Friday, 29 November 2013
Religious freedom banned in Saudi Arabia but focus is on Angola
A few days ago I noticed a couple of reports via Goggle News that Islam had been banned in Angola. A rather odd event I thought and when the Angolans denied it I took this at face value. After all there are always scare stories when religion is involved. I wish I'd kept the links now as the story is now in
the Guardian newspaper. Under a picture of "Palestinians burning an Angolan Flag" (surprised they had one to be honest) they report:
Further on in the paper they also report the growing imposition of Sharia Law on non-Muslims in Nigeria's northern states:
As a secularist and atheist I believe in the rights of everyone to hold their own beliefs or just as important none if that is their freely held choice. I oppose all and any attempts for others to impose their religious beliefs on others. If Muslims do not want to drink that's fine, but no one has the right to enforce their choices or as in this case kill people who choose to do so.
The Islamists of Boko Haram are part of a growing clerical-fascist movement within the Muslim world. However while they and others may be the focus of ire in the West, it's often ignored or deliberately overlooked that a lot of Muslim countries either ban or persecute members of religious minorities.
Iran target the Baha'i faith and imprison christian "apostates" who they accuse of leaving Islam. Pakistan has it's draconian blasphemy laws which are regularly abused to suppress both religious dissent and members of other faiths, especially Christians. In Egypt, Iraq and Syria Christians are persecuted by Islamists and treated very much as second class citizens.
I'm waiting to see in particular what the Wahhabi dominated Saudi regime will have to say about all this. Saudi Arabia offers no legal rights to members of other religions. People are not allowed to make any public displays of their alternative faiths. This a country with a religious police force, unbelievable but that is the case and you wouldn't want the Wahhabi Gestapo knocking on your door.
This a country where you can be arrested for wearing a Christian cross and distributing (that is even just selling) the Bible is prohibited. Don't even think about changing faith from Islam, the penalty of this barbaric state is death.
All this goes on while so called "progressives" bleat about "Islamophobia" but say not a word about the fate of Christians, Jews and others across the Muslim world.
The trick guys is to learn to respect each others rights to believe and express views without resorting to hate speech or violence. If you don't like a book or TV programme or someones opinions it's just tough.
Live with it!