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← Mainstream religious organisations applaud killing of Salman Taseer

Mainstream religious organisations applaud killing of Salman Taseer - Comments

The Truth, the light's Avatar Comment 1 by The Truth, the light

I think the key message of the whole incident is:

While terrorist acts are generally associated with an extremist fringe, the gunning down of Taseer appeared to have significant support that reached into the heart of society.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 09:46:19 UTC | #573974

Dirty Kuffar's Avatar Comment 2 by Dirty Kuffar

On Channel 4 news last night there was a very worrying piece on the assassination that featured a studio interview with a very brave Pakistani lady commentator, even the usually cringeworthy islamo-apologist news reader Jon Snow looked a bit put out by events, that revealed that there had been widespread support for the murder on twitter/facebook etc from English speaking Pakistani muslims from both Pakistan and Britain. Will this incident wake up the appeasment lobby to the islamist viper in our bosom ?

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 09:57:31 UTC | #573978

ScottB's Avatar Comment 3 by ScottB

Sometimes I wonder if I am dreaming. Can this really be the 21st century? Can this really be a post-enlightenment world that I'm in?

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 10:00:16 UTC | #573979

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 4 by Vorlund

This act was Monstrous!

There is really no hope for this insane medieval epistomology nor the iron age predecessors from which it was plagiarised.

Christopher Hitchens put the case eloquently

It (the Quran) makes immense claims for itself, invokes prostrate submission or "surrender" as a maxim to its adherents, and demands deference and respect from nonbelievers into the bargain (Or we'll kill you). There is nothing—absolutely nothing—in its teachings that can even begin to justify such arrogance and presumption.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 10:02:04 UTC | #573981

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 5 by Stafford Gordon

Religion poisons everything.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 10:08:31 UTC | #573983

keithapm's Avatar Comment 6 by keithapm

Qadri appeared in court, unrepentant, where waiting lawyers threw handfuls of rose petals over him and others in the crowd slapped his back and kissed his cheek as he was led in and out amid heavy security.

I wasn't feeling too well this morning. Now I feel worse.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 10:17:07 UTC | #573985

PhilipK's Avatar Comment 7 by PhilipK

Makes you wonder if it's even remotely possible for the war to end in some sort of reasonable way. How can you even begin to be rational with people like these? There's more social cohesion to be found within a mule than this Islamic BS.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 10:23:12 UTC | #573986

sunbeamforjeebus's Avatar Comment 8 by sunbeamforjeebus

Here in the U.K. and across the world the battle lines are being drawn.Can there be any doubt that we in the enlightened world will have to fight a world war with these people?

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 10:37:20 UTC | #573989

bujin's Avatar Comment 9 by bujin

Of course, we're deluding ourselves if we think this sort of news will make any difference. We're so keen in Britain to hang on to our proud heritage of "multiculturalism" that we prefer to bury our heads in the sand when something like this happens and pretend that it hasn't.

And those of us who point out such acts of barbarity and the reaction to it are either branded as "militant" or, worse, "racist".

I was discussing some other act of Islamic barbarity on another messageboard a couple of weeks ago. I can't remember which particular act it was as there are so many. I was accused of "only ever talking about the bad things and ignoring all the good that religion does", as if (a) these things didn't happen all that often, and (b) that the occasional good things that religion do make up for all the beatings, stonings, murders, assault (e.g. acid in the face), suicide bombings, and so on that goes on.

The self-delusion of some people makes me weep.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 10:58:33 UTC | #573992

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 10 by Richard Dawkins

There is almost nothing for which I would go to war. I would certainly have been a conscientious objector in the First World War, and just about every other war in history. With great reluctance, I think I would have fought in the Second World War. The Nazis overstepped a line such that reasonable people could regard the global catastrophe of world war as the lesser evil. Is militant Islam heading towards the same watershed? I fervently hope not.


Thu, 06 Jan 2011 11:09:25 UTC | #573995

Hendrix is my gOD's Avatar Comment 11 by Hendrix is my gOD

I wasn't feeling too well this morning. Now I feel worse.

You can say that again. This just may go pandemic.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 11:18:33 UTC | #573997

CarolineMary's Avatar Comment 12 by CarolineMary

Worse than that, it could go nuclear.

Reading Richard's comment 10 has just given me cause to fear that.

Do we really think that any militant islamists who got their hands on a nuke would desist from using it on "the infidels"? If they thought we deserved it?

Evin if there are moslems in this country too. Any that died in such a bombing would be considered martyrs and get their 72 virgins or whatever.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 11:28:32 UTC | #574001

michaelfaulkner101's Avatar Comment 13 by michaelfaulkner101

I think we are already at war with Islam. Consider for example to terrorist attacks on the US, before 9/11. The USS cole and the embassy bombing, if that had been carried out by a state actor, would there be any doubt that this would be a clear act of war?

Consider also the fact that terror bombing has widespread support in the Muslim world, and add to the fact that on nearly every question of ethical value, the West and Islam stand opposed on the answers.

This is very bad news, but not suprising news.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 11:31:31 UTC | #574002

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 14 by SaganTheCat

The question "where are the moderates..?" is no longer a rhetorical one.

there are two possible answers, either "cheering and throwing rose petals over the murderers" or "there's no such thing"

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 11:33:45 UTC | #574003

Ode2Hitch's Avatar Comment 15 by Ode2Hitch

I attempted to post a discussion here the other day which was rejected by the admins. Perhaps it was the tone of the piece - I was feeling extremely exasperated at the time of writing. In essence the discussion was an attempt to question what we are willing to do to combat the evils of superstition, irrationality and stupidity so prevelent in todays global community (which is what the world is now, like it or not).

By definition these people can not be reasoned with. People who do not accept reason as a basis for knowledge will never be swayed by persuasion or open to changing their absolutist standpoints regardless of the available evidence.

If we accept this, and we also accept that our desired outcome is the continued survival, and increased well being of all humans (and all other sentient/concious creatures), what are people willing to do to make this happen?

For fear that people infer from this question that I advocate the 'kill them all' option I will quash that now. I do not believe in any totalitarian doctrines (with the hitch on this and many other issues) or the forcing of beliefs upon anyone - the freedom of expression, thought and movement of the individual must be paramount

Call it the 'star Trek' future - No poverty, No suffering, everyone equal and all working together towards a common goal of increased wisdom, konwledge, experience and utility.

This is the goal I believe we all seek. So how much do we want it and believe it right? (If at all) and if so, what's next to do?

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 11:37:56 UTC | #574007

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Comment 16 by MarkOnTheRiver

Talking of "mainstream religious organisations", has there been any public condemnation of islam's latest outrage from the likes of; The Pope™, Archbishop of Canterbury or the Chief Rabbi? Only, I don't recall seeing any.

(If their eventual responses are anything like those given to the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, I'm not holding my breath.)

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 11:39:36 UTC | #574008

Eyerish's Avatar Comment 17 by Eyerish

What more can anyone really say about this??? I'm just lost for sensible words about this senseless killing. All this Politician did was stand up for what he believes - that is justice and equality despite the risks. A rare thing in the political world.

The reaction and adulation of his killer by the mainstream is a blight on the people of Pakistan and a blight on every religion as it is the mainstream that feeds and supports this delusion. I bet there are some nutbag Christians from the far right quietly applauding this killer as well.

After all Islam is the religion of peace - or should that be 'religion of people in pieces for speaking out'.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 11:41:09 UTC | #574010

AsylumWarden's Avatar Comment 18 by AsylumWarden

I think the worst thing about this is that groups like Al-Qaeda etc have for ages been described as extremist, not representing the thousands of ordinary, decent muslims out there. Yet now, this barbaric event has happened and the 'ordinary' population of Pakistan are applauding it.

This really is indicative of how militant Islam is shifting more and more towards mainstream Islam and every day it seems more and more like we need to stop treating Islam with kid gloves. But how? Is the only way to fight violence with violence? I sincerely hope not, but reasoning with them seems to be a lost cause.

Like others have said, worrying times.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 11:42:04 UTC | #574011

Capt. Bloodeye's Avatar Comment 19 by Capt. Bloodeye

I feel as though I am living in 'Planet of the Apes'.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 11:56:41 UTC | #574016

Peter Watkinson's Avatar Comment 20 by Peter Watkinson

There is also another challenge that Pakistan is going to have to face, namely, the one to its judicial system.

When the murderer of Salman Taseer is finally brought to trial, I cannot but wonder what will be on trial: the murderer or the system’s ability to uphold justice in the light of very probable religious intimidation to pervert its course.

If the murderer were to be found not guilty, doubtful, you may say, I don’t know, or guilty and then given a token sentence, we are one step closer to legitimising assassination as means of silencing opposition to religious fanaticism and to a total break down in the legal system.


Thu, 06 Jan 2011 12:03:50 UTC | #574019

AlexP's Avatar Comment 21 by AlexP

When I am discussing the necessity ( or lack thereof ) of religion with theists, they occasionally quote Dostoyevsky "without god, everything is permitted".

My response tends to be "but only with god, everything can be justified."

And it can, it seems. The cowardly murder of a man is cheered, the murderer showered with rose petals. No deed can be so abhorrent, so despicable, so wrong that it cannot be sanctioned even if god demands it.

Perhaps there are moderates in islam. And I am talking of moderates who think that faith does not justify murder, rather than "moderates" who think that, as justified as murder would be in a particular case, they don't feel like risking anything for it.

But true moderates, those that are capable and willing to see beyond the strict teachings of their faith, who allow for others to hold different views without automatically assuming they must be mistaken, if not outright evil... I think that it's these moderates who are misinterpreting, who are "abusing" islam. They refuse to surrender their conscience, their reason, their judgment to an authority, even one as daunting as their god. They refuse to submit. Because only in the refusal to utterly commit yourself to a specific belief, a single purpose, there can be moderation.

Without doubt, without the willingness to question your own convictions, there can be neither tolerance nor moderation. But is it even possible to question the quran, to doubt Allah and still be a "true" muslim?

I fear that those who, in their hearts, have begun to question the actions in the name of their faith - not because they differ from their own dogma, but because they think of them as wrong - will continue to cling to their religion, will continue to support it and speak out in its name. And thus cling to, support and speak out for those who have no doubt, who have no tolerance.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 12:05:27 UTC | #574020

Lapin Diabolique's Avatar Comment 22 by Lapin Diabolique

How overwhelmingly revolting and at the same time laughably absurd is this outburst of joy over the assassination of a man who opposed a law against insulting an imaginary dictator.

Sam Harris outdid himself when he described Islam as smallpox of the mind.

My heart grows heavy when I contemplate that we have to move into the already uncertain and perilous future together with hordes of these hysterical, violent barbarians.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 12:16:49 UTC | #574021

Stephen of Wimbledon's Avatar Comment 23 by Stephen of Wimbledon

In response to Comment 10.

Dear Professor,

As an ex-serviceman I obviously hold a different view.

I am a big supporter of the Ghandi way - protest and be silent. Even Winston Churchill said "Jaw-jaw is better than war-war."

But if my life has amounted to anything, so far, then it is to the realisation that one has to be ready to make the necessary sacrifices in order to deal with some people. Some people will not listen, will not discuss, will not compromise.

When this happens on both sides, conflict may prove endless. The Middle East is the most obvious, the most pressing, example.

Even though I consider myself approachable, flexible, compassionate and friendly there are things I won't compromise. Sooner or later we either draw a line in the sand, or give ourselves up to slavery.

In the very comfortable lives we live, in the 'West', it is asking a lot. But there are no holidays, no respite.

"Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won - you earn it, and win it, in every generation." Coretta Scott King

It took me a long time to realise that reason, enlightenment and peace are under constant threat - that when I left the Royal Air Force my struggle, in the political sense, had only just begun. But after Mr. Blair had been in power for a while I realised three things: 1. You are never too old to enter (re-enter?) the struggle. 2. "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." (Plato) 3. The sacrifice really is worth it.

This next comment is not aimed at you, dear Professor. You are clearly playing your part. What will it take to motivate and galvanise the average Westerner to a realisation of the danger that they are in, and that the time for passive observation is past?


Thu, 06 Jan 2011 12:24:59 UTC | #574022

biorays's Avatar Comment 24 by biorays

Comment 12 by CarolineMary :

Worse than that, it could go nuclear.

Reading Richard's comment 10 has just given me cause to fear that.

Do we really think that any militant islamists who got their hands on a nuke would desist from using it on "the infidels"? If they thought we deserved it?

Evin if there are moslems in this country too. Any that died in such a bombing would be considered martyrs and get their 72 virgins or whatever.

It always strikes me as incomprehensible that any man could consider 72 virgins a realistic reality as component to believe god exists- not to mention vastly more servants. Does such a man not question his own motives and aspirations - more still the motives of those teaching him such ideas?

a) How would any man herd 72 pussies (thank goodness atheists are grown ups) and expect them all to genuinely want him lest he considered himself a dictator over them and thus as lacking in any empathy for their wishes and their desires, unless as an absolute dictator?

b) How could this be equitable and equal for the 72 women (or post pubescent females) who had to submit to such an everlasting reality? And what of their concept of heaven? A 1 in 72 share in competition for a man?

c) What of the population explosion for each person afforded this situation? Does each son also get 72 virgins? Does this therefore mean a 72:1 birth rate of females to males to consistently make the reward workable?

d) Are humans really as fickle as the above indicates in allowing their minds to live for rewards that make no sense and cannot possibly be workable solutions to any possible life, less still an everlasting one.

e) What can such a god expect reasoning adults to respect in regards to such proposals? Its name???

f) Considering some humans reasonings as in the above, can any such god hold moral authority over well reasoned and sincerely sought humanitarian values and is it not therefore a gross evil to ever permit them to ever convict someone of blasphemy?

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 12:34:13 UTC | #574023

William33's Avatar Comment 25 by William33

It won't be long till this issue is sweeped under the carpet and Islamic and other religious apologists forget such an thing occured.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 12:45:00 UTC | #574024

Sample's Avatar Comment 26 by Sample

Our local paper is running "A blow to a liberal Pakistan" by Marvin Weinbaum and Waris Husain (Middle East Institute). At the end of the article it is noted that a few days before his death, Taseer tweeted, "Peace prosperity & happiness for new year...I'm full of optimism."


Thu, 06 Jan 2011 12:51:15 UTC | #574026

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 27 by Cartomancer

I am uncomfortable when people say "there aren't any moderates in islam" as a blanket statement. Clearly the mainstream of Pakistani islam is much less moderate in its views than we might previously have supposed, but that doesn't mean there aren't any moderates. Salman Taseer was a moderate, keen to reform the ugly blasphemy laws of his country. Nowhere in any of the reportage on this killing has it been claimed he was not a muslim - indeed, I sincerely doubt a non-muslim could achieve any important position in the Pakistani government. He might, secretly, have been an atheist or devoted to some religion other than islam, and only islamic for show, but that too is highly revealing. If him then how many others?

It is possible that Salman Taseer was very naive and did not appreciate the degree of religious bigotry and nastiness fermenting in Pakistan, but that seems highly unlikely in a 66 year old political veteran who had repeatedly achieved high office in the Pakistani government. It would be a much safer bet to assume that Taseer understood the psychological landscape of his country very well - better than most of us in fact. Assuming that he did, I think we can infer two things. One, that he was incredibly brave and principled - he must have known he was putting his neck on the line with this policy, yet he championed it anyway. Two, and perhaps most encouraging, that he clearly thought he had some chance of success. If he, with his knowledge of Pakistani society, felt that there were enough people who might support a reform of the blasphemy laws, such that campaigning for it wouldn't just be suicidal, clearly there is some room for hope.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 12:55:09 UTC | #574027

AsylumWarden's Avatar Comment 28 by AsylumWarden

Cartomancer, I don't think anyone would say "there aren't any moderates in Islam", more a worrying observation that militant Islam is becoming more and more the mainstream Islam and that those moderates are becoming fewer and farther between. And probably those that do exist, especially in a country like Pakistan are becoming more and more silenced by the fear of suffering a fate like Taseer.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 12:59:51 UTC | #574028

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 29 by SaganTheCat


I think the 72 virgins, or to use the correct term 72 "virgins" do shifts. There are only 72.

let's face it a man who's prepared to blow himself up on such a flimsy promise isn't going to be the sort to investigate his situation very closely.

by now they'll be working very hard indeed and martyrs are having to wait for decades, maybe centuries to be seen to. on the plus side, there's no shortage of rasins.

If I was Allah, that's how I'd run the show

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 13:08:07 UTC | #574034

PERSON's Avatar Comment 30 by PERSON

Comment 28 by AsylumWarden

I don't think anyone would say "there aren't any moderates in Islam"

This is pretty close to that:

Comment 14 by Daniel Clear

The question "where are the moderates..?" is no longer a rhetorical one.

Here's someone implying they don't exist:

Comment 2 by John Frum

Plenty of forum members here often speak kindly of these "moderate" Muslims, but I have yet to hear or see one. Perhaps they can shed some light on this?

An explicit suggestion they don't exist:

Comment 9 by Pilot22A

It's hard to be a moderate Muslim (what an oxymoron, or maybe just moron)

It's a concept-- a meme, if you like-- that comes up time and again, even though it tends to be alluded to because it's obviously highly unlikely.

true moderates, those that are capable and willing to see beyond the strict teachings of their faith, who allow for others to hold different views without automatically assuming they must be mistaken, if not outright evil... I think that it's these moderates who are misinterpreting, who are "abusing" islam.

They refuse to surrender ... They refuse to submit

I think this is wrong. If God is part of or exists solely in the human mind, how can submission to God necessarily be part of submission to authority? There are two approaches, the former usual quietism and the new actively anti-non Muslim thinking made famous by the 9/11 attack and popular by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the recent increased belligerence of Israel. There are likely other political factors. To pretend these haven't contributed to the dysfunction of contemporary Islam and say that it's an inherent and distinct property of the religion, which in reality is no better or worse than Christianity (Lord's Resistance Army) or Buddhism (Kamikaze) insofar as it affords arbitrary interpretation within the confines of popular sentiment.

It's amazing how many people get fished in by the idea that there is one definitive interpretation, that the true meaning of the texts of a religion are 1) available 2) in use 3) the "natural" tendency of all instances of the religion. It's magical thinking based on the notion of the Platonic ideal.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 13:25:17 UTC | #574036