Thursday, March 23, 2006

From the "Religion of Peace" file...

PM calls Karzai to express concern over Christian

Prime Minister Stephen Harper phoned Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai Wednesday to express his concerns about an Afghan man facing a death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity. ...

Forty-year-old Abdul Rahman has been charged with rejecting Islam under Afghanistan's laws. ...

Rahman was arrested last month after police discovered him in possession of a Bible during questioning over a custody dispute.

Footage of Rahman at last week's hearing shows him leafing through a Bible before saying, "They want to sentence me to death and I accept it, but I am not a deserter and not an infidel. I am a Christian, which means I believe in the Trinity."

Comment: So let me get this straight... billions of dollars were spent overthrowing the Taliban regime in the name of defending "human rights", and in it's place we now have a semi-Islamic regime who actually would even consider prosecuting (and executing!) someone for converting to Christianity? Wow, what an improvement!

At the same time though, these guys (Muslims) are beginning to really test my patience. My fundamental problem with the U.S.'s adventures in the Middle East has always been their stated basis; I frankly believe this ("getting Osama bin Ladin" or "defending human rights" or "confiscating weapons of mass destruction", etc. etc.) has always been a pack of crap. I also have issues with the real reasons the Bush White House has been persuing these campaigns - specifically, the attempt to fulfill long standing neo-conservative goals (most of whom are formr 60's marxists/leftists; all that's changed is their means to achieving government induced utopia, not their utopianism), which they were salivating over well before that fateful day back in 2001.

However this is not to say I've ever been impressed with how the Muslim world "does business." While there are certain aspects of Islam (like it's basic insistance upon modesty, public expression of religious belief, etc.) which are of themselves laudable, the truth is that these and the "brighter points" one will find in Islamic history are all things the Islamic world absorbed from elsewhere. The high Islamic philosophy/mysticism of the early middle ages owes infinitely more to the influence of Eastern Christian monasticism and pagan Hellenic philosophy than it ever could to Mohammed. More to the point, this "brighter side" of Islam has not survived, but only exists in a much maligned (by Muslims) periphery; Al-Farabi, Avicenna, Averroes, Rumi, etc. are either utterly ignored now or regarded by Muslims as heterodox (whether after their lifetimes, or in the case of Averroes, while still living). You don't need to look hard to find popular screeds amongst Sunni Muslims against "Sufism", which now is practiced only by a few who call themselves Muslims, and only outside of the big Islamist states.

Ultimately I believe Islam to be a demonic caricture of Christianity; it takes pretty much all of the claims of the Church (exclusive path to salvation, the final revelation of God, catholicity/universality, etc.) and applies them to a perverted theology and soteriology, and further, spreads them with an iron fist wherever it feels it can get away with it.

Were the American campaigns in the Middle East truly "neo-Crusades", I'd actually be much more sympathetic, since it's quite clear that the Mohammedans are not capable of living in "pluralistic" world, and have a nasty habit of brutalizing those who don't believe as they do whenever they get the chance. True, Christians of all stripes have themselves been guilty of this too - but the key difference being, such violent intolerance does not characterize essentially Christian behaviour (and this becomes clear if one actually studies the history of Christendom), and only becomes possible if one goes out of their way to ignore our Lord Jesus Christ. So basically, Christians behaving in this manner is contrary to even the simplest reading of the Gospels. OTOH., Islamist violence (both now and in the past) is an essential element of their creed; it was practiced and encouraged by the founder of their religion, and is enshrined in their "bible" (the Qur'an.)

Canadian, British peace hostages freed in Iraq

Two Canadian aid workers and a British colleague held hostage in Iraq for nearly four months were freed Thursday during a military operation led by multinational forces. ...

"I'm delighted that now we have a happy ending to this terrible ordeal for Norman Kember, for his family, for the Canadian hostages, and for their families as well,'' said Straw.

One of the four men taken hostage in November was killed. The body of American Tom Fox was found in Baghdad earlier this month.

"There's one last, very sad point, which is that there were four hostages captured originally, including one, an American, Mr. Fox, and it's a matter of great sorrow to everybody that he was killed a little while ago," said Straw. ...

The three freed aid workers are all members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams. ...

The four aid workers were kidnapped at gunpoint on Nov. 26 by a group calling itself the Swords of Righteousness Brigades. ...

Comment: The thing I find most obnoxious about the above situation, is that the four men who were abducted (of whom one was murdered by the abducters) were in Iraq precisely because they oppose the war and wanted to help the Iraqi people in various charitable capacities. Also, these folks were not "700 Club" style evangelicals; my understanding is that they're all from fairly mainline (and liberal) Protestant denominations, and while I don't doubt their seriousness, obviously don't believe in the necessity of prosyletism to "save the souls" of Muslims. Yet, this is the "thanks" they get from these Islamist jerks, for simply trying to "help the locals out."

It's long been my observation, that most old world Muslims are losers. I don't mean this in the glib way a snotty teenager would, or even as some kind of put down of Islam itself. Rather, I mean it in a very simple and practical way; these people not only do not know how to advance their cause, they go out of their way to sabotage themselves. They seem to do their best to piss all over those who are sympathetic to their grievances, breed ill will where it was not present previously, and force people who would like to help them on the basis of normal human compassion (and even give them some justice in areas where they really have been wronged, like in Palestine) to instead assume a distant, even militantly defensive posture toward them.


Anonymous Greg said...

Quote: "billions of dollars were spent overthrowing the Taliban regime in the name of defending "human rights" and from the article: "an Afghan man facing a death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity"

Just to clarify that overthrowing a Taliban regime (which never existed) and invading Iraq are two different things, only one of which was ever intended to happen: The invasion of Iraq and its democratic independence, and by consiquence extiguish all harboring of terrorists and weapons of mass destruction in that country.

Even if the overthrow of a Taliban regime was to exist, that would be an inprobability in Afganistan because we are there only by their willingness to help us find Bin Laden.

10:34 a.m.  

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