Sheema Khan had an interesting article in the Globe today, on the need for Islam to reform to reflect the 21st century in light of the recent incident in Sudan where a young pregnant woman, Meriam Yahya Ibrahim, was sentenced to death for the crime of apostasy, allegedly for abandoning her Islamic faith to become a Christian. Ms. Ibrahim has since been released, no doubt due to the massive international backlash her sentence triggered. In her piece, Ms. Khan tries to make the case that sentencing Mr. Ibrahim to death for apostacy is not in accordance with “true” Islam, and only by returning to the true roots of Islam can Muslims advance into the 21st century. In doing so, however, she (unintentionally, no doubt) makes a damning critique both of modern Islam and modern Muslims. Continue reading “The Trouble with Islam? Or the Trouble with Muslims?”
I can’t get enough of the silliness behind Quebec’s proposed Secular Charter.
Pauline Marois, Quebec’s Premier, is quoted in today’s Le Devoir defending her proposal to impose secularism on civil servants (well, except Christians, apparently, unless you think secularism means having a giant freaking crucifix in the National Assembly). According to her, the French model of secularism she’s proposing to adopt will prevent Quebec from turning into England, where:
“they whack each other on the mouth and send bombs because it’s multiculturalism and nobody can find a place for himself anymore in that society.”
I’ve already discussed the Iranian connection with the alleged terror plot against a VIA rail train. The other interesting angle is that the alleged plotters apparently came to the attention of the RCMP thanks to a tip from a Toronto-area Imam concerns about the apparent radicalization of one of the suspects.
I told myself this weekend that I would take it easy on the “Religion of Peace” this week. After all, between “Innocence of Muslims”, embassy attacks, Iran and Pakistan, I’ve been putting the boots pretty hard to the Islamic world for the last few weeks. And while that’s fun, sometimes you need a break.
So imagine my disappointment when I read this article about the Pakistani cabinet minister who has put a $100,000 bounty on the head of the person responsible for producing “Innocence of Muslims” and anyone else who makes a similar film. At a news conference late last week Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, the Pakistani railways minister said:
“I announce today that this blasphemer who has abused the holy prophet, if somebody will kill him, I will give that person a prize of $100,000… I also invite Taliban and Al-Qaeda brothers to be partners in this noble deed… I also announce that if the government hands this person over to me, my heart says I will finish him with my own hands and then they can hang me.”
In the wake of last week’s attacks on the US embassy in Cairo and the US consulate in Benghazi, and the killing of the US Ambassador to Libya and several of his staffers as they helped evacuate that consulate, US (and other Western) embassies have been attacked across the Islamic world. These attacks were purportedly instigated by a new film, titled “Innocence of Muslims”, which claims to portray the life of the Prophet Mohammad. At the very least the film gave Islamists a pretext for attacking the United States. But it is the reaction to “Innocence of Muslims” throughout the Islamic world that is a telling indicator of the intolerance of the Islamic world and, I think, gives a good example of why many in the West are, with good reason, afraid of Islam as practiced by a good chunk of its adherent. (As a side note, I refer to the Islamic world rather than Islam intentionally. Like Christianity and Judaism, or any other religion, Islam is capable of tolerant and open-minded interpretations and intolerant and hateful interpretations. It is what its adherents make of it).
Part of me wants to feel bad for picking on Pakistan. It is, after all, one of the world’s crappiest countries. It probably doesn’t need to be reminded of that fact. But then I read this story and, yeah, it needs to be reminded of the fact.