The author has withheld its identity to protect itself and its family. Everything within this article is the express opinion of the individual writer and is protected under terms of free-speech in International Law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This article does not represent the views of everyone within the AR community or the organization body.
Tsk tsk tsk... This week, news came out that the Malaysian government plans to hunt down and punish Atheists who have left the Islamic faith in an attempt to enforce Shariah Law.
Not only is this law and tradition barbaric and inhumane, it forces and shoves Islam down the throats of any resistant human being. This despite claims that Islam does not force or compel people to accept the religion. I keep shaking my head every time people say these places are beautiful and peaceful places. then I personally hear from people from those countries, both minorities and the ruling majority, the true situation. Thus the bigger picture is gleaned and revealed.
The middle-east born cultures represented by the three great monotheisms of our time, quite different from an older monotheism called Zoroastrianism, have a mentality where they blame the existence of the congregations of others for the problems within their society, yet these cultures and its adherents themselves are the ones who love to marginalize, condemn, demonize and dehumanize any who disagree with them or refuse to follow their enforced lifestyle. This is mostly because "monotheism" is basically a tribalistic one-god/culture-on-top alone-or-perish hate based mentality. And if you try to fight back, they victim blame like their culture did nothing to harm. Death threats are common and they find it dutiful to do so.
I would strongly beg to disagree with these dutiful self-professed sons of Islam however. They need more secularism, liberalism and progressive views, as these are what keep such uncivilized attitudes in-check, not bronze-aged marginalizing ones. It should be noted that, when these rules were established, the world was a far different place. Humanity has moved out of these "dark ages" and embraced the age of reason and empathy - or have we?
The United Nations (UN), in 1966 (roughly half a century ago already), adopted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, expanding its prior statement to address the manifestation of religion or belief and is a milestone in the advancement of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR).
Article 18 of the Civil and Political Covenant is widely regarded as one of the most important—if not the most important—articles on freedom of religion or belief. It reads:
- Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
- No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
- Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
- The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.
Sadly, Malaysia sees itself as above such great historical human-made agreements and still imposes beliefs upon its individual citizens despite having reaffirmed its commitment against discrimination. For Malaysia, religion is not up for compromise or discussion and the dignity and humanity of apostates are non-existent, much to the dismay of other Muslim countries who have put their weight on the UDHR - making Malaysia look like the most backward of the entire bunch.
Written by Raja Petra Kamarudin, Malaysia today, March 18, 2009
Of the three (3) great monotheisms, Judaism has become more mellow due to age and the horrors of facing the same kind of condemnation, Christianity as well due to being Roman influenced (as Roman civilization was, before Christianity, secular, inclusive and open). Both these older ones have learned their lessons well through the ages and the constant criticisms from outside influence. Yet the core bigotry, prejudice and violence (both passive and aggressive) are still there and often times, surface.
The youngest of these, Islam, established some 600 years ago by a man who hid in a cave only to come out with claims of divine revelation, has yet to move forward and grow-up as a culture, which is why inquisition like mentality is still widely rampant, especially in governments that are Islam theocratic - like Malaysia.
As soon as the picture surfaced, hate and death threats arrived in droves. It was expected and it proves a point, Islam is not a religion of peace and it forces people to submit.
The more religious people tend to be, the more violent, and the less religious they are, the more peaceful. Who is to say that the violent commenters are not the most religious of the bunch?
Hate speech, threats of death and violence arrive as soon as Muslims realize the existence of apostates peacefully having fun together.
As soon as the picture surfaced, hate and death threats arrived in droves. It was expected and it proves a point, Islam is not a religion of peace and it forces people to submit. Death was highly directed to the founder of The Atheist Republic (AR), Armin Navabi, who is an Iranian former Muslim who left the faith when he became disillusioned. The core problem has been brought to the surface once more and we'll only get apologists justifying hate. But really, why defend hate or subscribe to it?
If we put human lives at the forefront of any argument, their well-being and happiness, if we be more empathetic rather than scriptural and religious, if we opt for unity and cooperation rather than division through belief, we'd have a far safer and more welcoming planet where everyone works together and loves one another. The Maxim "live and let live, so long as they harm not another nor rally to do harm", stands true still and is a far better way to view the world than the long wait for rapture and the destruction of those who won't bend the knee. Were people or governments mature enough we would have a far better planet.
Does your religion actively call on you to see yourself better than others solely by belief, scriptural or otherwise? Does your religion teach you that you're of a chosen people and others will be damned to oblivion or eternal suffering? Chances are, you're being led on. Leave it. It's simply not worth a dime and humanity doesn't need it.
More love! Not Hate!
As a humanist, I stand with the people of the Atheists Republic of Kuala Lumpur and their freedom from religious imposition!
Photo Credits: Best Current News