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← Mainstream religious organisations applaud killing of Salman Taseer

AlexP's Avatar Jump to 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