The Trouble with Islam? Or the Trouble with Muslims?

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?”

The VIA Bombers, the Imam and Islam in Canada

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. 

Continue reading “The VIA Bombers, the Imam and Islam in Canada”

Pakistani Lawyers: “Death to the Blasphemer”

A few years ago, in response to the imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan by the Musharraf government, the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) and the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) issued press releases, organized rallies and circulated petitions urging Ontario’s lawyers to support the efforts of their counterparts in Pakistan to restore the rule of law in that country.  All very noble and honourable.

I was thinking about that when I read this story, in today’s Globe, about a group of 500 Pakistani lawyers storming the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad wearing headbands inscribed with “Lovers of Prophet, Death to the blasphemer”.  Meanwhile the Pakistan Bar Council called for a day of protest against “Innocence of Muslims” and condemned the US for failing to take action against it.  Nice to see the people charged with defending the rule of law in Pakistan are so reasonable.

I wonder if the OBA and LSUC will be circulating petitions calling for our “counterparts” in Pakistan to respect religious freedom and freedom of expression. Why do I suspect they’ll remain curiously quiet on the subject.

Sure, blame Israel, why not? Updated

So, a Coptic Christian of Egyptian ancestry living in the US produces a film that denigrates Mohammad and which was broadcast repeatedly on Islamist TV stations in Egypt.  And how do Muslims in Lebanon and Afghanistan react?  By burning Israeli flags and chanting “Death to Israel”.  [Update: Muslim protestors in Sri Lanka spent yesterday throwing slippers at the Israeli flag – better than bombs, I suppose – while a North American Muslim group is calling for a protest against Zionist “hatemongers“]

Am I missing something? 

I guess ranting and raving about the US wasn’t sufficiently irrational, so they figured they might as well blame a country that, literally, has no connection to the “Innocence of Muslims” fiasco.   They might as well be chanting “Death to Finland” for all the sense it makes (maybe I shouldn’t be giving them ideas).

[On further thought, I’m now convinced that the whole “Innocence of Muslims” bun-fight was orchestrated by the Acme Israeli and American Flag Company trying to clear out it’s inventory for the 2013 models.]

Classic Bob – In this Battle Over a Niqab, I don’t know who to cheer for!

In light of the fiasco that is the Parti Quebecois‘ proposal  to turn Quebec into arguably the least tolerant jurisdiction in North America to impose controversial restrictions on language and religious displays, I thought this older piece might be appropriate.  It arose from this story about a Muslim woman who was told to remove her Niqab if she wanted to attend a French language/civics class, because, among other things, the teacher couldn’t see her lips to ensure she was learning French properly.  In response, she filed a human rights complaint with the Quebec human rights tribunal. Enjoy!

I’m never sure who to cheer for in these cases.

Continue reading “Classic Bob – In this Battle Over a Niqab, I don’t know who to cheer for!”