Tuesday, October 20, 2020

A primitive idea thatbelongs in history’s dustbin

Nov 11. 2018
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Re: “Woman at centre of Pakistani blasphemy row leaves jail,” World, November 9.

Readers who are curious to know exactly what Asia Bibi said to get her prosecuted for blasphemy in Pakistan might want to google her and consult the Wikipedia article for the details. There is some fairly ripe language there from both sides. None of the conventional media have reported her exact words, and with good reason. If you are a fanatic who believes that blasphemers should be killed, you are likely to believe that anybody who repeats the words of the blasphemy should also be killed. That means that any news medium that does so risks having its headquarters firebombed and its reporters massacred by the loonies. Remember the Charlie Hebdo atrocity?

Blasphemy is a questionable and subjective concept that needs to be consigned to the dustbin of history. It is primitive and outdated, in the same category as the charming idea of sacrificing children to Moloch. Jesus Christ was convicted of blasphemy by the Jewish Sanhedrin. Islam regards Jesus as a prophet. You would think that good Muslims would show him some respect. Instead, according to the Wikipedia article, the Muslims in the Asia Bibi case called him a bastard. If Jesus was a prophet, you’d think that this would qualify as blasphemy. But no, here we are deep in tribal and sectarian territory, and logic goes out the window. 

Fanatics will yowl that it is the obligation of believers to defend the honour of their deity. No, it isn’t. The scriptures of Judaism, Christianity and Islam make it clear that their deity, whether you call him Yahweh, God, or Allah, is perfectly capable of taking care of himself. He doesn’t need snot-nosed humans to stand up for him. If he’s as grand and lofty and omnipotent as he is claimed to be, he won’t care a fig what puny humans say about him. In the unlikely event that he does care, he can easily punish them by smiting them with boils, leprosy, fire from heaven, tsunamis, floods, or any catastrophe he pleases. From the viewpoint of a true believer, anybody who doubts his ability to do so is himself committing blasphemy. 

It’s high time that the rest of the world stood up to the Muslim fanatics on this point. In a civilised world it is outrageous that Asia Bibi and her lawyer should have to fear for their lives. Those who force them to do so thereby brand themselves as being no better than savages.

Not a Fan of Islam

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