Whether or not the movement succeeds or gets worldwide emulation, it should at least be a small wake up call to Islam, telling it it needs to relax and reform; that it needs to learn how to coexists with the modern Western world.
Calling for the killing or burning of people who change their minds, find other faiths, or lose faith altogether is simply unacceptable in the 21st century, here or anywhere.
I kinda understand the desire of some to jump ship in these times where Islam is being demonized - due in part to some criminals calling themselves Muslims. Of course, Murdoch&co don't help much either.
Islam doesn't need to be demonized. It does a good job of that all by itself.
Lizy I don't think you realise that for people who come from backgrounds like Christianity, where the sanctity of human life is first and foremost, the muslim traditions of killing innocent people for the most trivial of reasons is abhorrent.
Have you ever considered that young Muslims living in the west might learn a new way of thinking, where they come to see human life as something prescious.
And what of those whose families were forced into Islam at the point of a sword to begin with. Disassociating themselves from something evil which their family never willingly chose to be a part of in the first place is not jumping ship. It is finally making a freewilled decision that their ancestors were brutally denied.
People get death threats all the time. Be they journalists, politicians or nude models. I don't get what's the big deal here. It's a criminal matter that should be investigated and the authors prosecuted. It ends there.
Heck, even I have received threats for no other reason than my opposition to US foreign policy. Those guys are attention-whores and Rupert Murdoch gave them their hour of fame.
The big deal is that it's muslims getting death threats from other muslims because they want out of Islam. Most of them never even chose Islam, they were "born" muslims (ie, mom and dad threw them face down on a carpet 5 times a day...)
Your attitude that "there's nothing here" and that it should simply be investigated as a criminal matter is the problem itself. As long as moderate muslims won't pressure the Imams to "relax" their interpretation so that people can live their lives in freedom, the frictions between Islam and the West will continue.
Investigating those incidents as criminal matter is rather difficult, is a large portion of 1.2 billion believers are "suspects" every time one of those threats is made to those leaving the faith.
Listen here pal, the consensus in majority-Muslim countries is that a person who renounces Islam should be left alone; i.e: freedom of religion. In fact, the person that can easily pass for the world's highest authority in Islam - with close to a billion followers - decreed just that in Al-Azhar.
I don't see how I can pressure a criminal. How about you try that yourself?
Yes? Who is it? I don't know. I had the impression from your explanations of islam, that noone is in the position to authoritatively decree anything, not in the sense that the pope would do. Does this brand of islam where he is the authority have a name?
Indeed. You may have missed the way I phrased it which was supposed to suggest that I personally don't give him much authority.
Yet, most Muslims don't even speak Arabic, much less have any the will to learn history and dwell into the necessary linguistics to interpret the Quran. The gap was filled by some "gurus" who were only too happy to acquire tremendous power.
Anyway, the guy I referred to is Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy.
You may know followers of his "brand" of Islam as Sunnis; i.e: +90% of the Muslim population.
The west and christians do not regard human life as "precious". I know that, you know that, everyone knows that. 150,000 dead civilians in Iraq know that. Nagasaki and Hiroshima know that. Darfur knows that. Etc etc
The problem is that the criminal is not acting alone out of personal conviction. He thinks he's on a mission from Allah.
Extremist factions who take a literal reading of the Koran won't be convinced by infidels, Christians or Jews (or, Allah forbid, atheists) to change their barbaric customs. The pressure has to come from their peers, other muslims.
For someone who claims to be a pacifist and to oppose all forms of violence, you sure seem to cool down when the origin of the gratuitous violence comes from within your ranks. Who cares, right? Let the police deal with it.
Well, you should care; you, and other moderates, can exert pressure to change from within. You can't change American foreign policy (maybe that's why you enjoy criticizing it so much - it's always easier to whine about something you can't do anything about than it is to take up cause where you actually have to do something...) but moderate muslims can organize to reform the faith from within.
The extremists are certainly doing all they can to precipitate a clash of civilization - shouldn't the majority, which you claim is moderate and quite amenable to these modern times, do it's part to make sure the future is one of peaceful coexistence and not violent confrontation?
I think you need to separate the US from the West then. In all western countries, except one, the death penalty has been abolished for all crimes. We don't kill our own citizens under any circumstances.
Even the Iraq war shows considerable restraint. If the goal was to kill Iraqis, the place would have been desert 5 years ago.
If you can't see any difference between most of the western countries and what's going on in many places in Africa, the ME and large parts of Asia, you're not thinking straight. We have WMDs by the ton. If western nations really were barbaric, murderous savages, there wouldn't be anyone left except the west.
It's all fine and dandy to be outraged by unnecessary deaths, but let's not lose all perspective here.
Let's get something straight, if I knew who was issuing the death threat, I'll do the same thing every other sensible person would do: get the police to throw him/her in jail. And this has absolutely nothing to do with my faith.
This is a criminal case and there is no debate on the legality of issuing threats. It's not like it's my kid or an acquaintance of mine who's doing it. Heck, I bet you the ones issuing death threat can only communicate in Dutch which I have no knowledge of.
I'm all for acting out but I fail to see anything I can do, short of getting a cape and a batmobile. But I'm open to suggestions...
Ah, but lixy does not see this as something that comes from his rank and file muslim brothers.
From the Philippines, through Indonesia into India, sweeping through Africa. All those that have faith in Islam within this large geographical area have their factions that call for violence.
We don't see Christians exhibiting this phenomenon. Neither the Jews. The only group that exhibits this is the military industrial complex. A secular entity. States have their shock troops and black ops. So does Islam.
To not observe this is the height of ignorance.
We all know what hate speech is. It's hard to hide it, especially from those / by those that believe. Take a white guy in the South in the 1960's. Just by his speech would you get a strong impression of his hatred towards blacks. I'd hazard a guess it's not much different in mosque. If you listen, you'll hear it. To deny it would be the same as that white guy denying his feelings as anything other than "normal."
Turn your face from the truth, lixy. When you're swept up in the flames of violence... either by choice or as a bystander... just remember where you started. Right here, in denial.
It's apparently just not one guy. The article talks about Sharia schools. It's not one guy teaching himself in a corner, now is it?
The problem stems from the fact that people think they are acting according to Allah's will, which will always overrule any man-made law.
Well, if you don't think that reform from the inside is possible, I'd suggest abandoning the faith and getting as many other believers as possible to follow you. If it can't be fixed, it should be replaced.