Two cases of blasphemy: Muslim boy cuts off own hand after a mistake, Indian comedian arrested for mocking guru

1. From the Express Tribune and International New York Times.  This story, from Pakistan is unbelievable:

A 15-year-old boy cut off his own hand believing he had committed blasphemy, only to be celebrated by his parents and neighbours for the act, police told AFP on Friday.

Local police chief Nausher Ahmed described how an imam told a gathering at a village mosque that those who love the Prophet (PBUH) Mohammad always say their prayers, then asked who among the crowd had stopped praying.

Mohammad Anwar, 15, raised his hand by mistake after apparently mishearing the question.

The crowd swiftly accused him of blasphemy so he went to his house and cut off the hand he had raised, put it on a plate, and presented it to the cleric, the police chief said.

. . . Ahmed said that he has seen a video in which the boy is greeted by villagers in the street as his parents proclaim their pride.

Can you imagine what it would take for a kid to cut off his own hand? But it’s clearly an effect of Western colonialism. Nothing to do with religion, so move along, folks. . .

2. . . . to India, where, according to the BBC, popular actor Kiku Sharda was arrested for making fun of even more popular guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a t.v. sketch. It’s a crime in India for “hurting religious sentiments,” and so Sharda was taken in (he’s out on bail now). And it’s not like there’s nothing to make fun of!:

The controversial 48-year-old chief of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect dresses up in colourful clothes and has a rock star image.

He has published half a dozen music videos and regularly performs at rock concerts, which are attended by tens of thousands of followers.

In his 2014 hit number Highway Love Charger, which has been viewed more than two million times on YouTube, the guru is seen singing and dancing in multi-coloured pyjamas and a top that is embellished with glittering sequins and stones.

He’s also played himself in two films – Messenger of God and Messenger of God 2 – where he performed daredevil stunts, riding bikes and taking on villains.

Here’s the guru himself in “Highway Love Charger”. Are you telling me this guy is above mockery?

And you might remember this:

In recent months, the Dera chief has been mired in controversy, with allegations that he forced 400 followers to undergo castrations so that they could get “closer to God” and is also accused of rape and murder – charges a spokesman for the sect has denied.

Sadly, Sharda has apologized abjectly for his action, saying it was an “unfortunate coincidence,” and that he was deliberately mocking the the guru. All of this, of course, will have a chilling effect on India’s artists willingness to criticize the powers that be, including the extreme Hinduphilic and repressive Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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Would you castrate yourself for this man?

 

27 Comments

  1. Paulo Augusto Franke
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Stupid comment of a stupid brain, on item 1.
    Western imperialist abuse and colonialism in the Islamic Middle East is obviously not directly related to the 15-year old cutting off his hand. Let these guys cut off their own hands as much as it pleases them. It is an internal issue. The US of A openly supports internal beheadings in Saudi Arabia. Cutting off heads is worse than cutting off hands and no one says a fucking word about it. This is not the issue, people in those countries have to handle them.
    The issue is that Western colonialism, abuse, intervention, looting and humiliation of the Midle East are the direct causes of Islamic attacks on Western soil.
    The message is loud, the message is clear, don’t run away or skirt around it:
    Hey you, West, get the fuck out of the Middle East, and get your bloody hands off that oil, now!
    It is your war and bombings, but MY dead.

    • Dave
      Posted January 15, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      “Hey you, West, get the fuck out of the Middle East, and get your bloody hands off that oil, now!”

      The “West” discovered the oil, invented the technology needed to extract and refine it, and pays the nations of the ME enormous sums of money to use that oil to support industries and technologies also developed in the West. If we didn’t buy their oil, the people of the ME would be nothing more than the impoverished flea-bitten nomadic goatherds that they were before we went there and made a futile attempt to civilise them. Come to think of it, the world would be a much safer and more peaceful place if that was the case. The sooner we exploit our own energy resources and develop technologies to render Middle Eastern oil obsolete, the better. Then the Arabs can be left alone to drink their beloved oil rather than using the proceeds of it to export terrorism to our streets.

      But I suspect I’m wasting my time explaining this to someone who thinks that a demented muslim chopping his own hand off is all the fault of the wicked West.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 16, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        The “West” discovered the oil, invented the technology needed to extract and refine it

        … except for the techniques and technologies that were invented in Azerbaijan in the 1800s.
        Just because companies like Hughes Tool Corporation (now Baker Hughes) and Halliburton have effective PR departments doesn’t change history.

    • Posted January 15, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Stylish.

      /@

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted January 15, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      “The issue is that Western colonialism, abuse, intervention, looting and humiliation of the Midle East are the direct causes of Islamic attacks on Western soil.”

      Much of Africa and some of Europe can say the same on Islamic empires. Which of course can crank the handle once again and blame it on the old greek and roman empires (of various religions). Who in turn will blame the Achaemenid empire of Zoroastrism and “Babylonism”. (I’ll keep the religion in this time, since Cyrus was seen as a holy messenger.) Et cetera.

      But as we go back, the empires (and migrations) emanate from western Asia. “They started it!”

    • Taz
      Posted January 15, 2016 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Cutting off heads is worse than cutting off hands and no one says a fucking word about it.

      Let me Google that for you.

      • Rick
        Posted January 15, 2016 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        That is great! I had never heard of LMGTFY before your post. I might have to get a sticker.

    • GBJames
      Posted January 16, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      “…no one says a fucking word about it…”

      That’s a mighty big rock you’re living under.

    • Jerry Tarone
      Posted January 16, 2016 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      “Cutting off heads is worse than cutting off hands and no one says a fucking word about it.”

      No one says a word? I’ve read plenty of people saying plenty about it. Perhaps your just not going to the right places. It was especially prevalent after Saudi Arabia was given the Chair of the UN Human Rights committee.

      Saudi Arabia has been exporting extremist Islam for some 50 years now in the form of funding madrassas and Imams that teach hatred for Jews, Israel, the West in general and the United States in particular.

  2. Heather Hastie
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    The case of the 15-year-old boy makes me so sad. A(nother) body, and perhaps a life, ruined by religion. I don’t know what opportunities or healthcare this kid has access to, but in India he potentially is now destined to a short, poverty-stricken, and lonely life, never able to reach his full potential.

    I’ve come across this guru before, including on WEIT. I’ve never understood how people can worship anybody or anything in such a mindless way, even when I was a devout Christian child. Perhaps that’s because I live in a country where something like that wasn’t my only hope (as per Jerry’s earlier posts today).

  3. MP
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Regarding case #2, the biggest irony in this debate is that Kiku was arrested under Indian penal code s 295A, which is a British legacy.

    Wikipedia to rescue for details

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_speech_laws_in_India#Section_295.28A.29

    The sad part is that Kiku ended up apologising for the skit
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/tv/tv-actor-kiku-sharda-arrested-for-hurting-religious-sentiments/story-R5L0x1xIfJ5bgsOHOVCRJK.html

  4. Carl Morano
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    The hand chopping incident so perfectly illustrates the reality of Marlon Brando’s APOCALYPSE NOW speech about chopping off the vaccinated arms to convey how an an enemy that cannot be swayed by science and reason cannot be easily defeated by a conventional army.

  5. Randy Schenck
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Actually the guy kind of sounds castrated.

    Yeah, that cutting off your hand. Just something a normal religious nut 15 year old would do. Darn those kids.

  6. Posted January 15, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I used to think that the Aron Ralston story was pretty extreme!

    • Mark R.
      Posted January 15, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      At least Ralston had a really good reason for what he did.

      And that scene in the movie was difficult to watch. Yowza.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 16, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      That was the guy who got trapped by a rock-fall in a canyon, and got out by cutting his own arm off.
      An attitude for survival.

      • Jerry Tarone
        Posted January 16, 2016 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        I wonder if this might have been a similar attitude for survival? Did the child cut off his hand because of religious conviction, because he was scared he would be murdered for blasphemy (possibly tortured first), or a combination of the two?

  7. Mark R.
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Shakespeare got it wrong. Religion is the green eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.

  8. rickflick
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    That amazing Singh! India has it’s own Donald Trump!

  9. Posted January 15, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Lev. 20:13 Or STFU.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Can you imagine what it would take for a kid to cut off his own hand?

    Reading Mark 9:43 or Matthew 5:40?

  11. Posted January 15, 2016 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    There is an element not fully recognized in the case of the young boy: mental competence.

    I have a hard time accepting that religion alone could drive a person to commit such an act. But when you mix a mind filled w/ psychopathic delusions w/ a wider religious cult, you get a very toxic brew that capable of complete insanity like this.

    • GBJames
      Posted January 16, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      There are many things without which this particular act would not have happened. The availability of knives was also a requirement. But religion was the motivating factor here, not knives. Mental instability surely was a factor, but like the knife, it was not the motivator. Dogma regarding blasphemy is responsible here.

  12. Mike
    Posted January 16, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Seems Hinduism has just as many deranged idiots as Islam.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 16, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      One for every (Hindu) god?

  13. zytigon
    Posted January 17, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Youtube video, “Jonathan Miller’s Rough History of Disbelief PART 2 of 3” on Timothy Havener channel looks (at 37 minutes in) at the 1697 anti blasphemy laws drawn up by the U.K. House of Commons which sentenced atheists to death.

    I was reminded of Jonathan Miller when I was reading ‘So anyway’, the autobiography of John Cleese. John was talking about the 1960s sketch show, “Beyond the Fringe” with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett, Jonathan Miller where Jonathan said he wasn’t really a Jew, just Jew-ish, which meant that he didn’t go the whole hog.

    • zytigon
      Posted January 17, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Youtube video, “Jonathan Miller on Evolution (Dick Cavett Show, 1986” on TakeChineseLessons channel. He gave quite a good summary in defence of the fact of evolution.


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