Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Persecution of Muslims by Muslims

The commitment in Muslim countries to religious freedom lags far behind that in western countries today. In some conversion from Islam is punishable by death. Even when they were defending Saudi Arabia from invasion, American soldiers were not allowed to openly display signs of adherence to Christianity or any other non Muslim faith.

Even in Turkey, which is still a secular republic, those who wish to do simple repairs on a church are discouraged with bureaucratic obstacles. In Pakistan and in Egypt, there is a serious problem with Christian girls being kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam.

Like Christianity, Islam has theological divisions. The most widely known of these is the division between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. More than a few times, religious divisions within the Islamic world have led to bloodshed. it has been a bitter complaint if Shiite Muslims that Sunni Islam is exclusive in the way that it wields its power over the Haj, the pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina that is expected of every Muslim. So oppressive is this monopoly that Shiites coming to Saudi Arabia have had their Korans taken away.

There have been suicide bombings in mosques by members of rival sects who believe them to be heretical. A Saudi citizen who converts from Sunni to Shia is liable to the death penalty for apostasy.

A critical approach to understanding the world is to approach it with eyes wide open. One should be guided by the past yet live in the present. There is an attitude that has manifested itself in the context of different theologies that all is permitted to save the eternal soul, that the worst atrocities can be justified by the "will of God".

In 1858, Edgardo Mortara , a Jewish child was kidnapped by the Papal police in Bologna, which was in the Papal States, which was at the time an autocratic theocracy. Despite the pleas of the world, he was taken by the Catholic church to be raised personally by Pope Pius the ninth as a Catholic because a maid had secretly baptised him.

The Huguenots are a few of many Christians persecuted by other Christians for their faith. The Catholic church did not engage them in dialogue. It slaughtered them by the thousands,

Martin Luther was in addition to being the founder of German protestantism an author of some of the vilest anti Jewish agitational literature, most famously, "The Jews and Their Lies"'
which I have quoted briefly below



"I had made up my mind to write no more either about the Jews or against them. But since I learned that these miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, that is, the Christians, I have published this little book, so that I might be found among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Jews who warned the Christians to be on their guard against them. I would not have believed that a Christian could be duped by the Jews into taking their exile and wretchedness upon himself. However, the devil is the god of the world, and wherever God's word is absent he has an easy task, not only with the weak but also with the strong. May God help us. Amen.

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He did not call them Abraham's children, but a "brood of vipers" [Matt. 3:7]. Oh, that was too insulting for the noble blood and race of Israel, and they declared, "He has a demon' [Matt 11:18]. Our Lord also calls them a "brood of vipers"; furthermore in John 8 [:39,44] he states: "If you were Abraham's children ye would do what Abraham did.... You are of your father the devil. It was intolerable to them to hear that they were not Abraham's but the devil's children, nor can they bear to hear this today."

Lest Luther's words be dismissed as the blindness of fis generation, it should be noted that Kristallnacht was dedicated by the Nazis to his memory.

It would be the height of folly to avert our eyes from the present day in which Islamic Jew hatred is the most visible. Jews and Christians who are being murdered and persecuted by them have a right and a duty to defend themselves by all means, including military ones.

It is worth noting however that the malignant concept that all is permissable against men for the sake of God is a double edged sword that has felled Muslims at the hand of other Muslims. Stuffing words into the mouth of a God who is silent is in our time the most popular sort of blasphemy.

The Ahmediya sect of Islam elicits fierce controversy among Muslims Across the Islamic world, in Indonesia, Pakistan and beyond, its followers have been murdered and its houses of worship destroyed. The Wikipedia article below summarises the human rights situation of Ahmediya in Islamic countries in part as follows. ThePersecution.org provides case specific information as well that might have been left out of the Wikipedea article.

Pakistan

"In Pakistan, parliament has declared Ahmadis to be non-Muslims. In 1974, the government of Pakistan amended its constitution to define a Muslim “as a person who believes in the finality of the Prophet Muhammad”.[36] Due to this strong clash of beliefs, Ahmadis have been the target of many attacks led by various religious groups.[50] As a result of the cultural implications of the laws and constitutional amendments regarding Ahmadis in Pakistan, persecution and hate-related incidents are constantly reported from different parts of the country. All religious seminaries and madrasahs in Pakistan, belonging to different sects of Islam have prescribed essential reading materials specifically targeted at refuting Ahmadiyya beliefs.[51] In a recent survey in Pakistan, pupils in private schools of Pakistan expressed their opinions on religious tolerance in the country. The figures assembled in the study reflect that even in the educated classes of Pakistan, Ahmadis are considered to be the least deserving minority in terms of equal opportunities and civil rights. In the same study, the teachers in these elite schools showed even lower amount of tolerance towards Ahmadis than their pupils.[52]"

Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, fundamentalist Islamic groups have demanded that Ahmadiyyas be declared “officially” as kafirs. Ahmadiyyas have become a persecuted group, targeted via protests and acts of violence. According to Amnesty International, followers have been subject to “house arrest”, and several have been killed. In late 2003, several large violent marches, lead by Moulana Moahmud Hossain Mumtazi, were directed to occupy an Ahmadiyya mosque. In 2004, all Ahmadiyya publications were banned.[53]

Indonesia

In 2008, many Muslims in Indonesia protested against the Ahmadiyya Movement. With violence and large demonstrations, these religious conservatives put pressure on the government to monitor, and harass the Ahmadiyya community in Indonesia.[citation needed] Many conservative Islamic groups called for an outright ban on Ahmadiyya.[citation needed] In June 2008, a law was passed to curtail “proselytizing” by Ahmadiyya members.[54] An Ahmadiyya mosque was burned.[55] Human rights groups objected to the restrictions on religious freedom.

It should be noted that the situation of Shiites living as a minority in countries with a Sunni majority has been marred by persecution and even suicide bombings. In Iran, mistreatment of ethnic minorities has been the dominant trend of which religious intolerance is in the case of Sunnis simply a subset.

The recurring theme of religious tolerance that comes up in discussions of Muslim behavior is not a theme unique to Western thinking. In ages past, it was the Muslim world that sheltered Christendom's refugees. It must be noted today that the self worship that dresses itself in the garb of Islamic piety has claimed a body count in the Islamic world that is quite high. The fight for religious tolerance in Muslim countries and now even in Europe is one that benefits members of all faiths. In the clash of political values that is occurring today, we must not be confused by the garb of the combatants. Political and religious freedom concerns everyone.


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The following videos deal with anti Ahmediya persecution and a suicide bombing of a Shiite mosque. In the latter is disturbing material Viewer discretion is advised.

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