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Rights: Sharia Style

Iran has chastised the world for trying to make the stoning of a woman accused of adultery into a "rights" issue. Silly world. Don't we know that criticizing Sharia law is "Islamophobic" - and human rights, women's rights and any other brand of rights you can invent are subordinate to religious rights, Sharia style.

Stoning has been an integral element of the Iranian legal system since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. In fact, the woman to be stoned was earlier sentenced to 99 lashes for being photographed without proper head-covering (the photo turned out to have been of another woman, but let's not get mired down in details). Look at the way she was dressed ... she had it coming.

Some Muslim countries might even be getting soft on crime. A court in Saudi Arabia recently rejected paralysis as a form of punishment. Flogging, amputations and public beheadings are still allowed, but the severing of spinal cords are now a bridge too far.

And the U.S. seems to have gotten the memo. Speaking out against the building of a mosque at the site of a Muslim terror attack will get you investigated by the U.S. government. Burning Korans will invite a reprimand from the U.S. military. No hiding behind free-speech "rights," even here in America. 

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Discussions - 12 Comments

My only qualm about burning a Koran is this: Would they burn Bibles? I don't think they would (I may be wrong, but I've never heard of them desecrating 'Abrahamic' holy books). If we want to repay them, we need to do it in-kind -- intolerance and, if that doesn't work, hellfire. It's the language they seem to understand.

"Burning Korans will invite a reprimand from the U.S. military."

Mr. Paulette, you know full well that if Petraeus had scolded Obama for anything, you'd be applauding him. If any of the military officers exalting violence targeted at Arab countries and declaring the US an officially Christian nation would be reprimanding Michael Moore for siding with the evil-doer "Mozlems" or whatever, you'd be cheering them on.

Here's what I think you need to be reconciling in your mind at this point. You have, several times here, indicated how much you respect the wise authority of the Vatican. Well, they have spoken - were you listening:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/quran_burning_vatican;_ylt=AhT3JpZ4w3SdcEKKya8F5uBY24cA;_ylu=X3oDMTM0Y3FuMWtwBGFzc2V0Ay9zL2FwL3F1cmFuX2J1cm5pbmdfdmF0aWNhbgRjY29kZQNtb3N0cG9wdWxhcgRjcG9zAzYEcG9zAzYEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9zdG9yaWVzBHNsawN2YXRpY2FuYnVybmk-

"While deploring those 2001 terror attacks, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue said such violence 'cannot be counteracted by an outrageous and grave gesture against a book considered sacred by a religious community.'"

The absurdly named "Dove World Outreach Center" (show me an example of an American Muslim congregation - or even a European one - having a "burn-a-Bible day") has the right to do this. Their rights are fully intact, and no matter how much the right wants to pretend that the CRITICISM of the juvenile, knuckle-dragging behavior at this place is tantamount to some sort of infringement on this group's "rights" (as your scare quotation marks indicated), that doesn't even remotely make it so. Much like Laura Ingraham's case of faux-victimization, this should serve to remind us that the right to free speech doesn't mean the right to applause from all quarters. You should know that.

I guess the Catholic cafeteria plan extends to demographic pockets that I never would have expected it to.

"show me an example of an American Muslim congregation - or even a European one - having a "burn-a-Bible day""

Sine Muslims make up a tiny minority in the United States that would be extremely unwise. The relevant comparison would be, say, Saudi Arabia. But there's unlikely to be a "burn-a-Bible day" there, since it's against the law to bring a Bible into the country.

muslims don't burn bibles they chop off heads and otherwise kill people. burning a bible would be considered stupid in their eyes.

Would it make the news if a Muslim of any nation burned Bibles?

Kate, I would certainly bet that it would get substantial coverage if a Muslim - or especially the congregants of a mosque - burned some Bibles - most especially (and relevantly) if an American imam and his tiny mosque's flock planned to do so. Have you noticed the reluctance of the media to report bad Muslim behavior (such as the reaction that was successfully prodded from them with the Mohamed cartoons in Europe)??

Ponsonby - Yes, the Muslims are an unusually barbaric lot, aren't they? I've heard that when they occupy a Christian nation they make sport of slaughtering the civilians and then even collect their fingers, skulls, teeth, and even leg bones!
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100910/wl_nm/us_afghanistan_usa_charges

[Ok, now let's take an honest survey regarding bad behavior and press coverage: How many here think that the U.S. press should choose not to report stories such as this? How many think that they should be legally prevented from doing so?]

Yes, a nasty lot, these Americans. I hear there are even some who are ready to believe the worst about their own troops, even before they've been given a fair trial.

Anyway, as I said above (I was "anonymous") pointing to what Muslims do in communities where they represent a tiny minority hardly gives a clear assessment. Let's look at how they behave toward Christians and other non-Muslims in countries where Islam is dominant.

The fact that the only organized Koran-burning that we've heard about in the ten years since 9/11 was planned by a nutjob David Koresh-like cult leader--and even he has called it off--speaks quite well of U.S. tolerance.

Americans are atrocious, while all of the Islamic world is peaceful, gentle and reasonable. Does this pass for 9/11 humor on the Left or wherever it is you are?

It is probably hard for Muslims to burn Bibles as Bibles are illegal to own in Muslim nations. That is certainly true for Christians, anyway; it is illegal for them to own Bibles. I suppose it true for the general population. Wasn't there some mass Bible burning/Christian beating when Hamas took over Gaza? It can't be easy to find Bibles to desecrate if you are a Muslim. Been to the Christian bookstore in Mecca or even Kandahar lately? Even our troops stationed in Muslim nations are supposed to burn Bibles rather than leave them behind.

In America you can get a Koran from any Barnes & Noble or any other bookstore.

What, exactly, is your point?

No, members of the Religion of Peace would NEVER do anything like burn Bibles.

I am on an email list that sends out requests for prayer from people all over the world. They are sometimes things like "Our well ran dry. Please pray that God shows us where to dig the next one." Most of the time the prayers are about persecution. Most of those prayers are about the depredations of Muslims and burning Bibles are usually down the Christian's list well after church and house burnings or confiscation of such properties, beatings, raping or stealing and enslavement of wives and/or children, and assassinations or murders. Torture and amputations of Christians at the hands of Muslim neighbors and public officials are not as rare as you might think.

You can complain about the mode of reporting. Usually those reporting are not professionals, but are Western missionaries or members of relief organizations with access to computers making the requests for prayer. Why don't they tell the authorities? Often the authorities are involved or are complicit. The press does not report these stories. Why not? These things happen where is there is no free press.

Of course, Craig was only joking.

"Americans are atrocious, while all of the Islamic world is peaceful, gentle and reasonable."

Kate, it certainly makes discussion difficult when you toss out ridiculous straw men like that.

1. Americans are atrocious.
2. All of the Islamic world is peaceful, gentle, and reasonable.

I never said, nor do I think, either of those things.

Obviously, Muslim theocracies have real problems - by design - with religious tolerance - and tolerance for agnostics and atheists, as well. I haven't the slightest interest in defending that, making excuses for it, or minimizing it.

I'm afraid the situation is well summed-up right here:
http://blogs.ajc.com/mike-luckovich/2010/09/07/98-cartoon-mike-luckovich-on-religions/

Still, to be fair, my original request was this:
"show me an example of an American Muslim congregation - or even a European one - having a "burn-a-Bible day""

- which doesn't include Muslim theocracies.

Your response was interesting:
"It is probably hard for Muslims to burn Bibles as Bibles are illegal to own in Muslim nations."

But of course, the 1.3 million American Muslims (a conservative estimate) wouldn't have a problem getting them, and that fact actually applies to my original query.

Regarding Ponsonby's comment that Muslims "chop off heads and otherwise kill people." my response about the recent allegations against a dozen of our troops in Afghanistan was only to remind that fundamentalist Muslims hardly have any monopoly on violent, barbaric behavior. Perhaps I should have pointed to Abu Ghraib or the various American torture "black sites" scattered around the world, since those crimes are about as well-established as they could ever be, given the general level of secrecy (although I'd bet that many an NLT reader will have nothing but praise for those places and activities; I'd be happy to be wrong, though).

Yersinia's subsequent scolding of me for "believ[ing] the worst about [the US] troops, even before they've been given a fair trial" (and to clarify, I only believe that it's possible - I have no absolute certainty about it) is kind of rich, particularly if he's on board for extraordinary renditions, waterboarding that isn't torture when we do it, and, most importantly, preventing terrorist suspects from receiving any actual trials (rather than Gitmo tribunals). I suspect he is.

My primary point is that we shouldn't be doing a constant, self-defeating (not to mention juvenile) game of tit-for-tat on this, such as: "Well, hopelessly repressive regime X doesn't allow Bibles and is intolerant to Christians, so, why should we let THEM build an Islamic center, and why shouldn't we toss a few Korans on the fire?" It's a game with no winner that will take us right down to the lowest common denominator.

Such is the path that Redwald is suggesting when he says that we should "repay" "them" with "intolerance" and/or "hellfire" as that's "the only language they understand." (so says he)

Of course Saudi Arabia and Iran are awful theocracies that treat women and non-Muslims in horrible ways and exact horrific corporal and capital punishments on those that they find guilty (often in highly suspect ways) - but since when are they setting the standards for us? It's one thing to brush off international groups trying to set or improve standards for civil and human rights, it's another thing to willingly follow the losers to the bottom in those very realms.

I think American exceptionalism on these issues should entail our exceptional commitment to the ideal of religious tolerance, which I think has some connection to our history (America as a refuge for religious minorities and outcasts). Too often, though, exceptionalism is simply taken to mean that the ideals or rules don't apply to us.

Lastly, a reading recommendation. The history of this violent series of events surrounding an American place of worship is something to keep in mind as the fear-mongering about Muslims and mosques gets stoked to a fever pitch:
http://www.ushistory.org/tour/st-augustine.htm

[and Kate, btw, do you have a source for the claim that "Even our troops stationed in Muslim nations are supposed to burn Bibles rather than leave them behind." - Why not just have the troops pack them up and take them back with them, since, presumably, they hauled them in in the first place? Or does this refer to large quantities that were brought in? (for what purpose?)]

You're missing the point, Craig. Why is it that countries with Christian majorities tend to have democratic or republican forms of government, while majority-Muslim countries tend to be either "awful theocracies" or military dictatorships?

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