Friday, September 22, 2006

Is a Bridge Possible?

Ken Connor asks a very important question:
"Over and over we see a vocal segment of the Muslim population attempting to limit speech and impose religion. Indeed, Islamic religious leaders commonly issue a fatwa, or a legal decree, when someone says something they consider blasphemous. A fatwa has been issued in Iran for the deaths of Salman Rushdie and Jerry Falwell, for example. When religious leaders have the power to condemn men and women to death for statements deemed to be blasphemous, what hope is there for freedom of religion or freedom of speech?"

Is there a way to bridge the vast gap?

Our society is based on equalness before the law, putting all religions and beliefs on an equal setting before the law, and giving an openness that allows free criticism. But this year we have seen an Islamic willingness to follow the rules even within Western nations, where there were calls for the Pope's death.

Andrew G. Boston
The ultimate source of the convulsive reaction to the Pope’s speech is the Islamic belief that spiritually and physically debauched infidels have no right to express opinions—least of all negative opinions—regarding Islam’s sacred text, the Koran, the Muslim prophet, Muhammad (Ecce Homo Arabicus), or the sacred Islamic Law (Shari’a).
And in the doing, threat, protest, riot, kill and burn. Today there are threats to assassinate the pope, one Pakistani saying that the pope should be crucified, that the green Islamic flag will fly over the Vatican, that England will become an Islamic nation, that all Christians will be given the chance to convert or die, that Christian throats will be slashed. Two deaths so far are probably attributable to the unrest. Churches in multiple countries have been burned. All this for a QUOTE of someone buried in an academic lecture.

What this looks like is that someone was watching and scanning data for something to protest about. And the pope kindly provided it.

There is a very vocal segment of the Islamic world that wants to bully the West into accepting the world as they want it.

The Islamic world has to decide which it will be: freedom or rule by religious leader. Until they decide, it will be hard to know if we can find a mutual bridge on which to build.


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