This is digusting. Seriously.
An Afghan student and journalist has been sentenced to death .
And what did Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh do to deserve this punishment? He was, according to the BBC, “downloading material from the internet relating to the role of women in Islamic societies.”
This, according to the Afghan courts, is tantamount to blasphemy, which, naturally enough, is deserving of the death penalty.
77 Canadian lives*** (and thousands from other nations) have been lost during the war in Afghanistan, and for what? So that we could replace one batch of religious nutcases with another? ‘Enduring Freedom’, my ass. No party will get my vote in the next election unless it calls for a withdrawl from this mess.
Why must we keep humanity, which is capable of so much, captive in arms of religious myth? Wake up, folks. It’s the 21st century here. Religion is not harmless; it is a powerful weapon precisely because the vast, vast majority of the world’s inhabitants cannot see its inherent ridiculousness. People are dying today because of differing opinions about the invisible sky monster. As Sam Harris has put it, if people were killing over the relative superiority of Windows Vista vs. MacOS X, or Apples vs. Oranges, it would be no more ridiculous than the situation in which we find ourselves.
It’s all fun and games to laugh at the stupidity of creationists, or make light of the beliefs that keep certain people from eating certain meats, or from flicking a light switch on certain days of the week. While our collective intelligence may be insulted (and, in the case of the ridiculous notion of creationism/ID, collectively reduced) by these things, they, in and of themselves, do little harm.
But let us not forget that this sorry exhibition is what religion is really all about. When you believe, really truly believe, that the creator of the universe is insulted by certain web pages, and that the mere viewing of this material constitutes the highest form of insult to the diety, nothing can convince you otherwise. And until such time as we, as supposedly intelligent, secular countries are prepared to stop killing ourselves to defend this barbarism, we will never escape the claws of religion. Until we are able to say “religion is bunk, and here’s why”, we will never be truly free.
Religious moderates have no excuse. They facilitate this madness by asking; no, demanding that we give “respect” to their views on the creator of the universe. Enough is enough.
*** – As of yesterday, it’s now 78, and counting.