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Punjab Governor Salman Taseer assassinated in Islamabad - Comments

harropj's Avatar Comment 31 by harropj

Freedom of speech... no such thing in Islamic countries.

They deal with opposing opinions in the way they know best, extreme violence.

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 20:25:30 UTC | #573404

Neil5150's Avatar Comment 32 by Neil5150

We are at war with Islam!

When we think of religion, we think it's a method for communicating a moral code. With Christianity for the most part, this is the case; however morality is distinct from justice in the western world. Islam in the Middle east is not just a moral code, it is their justice system (as well as political in many cases). Religion in the western world has become a separate beast. With Islam: religion, justice, morality, patriotism, politics, are all one in the same.

Security/Justice is as fundamental to human survival as food and shelter. When we "attack" there system of justice, we also attack their religion, and morality.

The Koran is their Constitution, and Bill of rights; written by god and final. The western worlds justice system is not compatible with 1500 year old myths.

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 21:22:09 UTC | #573422

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 33 by Schrodinger's Cat

Sometimes I think the answer to the Fermi paradox must be that a religion similar to Islam develops in all civilizations.

In which case I'm not hopeful that we'll buck the trend.

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 21:22:16 UTC | #573423

Linda Ward's Avatar Comment 34 by Linda Ward

The primitive brain, savages, do not aspire to be humane.

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 21:24:54 UTC | #573424

turbozed's Avatar Comment 35 by turbozed

Reading this kind of stuff happen makes me want to vomit.

But it's not the immediate visceral reaction that's the worst part. It's the creeping lingering disgust, when I realize that most people approve or don't care about injustice like this, that's the most dirty feeling.

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 21:32:55 UTC | #573425

Don Quijote's Avatar Comment 36 by Don Quijote

Comment 12 by Stevehill :

Are we really supposed to believe that most Pakistanis want their lives ruled by ignorant, illiterate clerics? What will it take for the people to reclaim their own country - a country which upon its foundation in 1947, Jinnah declared would be secular and would respect all faiths?

Pakistan is close to being a broken, failed state. But I refuse to believe most of the people support these idiots: we need to find ways to support the moderates today, if we don't want a bigger problem tomorrow.

I agree Steve but how do moderate rational people speak out against this blind ignorance when their lives are in danger? When I was living and working in London, I worked with people from Pakistan and Iran. In private these people hated what was being done in the name of Islam, but amongst their families and community, they were afraid to voice their opinion for fear of reprisal. Which moderate polititian in Pakistan will feel safe today?

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 21:42:15 UTC | #573430

Der Papst's Avatar Comment 37 by Der Papst

So let’s see now. A leading Politician from “The Islamic State of Pakistan” has been assassinated by his own elite bodyguard for being brave enough to question a Law which has been used by Islamic clerics and Muslim leaders to incite Muslims to persecute minorities. The same Law which was drafted amongst other things to: defend the State Religion of Islam; to sustain Islamic hegemony; and cultivate the Islamic way of life as followed by the overwhelming majority of the 170 million populace who are followers of Islam.

Nope - can’t see any connection to the vested interests of the Religion of Peace there. I guess that’s why we probably won't hear too many Muslims, or their Clerics and leaders saying otherwise; (or any other Religious leaders come to that) because as Nietzsche said - “Faith means not wanting to know what is true.”

Yes folks Islam; a Religion and so much more..... Coming soon to State near you starting with "Sharia is us”..... that‘s if we give any further ground to Religion of any kind when it comes to influencing our legislature, running our countries, schools, or any other legitimate state concern.

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 21:58:50 UTC | #573433

Corylus's Avatar Comment 38 by Corylus

A brave man - I feel dreadfully for his family.

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 22:08:16 UTC | #573436

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 39 by Richard Dawkins

Orthodox political opinion would have it that the great majority of Muslims are good people, and there is just a small minority of extremists who give the religion a bad name. Poll evidence has long made me sceptical. Now – it is perhaps a minor point, but could it be telling? – Salman Taseer is murdered by one of his own bodyguard. If 'moderate' Muslims are the great majority that we are asked to credit, wouldn't you think it should have been easy enough to find enough 'moderate' Muslims, in the entire state of Pakistan, to form the bodyguard of a prominent politician? Are 'moderate' Muslims so thin on the ground?

Richard

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 22:23:12 UTC | #573445

ridelo's Avatar Comment 40 by ridelo

Comment 40 by Richard Dawkins :

If 'moderate' Muslims are the great majority that we are asked to credit, wouldn't you think it should have been easy enough to find enough 'moderate' Muslims, in the entire state of Pakistan, to form the bodyguard of a prominent politician? Are 'moderate' Muslims so thin on the ground?

Richard

Ouch! That hurts.

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 22:48:45 UTC | #573461

Notstrident's Avatar Comment 41 by Notstrident

Moderate Muslim? I trust no Muslim! Not a great-grandmother, not a 12-year-old girl born in Minneapolis, none!

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 22:51:03 UTC | #573463

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 42 by AtheistEgbert

Comment 40 by Richard Dawkins :

Orthodox political opinion would have it that the great majority of Muslims are good people, and there is just a small minority of extremists who give the religion a bad name. Poll evidence has long made me sceptical. Now – it is perhaps a minor point, but could it be telling? – Salman Taseer is murdered by one of his own bodyguard. If 'moderate' Muslims are the great majority that we are asked to credit, wouldn't you think it should have been easy enough to find enough 'moderate' Muslims, in the entire state of Pakistan, to form the bodyguard of a prominent politician? Are 'moderate' Muslims so thin on the ground?

Richard

I bet the reason why there are so few who volunteer, is that no one is much interested in getting a fatwa on their head.

I would guess that a large minority (or majority) of Muslims don't take their religion so seriously. But they're too scared to actually criticise or seek reform. Any criticism or progress appears to be stamped out by slaughter.

It looks like a lot of bravery and heroism is required in Islam to get it reformed and out of politics. It is essential that the use of violence and blasphemy/apostasy laws or any religious laws should cease to exist in a civilised modern and global world.

I don't see any compromise, and what concerns me is that liberal western politicians are so easy to compromise, almost to an apathetic degree.

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 23:10:05 UTC | #573474

ROYGES's Avatar Comment 43 by ROYGES

Comment 21 by SomersetJohn :

When will we stop giving these stone age savages the benefits of secular advancement.

By that I mean no more tax breaks, no more modern medicine, no more TV and radio time for the parasites who push their gods. Take their international bank accounts. Make it a criminal offense to do business with them. And I don't mean just the followers of the sheep shagging desert bandit. Do the same for the jobbing carpenter and his psychotic dad. We did it for the followers of the greek mob, those viking thugs, the feathered snake from South America and many others.

Lets start with no cash aid for any country which does not adhere to the UN declaration on human rights. Notice I say cash. Sending beds, tents, food and medicine to people who need them in an emergency is fine. That's direct aid to people who need it. I'm fine with that. But no more cash without strings.

Probably never, It seems to me that we are good at complaining and commenting about this things , but we are really doing nothing to try to change things even for ourselves

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 23:12:34 UTC | #573476

Zarniwoop's Avatar Comment 44 by Zarniwoop

Once again religion poisons everything. I was born in Pakistan. I've even travelled to Pakistan. The country has become a cesspit of intolerance. The rulers are corrupt feudal landlords. The populace is benighted. It wasn't this bad in the past. Pakistan used to be more tolerant. It's going down the same route as Afghanistan.

This is how it works:

The country has problems

People don't know what to do

They have a solution for the ills of the country: Islam

Country gets worst

They blame the fact that Islam is not strong enough

So they make Islam stronger by becoming more extreme

Country don't get better

Islam still not strong enough...ad infinitum

The solution is not Islam. Islam is the problem...

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 23:16:20 UTC | #573478

AlexP's Avatar Comment 45 by AlexP

Sometimes I think "moderate" often means little more than "would like to be as the extremists but are too afraid".

"Blasphemy".

To voice your doubts, to openly speak your disbelief, to question, to renounce and to critize. That is, it seems, blasphemy.

To murder in cold blood is not.

To murder a man who strived for equality and liberty, to murder those - no, not those who don't share your faith - those who share your faith but express tolerance towards those who don't.

That is not "blasphemy".

The "religion of peace" holds little forgiveness for those who respect other values beside it. And little cause to give those pause who murder in it's name.

I do not dread the fanatical murderers.

Though the danger they pose is real and the lifes they destroy, sadly, far too many, the fanatics are too few to cause more than random acts of terror - not that this would not be bad enough.

I dread those who say "Yes, murder is wrong, but..."

But.

How many moderates say or think a "but" in the case of this murder "...but blasphemy is worse" "...but I can understand the reasons" "...but he had it coming"

That, I dread.

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 23:21:45 UTC | #573481

Zarniwoop's Avatar Comment 46 by Zarniwoop

Richard,

The question is: what do we mean by 'moderate muslim'. I mean what is a moderate muslim?! What kind of a species is it? Does it even exist? If by moderate you mean the 'views' a muslim has (apostasy, blasphemy) then you'll find most muslims not to be moderate. Most will, in their heart of hearts, believe that an apostate has committed a bad deed or a blasphemer has done something bad. In fact, if I was to come out and tell everybody in my family, that I was an atheist - all hell would break loose. i'm an ex british Pakistani muslim and I live 'amongst them' (sounds like I'm living amongst aliens!). I know how they think. You cannot separate muslims into moderate and non-moderates. On what basis would you do it? What questions would you ask the guards vying for a job to protect the minister?! - what do you think of apostates? what do you think of blasphemers? The only solution is to have guards that are non-muslims! Not sure if that would work though.

Comment 40 by Richard Dawkins :

Orthodox political opinion would have it that the great majority of Muslims are good people, and there is just a small minority of extremists who give the religion a bad name. Poll evidence has long made me sceptical. Now – it is perhaps a minor point, but could it be telling? – Salman Taseer is murdered by one of his own bodyguard. If 'moderate' Muslims are the great majority that we are asked to credit, wouldn't you think it should have been easy enough to find enough 'moderate' Muslims, in the entire state of Pakistan, to form the bodyguard of a prominent politician? Are 'moderate' Muslims so thin on the ground?

Richard

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 23:38:30 UTC | #573487

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 47 by God fearing Atheist

Comment 40 by Richard Dawkins :

What if he was a terrorist agent? All it proves is that Pakistani security vetting is not water tight. A few years ago MI5 claimed many of applicants they rejected were nascent double agents. I hope they got 'em all.

Didn't the first lot of WikiLeaks claim the Pakistani security services were awash with Al-Qaeda double agents?

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 23:39:05 UTC | #573488

Zarniwoop's Avatar Comment 48 by Zarniwoop

The man who killed the Governor doesn't even have to be a terrorist agent. Or a terrorist. All he has to be is a man who in his heart of hearts believes that by criticising the blasphemy law, the minister has stepped beyond his bounds. We have a body guard. He prays 5 times a day. He has a beard. His a 'good' muslim. Nothing wrong there. No reason why he can't be a guard to a prominent politician in a Muslim country. He's not mad. He's not insane. He really believes. I mean he really really believes that Islam must be protected from blasphemers and that nobody should criticise the prophet and islam. Such a man, will kill...

Its as simple as that. Now it is possible others were involved, all I'm saying is that it is also perfectly possible that he believed himself to be a 'good' muslim who felt he was doing right. And that my friend, is the reason why - religion can make men do evil. Who was it that said that for a good man to do evil it takes religion? Case in point.

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 23:52:52 UTC | #573491

HughCaldwell's Avatar Comment 49 by HughCaldwell

Comment 33 by Neil5150 We are at war with Islam!

That's a rousing war cry. The fact, however, is that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is our staunch ally as, indeed, is the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 00:15:24 UTC | #573496

Zelig's Avatar Comment 50 by Zelig

Comment 44 by ROYGES :

It seems to me that we are good at complaining and commenting about this things , but we are really doing nothing to try to change things even for ourselves

My thoughts entirely. The hollowness of our values becomes ever more visible by the day, and, for the most part, consists entirely of platitudes and empty bombast.

"Things without remedy should be without regard" seems to be our unofficial credo.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 00:21:55 UTC | #573498

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 51 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 40 by Richard Dawkins

Orthodox political opinion would have it that the great majority of Muslims are good people, and there is just a small minority of extremists who give the religion a bad name.

One has to wonder how anyone who views the life of a lying, cheating, thieving, conniving, assassinating, beheading, sex crazed, 6th century megalomaniac who considered that anyone not following his lunacy is destined for a hell of boiling water.....as the shining example.....could possibly fall under the category 'moderate'.

Unless the category was 'moderately insane'.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 00:21:57 UTC | #573499

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 52 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 17 by HughCaldwell

Let us salute Muslims who oppose medieval barbarism.

I prefer not.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 00:35:47 UTC | #573503

quarecuss's Avatar Comment 53 by quarecuss

Comment 17 by HughCaldwell

Let us salute Muslims who oppose medieval barbarism.

Salute? Maybe ... as long as we also point out to them that the reason they have to oppose their fellow Muslims' barbarism, is that their own "moderate" Muslim faith is at root, barbaric, just like all the other barbaric faiths.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 00:45:35 UTC | #573504

mozzy_dee's Avatar Comment 54 by mozzy_dee

"Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for lost faith in ourselves." (Hoffer)

It's easy to frighten into submission poor uneducated people. These Pakistanis entire lives are run by a fairy tale where being dead brings reward and being alive means enduring suffering under some of the harshest conditions. This assassin found a way to make a name for himself --in the name of Islam -- to become a local hero and guarantee when he snuffs it he'll get this vast ethereal eternal reward. How else would anyone who knows no better react?

Many of the comments and solutions here are so repetitive as to force boredom and plowing through pat answers (e.g. ah 'the religion of peace' cliché).

Islam in Islamic states and kingdoms is not going to be reformed especially now that globalization is here to stay. The patent disparity between what we infidels have (medicine, clean water, vast wealth, technology, security, emergency services, secular federal protection) and what the average devout Pakistani has is what drives hatred because it confuses Muslims who believe they are superior by just being born Muslim.

To see (or hear) how the average wealthy Londoner or New Yorker lives must frighten and confuse people who are taught from birth that violence ends an uncomfortable thought or awkward discussion.

Read through the comments and try to step it up a bit; offer progressive logic and unique solutions rather than political clichés or confirmation that desperate Muslims don't act like well-to-do Westerners.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 00:50:18 UTC | #573505

kamel's Avatar Comment 55 by kamel

Voices of reason have no place in Islamic cultures it seems.Surely the killer will be considered by many (could be too many)Muslims as a saint.Islam is a brutal cult it's obvious mission is to corrupt humanity.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 01:00:18 UTC | #573510

WonderNerd's Avatar Comment 56 by WonderNerd

GOD DID IT!

Seriously though, this sucks... shit, country filled with Islamic Extremists, they have Nukes, and the U.S government is giving them money, which they give to the Taliban... fml man...

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 01:03:53 UTC | #573511

HughCaldwell's Avatar Comment 57 by HughCaldwell

Salute? Maybe ... as long as we also point out to them that the reason they have to oppose their fellow Muslims' barbarism, is that their own "moderate" Muslim faith is at root, barbaric, just like all the other barbaric faiths.Comment 54 by quaredunt

It's not a question of being moderate but of being liberal rather than primitively conservative. Religious faith is not barbaric, merely deluded.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 01:19:33 UTC | #573519

rrh1306's Avatar Comment 58 by rrh1306

I do. I've seen a good number of proud atheist on this site tell people who were in a fundamentalism Christian situation, in America, that they should play it cool and not be to open because of the fear of social retribution. But alot of those same people have no problem spiting on Muslims, who under the threat of death, let me repeat death, are scared to speak up and rather than risk there life in some kind of movement, would rather go home, drink a pint, and watch the football game and let all the crazies do there thing as he or she lives out there life on there own terms in private. I am not a middle east, or Islamic apologist by any means. But I have to say that I think we've got one too many arm chair revolutionaries when it comes to this subject.

Comment 53 by Ignorant Amos :

Comment 17 by HughCaldwell

Let us salute Muslims who oppose medieval barbarism.

I prefer not.

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 01:55:08 UTC | #573528

Fouad Boussetta's Avatar Comment 59 by Fouad Boussetta

These brainwashed jihadis remind me a lot of some characters in David Cronenberg's great (and sick and scary) films "Videodrome" and "Existenz".

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 01:56:58 UTC | #573529

rrh1306's Avatar Comment 60 by rrh1306

Atleast the jihadis aren't scanners.

Comment 60 by Fouad Boussetta :

These brainwashed jihadis remind me a lot of some characters in David Cronenberg's great (and sick and scary) films "Videodrome" and "Existenz".

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 02:06:28 UTC | #573531