March 02, 2010
A happy, fluffy Islam edition.
Virginia Haussegger on beer, public whipping and the gentle kiss of Sharia.
Who gives the government the right to do moral policing and why should a personal sin be turned into a crime against the state?
An article by Taslima Nasrin “causes” rioting in India.
Shimoga and Hassan cities witnessed widespread violence on Monday following protests by Muslim organisations against the publication of an article in the Sunday magazine section of a Kannada daily. The article is a translation of an essay by Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen on wearing of the burka by Muslim women, and contains remarks that could be considered religiously insensitive and provocative. [...] Several persons were injured and there was large-scale destruction of property in different parts of the city. Police reports stated that at least 15 two-wheelers, three auto rickshaws and a large number of shops in the main market areas were set on fire. It is stated that three persons with bullet wounds were admitted to the McGann Hospital in a serious condition. A person manning a telephone booth on Nehru Road was seriously injured when a petrol bomb was thrown at him.
Readers may recall Ms Nasrin’s earlier, firsthand experience of Muhammadan umbrage when a book launch ended in the author being violently assaulted by Islamic lawmakers and members of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, whose piety entailed throwing chairs at a terrified woman. Hyderabad police subsequently filed a case against Nasreen for allegedly “creating religious tensions” and writing “provocative literature.”
And Bruce Bawer interviews Geert Wilders.
Thomas Mertens, a law professor at universities in Nijmegen and Leiden, argues that Wilders, by seeking so urgently to clarify for the general public the truth about Islam, is actually undermining the central precept that underlies the Dutch social contract which has been in place for centuries: namely, the agreement among members of different faith traditions to tolerate their theological differences – to close their eyes, as it were, to one another’s truth claims. What Mertens and others like him refuse to acknowledge is that the willingness of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Catholics, Calvinists, Lutherans, and others to agree to disagree about theological abstractions has no relevance whatsoever to the present situation, in which the Netherlands, and the West generally, are confronting a faith tradition for whose most committed adherents theological abstractions have calamitous real-world consequences.
As usual, feel free to add your own.