Alert reader Sigmund has contributed a guest post showing the combination of malevolence and insanity that is “radical” Islam (though the form displayed below might not be seen as that radical). You won’t believe the weeping cleric in the video below, blubbering noisily as he calls for the death of an apostate.
Why freedom of expression for atheists is dangerous for all
The issue of free speech versus blasphemy is currently subject to much debate in the atheist community. While attempts by various UK student unions to restrict the free speech of atheist groups demands a serious response, the danger faced by those who question religion in the Western world is mild compared to that faced by individuals living under theocratic governments, and none more so than those living in majority Islamic regimes. The recent arrest of Indonesian atheist Alexander Aan and the nine-month jail sentence served by Palestinian atheist Walid Husayin—both for “insulting Islam”—happened in countries on the liberal end of the Islamic religious spectrum.
In the more conservative Islamic states, things are taken altogether more seriously. It is not even necessary to declare yourself an atheist to bring down the wrath of the righteous—merely posing questions about religion can be sufficient.
One such incident currently hitting the news involves Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgiri, who is a Muslim, but one who made the fatal mistake of not showing enough deference to his religion in some Twitter posts.
According to the Saudijeans website:
“In his tweets, Kashgari imagined a conversation with the Prophet in which he said they are equal, and that although he admires many of the Prophet’s characteristics there are also others that he disliked.”
Apparently the act of not treating Muhammad as the best of all possible men in every regard is quite enough to ignite the gunpowder of Islamist fury.
“Saudi users on Twitter erupted with outrage, posting nearly 30,000 tweets on the topic in less than 24 hours. Many people believed that he insulted the Prophet by addressing him and speaking about him like that. They accused Kashgari of blasphemy, atheism and apostasy. Many said he must be punished and some said he should be killed.”
Kashgari, who had by now probably figured out where this was (be)heading, immediately deleted the contentious tweets and issued an apology, describing his messages as “feelings I erred in describing and writing, and that I ask God for forgiveness, but they don’t really represent my belief in the Prophet.”
His apology, however, was not enough for the guardians of religion. Kashgari had offended God and Muhammad and so must pay the price—and the price of apostasy is death. Kashgiri is believed to have fled Saudi Arabia in fear of his life and the Saudi authorities are facing calls to arrest and extradite him to face trial.
Here’s the Saudi version of Glenn Beck, cleric Sheik Nasser Al Omar, pleading to the Saudi king for Kashgari’s execution— and helpfully explaining why such an action is necessary.
I’ve transcribed his words about Kashgari (I hope the YouTube translation is correct – if not please let me know the correct words in the comments) and his thoughts on how and why Muslims must deal with atheists.
“Lord forgive us for the deeds of the foolish ones among us.
Those who annoy Allah and His Messenger.
Allah has cursed them in this world and in the hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating punishment.”
[begins to weep]
“Forgive me, O brothers” [what about sisters?]
“I am not able to lecture you today.
How can I when Allah and His Prophet are being cursed publicly.”
[more floods of tears]
“I fear that a swift punishment will be sent upon us from the complacency we’re seeing in regards to the rights of God and His Prophet”
“And as Ibn Al-Arabi [12th century Andalusian muslim scholar] said when he was told:
“we should argue with atheists through intellectual debates”
He replied: “thats a cold reaction, that should be warmed up with the heat of the sword”
That’s what Ibn Al-Arabi said back then about those atheists.
Petitions should be sent to the king and the crown prince, to associations, to the Supreme Judicial Council of the Supreme Court,
before God sends down his punishment on us.
And that will guarantee you security.
If you perform your duty be assured that Allah will spare and protect you.
I plead to the king and crown prince, God bless them, that these people are taken to the Islamic courts for punishment that would implement the Islamic ruling.
And it’s known that cursing Allah and Muhammad is apostasy (Punishable by death)
As for what has been mentioned about his repentence, which was expressed in a cold manner, with COLD words!
That is of no use to him in our judiciary system.
What’s between him and God, we are not discussing that.
And the scholars have mentioned: whosoever curses God and His Prophet should be sentenced for Apostasy, Even if he repented. “
In other words, the Sheik is saying that Allah and Muhammad are so touchy that allowing atheists to say anything critical will result in divine retribution being meted out on the population at large. Freedom of expression for atheists can only result in an inevitable bout of mass destruction by a furious deity and his intern!
Any chance of sending Karen Armstrong over to convince him of the error of his ways?