John on June 25, 2005 at 1:09 pm
This story surprised me. I’ve read that there are now laws in place in Canada which make some speech illegal, including derogatory comments about minority groups. Apparently this same type of free speech restriction already has a foothold in Australia where two Christian pastors are being threatened with jail time for teaching that Islam promotes violence and misogyny. They crossed the line not by calling Muslims names or using incendiary language against any individual, but by teaching what the Koran actually says. In other words, by reading from it.
To be fair, the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is full of violence. So I understand that reading one verse or even a handful can give someone a totally lopsided impression of a whole text. I’m willing to accept that among Muslims there may be other ways to interpret these texts. So why doesn’t someone take the opportunity to explain it? What do these verses really mean to modern Muslims? Instead, there is a prolonged silence.
Let’s stop propping up Islam as a “Great World Religion” and let it stand or fall on its own merits in the marketplace of ideas. Islam is a religion with certain values and ideas, ideas that have definite real world consequences for those who subscribe to them. In other words, Islam is whatever Islamists do. We needn’t judge by the text, we can look at the fruit it bears. Those real world results, at this moment, undeniable includes a great deal of brutality and misogyny. That’s only stating the obvious. Doing so shouldn’t be a crime.
Category: Islamic Jihad |