Monday, June 27, 2005

Imagine No Religion

From Dhimmi Watch:

( - A British lawmaker says reading excerpts from the Koran that advocate harsh treatment for Christians, Jews and unbelievers would violate a religious hatred bill currently before parliament.

"If this bill makes any sense at all, it must mean banning the reading, in public or private, of a great many passages of the Koran itself," Conservative MP Boris Johnson said.

And that, he added, was "absurd and paradoxical, given that the measure is intended to be a protection against Islamophobia."

The Racial and Religious Hatred Bill edged closer to becoming law Tuesday, after a House of Commons debate and second reading vote....

During the debate, Johnson read out various excerpts from the Koran regarding the treatment of non-Muslims, including sura 22:19, which read in translation: "As for the unbelievers, for them garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skins shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron rods."

Johnson said while the Koran was not "unique in its hostility to other creeds," he challenged a government minister to explain "why and how you think the repetition of those words in a public or a private place does not amount to an incitement to religious hatred of exactly the kind this bill is supposed to ban."

The proposed legislation, which has been introduced in a bid to protect Muslims, would apply to "words, behavior, written material, recordings or programs that are threatening, abusive or insulting [and] likely to stir up racial or religious hatred."

Verses from the Holy texts of other major religions, including the Judeo-Christian Bible and the Bhagavad Gita, would also violate the law, I would imagine.

Freedom of speech gives us the benefit of having our enemies tell us what they are thinking. That would be much more valuable than shutting them up, if we would only learn to listen.