoniously-enraged childish Islamists by cranking up the censorship:

The government has warned of tough steps against those who incite social tension, and urged newspapers and blogs not to publish defamatory writings against the Prophet Mohammed.

It has cracked down on anti-Islam blogs and also given police protection to some bloggers in the wake of Haider’s murder.

Keep it upJyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoon, via Assyrian International News Agency, crybaby Muslims. By all means, please continue killing people because people blasphemed against your almighty deity, and insulted your blessed prophet. Continue raging, fuming, blustering, rioting, smashing, burning, and murdering because you haven’t got the maturity to handle the fact that not everyone else believes what you believe.

Also, I cordially invite you to keep stomping around demanding that your dour, uncompromising religionism — and the metaphysically-propagated immaturity that goes along with it — be “respected” by everyone else, regardless of whatever horrible things you may have done in its name. Yes, this means you should continue telling us … as the giant head did in The Wizard of Oz … never to pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

Yes, that’s right. Jyllands-Posten Mohammad Cartoon / 'Stop, stop, we ran out of virgins!' / via AINAI want you to keep indulging your murderous immaturity. I want you to keep providing the rest of the world with ongoing examples of what is wrong with being enslaved by primitive metaphysical thinking. I want you to keep showing us your barbarism so we won’t forget what metaphysics can do to people.

Oh, and just to egg you sniveling little babies on a little more, I’ve included a couple of anti-Islam cartoons in this blog post. Please, use their presence here to justify yet more riots and killings in the name of preventing your religion and your prophet from being “dissed” by this cynical, cold-hearted, godless agnostic heathen.

Photo credit, top: AFP, via Yahoo News Singapore; middle & bottom photos, Jyllands-Posten, via Assyrian International News Agency.

P.S. I am, of course, being facetious when I say I want Muslims to keep throwing tantrums — even if what they’re doing proves the point I’ve been making for many years. I’d much rather they become mature and learn to live with the fact that not everyone believes what they do.

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Afghan protesters in Jalalabad shout slogans in a Friday demonstration against a pastor's plan to burn the Quran.A couple of days ago I remarked that Muslims around the world — and particularly, for some unknown reason, in Afghanistan — were working to prove the Neocrusaders correct when they claim that Islam is an inherently violent religion. Well, they’ve managed the amazing feat of continuing to be juvenile imbeciles about the whole matter, and have continued to riot over it. Reuters reports on the continuing protests (WebCite cached article):

Demonstrators took to Afghanistan’s streets for a third day on Sunday to protest against a U.S. preacher’s plan to burn copies of the Koran even though he has since withdrawn the threat.

Chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Christians”, demonstrators clashed with Afghan security forces in Logar province, south of the capital Kabul. …

Three demonstrators were wounded, one seriously, when Afghan security forces opened fire on Sunday to disperse hundreds of protesters marching to Pul-e-Alam, the capital of Logar province, said Din Mohammad Darwish, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

The protesters threatened to attack foreign military bases. There are almost 150,000 foreign troops fighting a growing Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan.

“The governor must give us an assurance that the church is not going to burn the Koran, otherwise we will attack foreign troop bases in our thousands,” protester Mohammad Yahya said.

I have no idea how the governor of Lugar province in Afghanistan is supposed to be able to prevent some idiotic schmuck in Florida from burning the Qur’an … but then again, I’m just a cold-hearted, cynical, God-hating, agnostic heathen, not an immature religionist screwball who lives in a Third World hut. I guess it’s just too much to expect of me to understand something that profound; I’ll have to remain ignorant and simple-minded, where such important things are concerned.

So in addition to one person dying over a Qur’an that hasn’t burned yet, two more have died over a Qur’an that never was burned after all. Someday humanity will grow up and begin to make sense … but not, it seems, any time soon. Sigh. Has anyone in the Muslim world figured out, yet, that events like this are only serving to make the Neocrusaders feel they’re right? Hmm? Maybe?

Photo credit: CNN (cached).

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Qur'anIt’s great fun to critique and ridicule religious fundamentalism. It is, after all, so easy to do, since religious fundamentalism is always so utterly irrational and immature. In many ways, religious fundamentalism satirizes itself. But some real entertainment can be had by watching religious fundamentalists tear into other religious fundamentalists. A classic example is the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL. I’ve blogged about this childish crew’s antics before, but the Religion News Service (via the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life) reports they’ve decided to up the ante a bit more (WebCite cached article):

A Florida church with “Islam is of the devil” signs in its front lawn plans to host an “International Burn A Quran Day,” on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks this year.

The Dove World Outreach Center, a non-denominational church in Gainesville, has marked the date in previous years with protests against Islam. …

They’re engaging in this juvenile and incendiary behavior, they claim, as a favor to the world’s Muslims:

“We feel, as Christians, one of our jobs is to warn,” said [Pastor Terry] Jones.

The goal of these and other protests are to give Muslims an opportunity to convert, he said.

As a fundamentalist Christian, Jones of course worships his own set of scripture, that being the Christian Bible. I wonder how much of a “favor” he’d interpret it as, if a bunch of Islamic fundamentalists were to burn some Christian Bibles. I can’t really prove it, but I suspect he’d be outraged over that.

Hat tip: The Friendly Atheist.

Photo credit: Doctor Yuri.

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