Sunday, February 19, 2006

"Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain"

Killing over cartoons.

Nigerian Muslims protesting caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad attacked Christians and burned churches on Saturday, killing at least 15 people in the deadliest confrontation yet in the whirlwind of Muslim anger over the drawings.

It was the first major protest to erupt over the issue in Africa's most populous nation. An Associated Press reporter saw mobs of Muslim protesters swarm through the city center with machetes, sticks and iron rods. One group threw a tire around a man, poured gas on him and set him ablaze.
What God that approves of death and violence committed because of a cartoon is worthy of the name "God"? Were these actions to be defended upon anything other than faith based fanatacism, there would be absolutely no rational justification for them. Can an infinite God be harmed by a cartoon? No. Then what is the problem? The problem is this: the orthodox are afraid someone might change their mind. That is it; freethought, to them is intolerable, as evidenced by the most despicable law of Islam, the one that makes apostasy punishable by death. Its a terrible, horrible, inhumane law. In fact, it is possibly the most cruel and malicious law ever created. It is a law designed to destroy a person's most valued possesion: their mind. It is a law designed to lock people into an internal mental prison where they are shackled by the bounds of orthodox beliefs. If a person can not live according to the dicates of their conscience, if they can not be free to think what thoughts they are compelled to think, then a person becomes a slave to their own beliefs and loses any true sense of autonomy. Is there anything more wicked than giving us freewill only that we would suffer eternal torture for using it? What a strange "gift." As Joseph Conrad once said, "all a man can betray is his conscience."

Any man who would deny another religious liberty is a hypocrite, because it is taken for granted that he expects religious freedom for himself.

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