How you view the argument depends on where you sit. So as always when you read something demonizing Muslims or Islam it is a good idea to get a bearing of who the messenger is.
Recently a blog called the “American Thinker” a publication many sitting on the left would call: a “a rightwing rag” according to Daily Kos, and worse, published an intriguing piece doing something the US right loves to do more than anything else, namely, demonizing Islam, something necessary to continue bombing the hell out of Muslim countries.
As always the right loves to look at others while failing to take into account their own egregious behavior. That is normal and as always it depends where you are sitting. Let’s take a look for a minute at some of the points brought up by the “thinker” in their article Ten Key Points on Islamic Blasphemy Law.
Point one they claim the “Sunna” says any who one blasphemes Muhammad, Allah, or Islam put themselves on a war footing against Muslims, and their lives became licit. However they fail to mention that Christians have their own blasphemy laws where stoning to death was the punishment and even England had blasphemy laws on the books until 2008 when the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act of 2008 was passed. However some may still exist.
Jews also have their own blasphemy laws and in ancient times even tried to accuse Jesus of blasphemy against God’s name. His own dad if you believe other versions. Buddhists’ have a “right” speech clause in their religion and Jainism has its own version of a blasphemy “law” as well. As it turns out Hinduism does not have any such laws and in theory even an atheist can be a Hindu.
The intrepid “thinker” takes issue with the fact that in many Islamic countries official blasphemy laws exist which call for death as the penalty, which is wrong as it persecutes Christians and everyone else for that matter, but they make no mention of blasphemy laws which still exist in many US states, in the UK, Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece Ireland, the Netherlands, Iceland, Italy Spain, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland.
Although the issuing of Fatwahs seems like an evil thing for people like Salmon Rushdie depending on where you are sitting, one might say that Christian’s are guilty of worse offenses. Just ask American Indians about the Doctrine of Discovery. By the way Indians respected the Great Spirit and Mother Earth and also did not have blasphemy laws. Even a Christian could worship the Great Spirit. Indians welcomed everyone with peace and even took pity on the starving Calvinist and Puritan Pilgrims who gave thanks to God for allowing them to slaughter the Indians and steal their lands.
Mormons who do not practice polygamy, I mean polygyny, also have blasphemy clauses with death as the proper punishment.
The “thinker” is right in saying that these Islamic “Laws” should not be a part of the legal establishment or part of the criminal code in many countries but takes no issue with the fact that the US Government and the US system are so intertwined with God and weird esoteric ideology, even saying “In God We Trust” on their money and requiring leaders and citizens to swear on bibles and the like during all sorts of official processes. As for the esoteric, I mean things like the Pyramid with the all-seeing-eye on it on American currency and the like.
The most serious blasphemy law across the board in almost all religions, and we must remember that Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are basically all based on the same books and events, is attributing the acts of the Messiah, by whatever name you want to Satan.
We might demonize Islam for the bloodshed it has caused but Christianity wins hands down for the massive slaughtering of human being that it has wrought on mankind. Maybe a billion Indians alone were slaughtered in North and South America in the name of Christianity.
Regardless of what you believe do not attack other people’s faiths. It is just bad manners. Maybe all countries should have a Council of Atheists to handle these problems?
The views and opinions expressed here are my own. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.