Atheist Bloggers Arrested in Bangladesh

After weeks of rioting from Islamic fundamentalist fascists and counter-protests from supporters of freedom, the Bangladeshi government has arrested three atheist bloggers for daring to “hurt the religious feelings of the people” by, you know, expressing their beliefs.

Bangladesh police have arrested three atheist bloggers for allegedly defaming Islam and the Prophet Mohammed, police said Tuesday, amid calls from religious fundamentalists for an Internet crackdown.

The arrest of the three, who were paraded in handcuffs at a news conference, followed pressure from Islamists who have organised a march from all over the country to the capital to demand the death penalty for atheist bloggers.

“They have hurt the religious feelings of the people by writing against different religions and their prophets and founders including the Prophet Mohammed,” said deputy commissioner of Dhaka police, Molla Nazrul Islam.

Look, I’m not really in the mood for subtlety at the moment so let me just be blunt: Fuck your “religious feelings.” Fuck them with a chainsaw. Your “religious feelings” are no more important than my non-religious feelings, you fascist assholes.

And it gets worse:

Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan said the three arrested men were among 84 “atheist bloggers” named in a list handed over by an Islamist group to a government panel probing alleged blasphemy against Islam on the Internet.

So expect this fascist act to be only the beginning.

42 comments on this post.
  1. busterggi:

    All the Christofascists in the US will be sooooooooooooooo jealous!

  2. Synfandel:

    There’s another on the list of countries you really shouldn’t visit, Ed.

  3. sbh:

    These same rioters burned down several bookstores the other day, Allah knows why, the irony being their main wares were Islamic sacred books.

  4. ThorGoLucky:

    Islam is so pathetically weak that it can’t handle anyone else not falling for it.

  5. SallyStrange:

    Jebus. The situation really is going from bad to worse. I wish there were something I could do… all I can really think of it writing strongly-worded letters to John Kerry. Any suggestions?

  6. jagwired:

    Is there anything else the people in Bangladesh could protest right now? Maybe the exploitation of their labor force by fucking corrupt corporations?

  7. laurentweppe:

    Worst part: the biggest islamist party in Bengladesh earned less than 5% of the vote during the last elections: so they can’t even claim to have a large support among the population: this is undiluted Heckler’s veto, with a tiny minority saying “We will riot and burn and destroy and kill every one and everything we can everywhere we go until the state and the populace capitulate and become our playthings.“, and the authorities are caving in.

  8. No One:

    When the Shabat movement (secularish) protested they did so peacefully. When the shoe is on the other foot islamists burn property, and get themselves killed. They did this after the arrests of the 3 bloggers. The Shabat movement had called for the execution of previous islamic leaders that had condoned genocide and rape. So the islamists figured “We’d better do something about this”.

    Below are the 13 demands that the islamists have made. My favorite one is about the lighting of candles. I copy pastaed these from Taslima’s blog.

    1. Reinstatement of ‘Absolute trust and faith in Allah’ in the constitution of Bangladesh and abolishment of all laws which are in conflict with the values of the Quran and Sunnah

    2. Enactment of (anti-defamation) law at the parliament keeping death penalty as the highest form of punishment to prevent defamation of Allah, Muhammad (S.A.W) and Islam, and prevent spreading hate against Muslims (highest penalty prevalent for defamation is 10 years).

    3. Immediate end to the negative propaganda by all atheist bloggers in a leading role in the so called Shahbag movement who have defamed Allah, Mohammad (S.A.W), and Islam and their exemplary punishment.

    4. End to all alien cultural practices like immodesty, lewdness, misconduct, culture of free mixing of the sexes, candle lighting in the name of personal freedom and free speech.

    5. Abolishment of the anti-Islamic inheritance law and the ungodly education policy. Making Islamic education compulsory in all levels from primary to higher secondary.

    6. Declaration of Ahmadis as non-Muslims by the government and put a stop to their negative and conspirational activities.

    7. Stop instating more statues in the name of sculpture at road intersections and educational institutions to save Dhaka the city of mosques, from becoming the city of statues.

    8. Remove all the hassles and obstructions at Baitul Mokarram and all mosques in Bangladesh which prevent Musallis from offering prayer. Also stop creating obstruction for people to attend religious sermons and other religious gatherings.

    9. Stop the spread of Islamophobia among the youth through depiction of negative characters on TV plays & movies in religious attire and painting negative stereotypes of the beard, cap and Islamic practices on various media.

    10. Stop anti-Islamic activities at Chittagong propagated by several NGO’s and Christian missionaries under guise of religious conversion.

    11. End to the massacre, indiscriminate firing and attacks on the prophet loving Muslim scholars, madrassah students and the general public.

    12. End to all threats against Islamic scholars, madrassah students and Imams and Muslim clerics of mosques throughout the country.

    13 Immediate and unconditional release of all detained Islamic scholars, madrassah students and members of the general public and withdrawal of all false cases filed against them. Compensation to families of all injured and deceased and exemplary punishment to all those responsible.

  9. laurentweppe:

    The Shabat movement had called for the execution of previous islamic leaders that had condoned genocide and rape

    To add details for those who do not follow: the main islamist party was opposed to Bangladesh’s independance and tried to stop it by, slaughtering minorities and practicing rape on an industrial scale. And, in 2010, some of the people responsible, including several islamist higher-ups started to be prosecuted for the war-crimes commited during the independance war. (30 years after the deed, better late than never, but still).

    THIS is indeed the real reason of the violence happening right now: the atheists bloggers being merely a pretense because the islamists leaders know that being upfront and saying “We refuse to be punished for the hundreds of thousands of rape we abetted or else we’ll start burning and plundering and killing again” is not an option: better pretending that it is all about “religious feelings” than aknowledging that it is about war criminals threatening to drag as many inocents in their fall as possible.

  10. slc1:

    Islam, the religion of peace. Actually, pieces.

  11. bmiller:

    And I thought the various demands of Islamists for repression and violence are all mythical propaganda?

  12. raven:

    Allah has the same problem as the xian god.

    While both are claimed to be all powerful, they never actually do anything.

    It’s almost like…they can’t do anything. Because they don’t exist.

    If Allah doesn’t like atheists and atheist bloggers, it should be up to him to deal with them.

  13. Marcus Ranum:

    Allah has the same problem as the xian god.

    Allah is the xian god, supposedly. Puny god. But then, all gods are. Unless you worship a supermassive black hole, like I do.

  14. iangould:

    It’s really almost admirable how anti-Muslim bigots likeSLC1 can ignore the fact that the people demonstrating for freedom of speech and freedom of religion are also Muslims.

  15. iangould:

    “And I thought the various demands of Islamists for repression and violence are all mythical propaganda?”

    Of course they’re not.

    The myth is that the represent the majority of opinion in the Muslim world.

    Millions of Pakistanis just risked their lives to vote in democratic elections despite Taliban terrorist attacks.

    What have you done lately?

  16. Modusoperandi:

    No One “6. Declaration of Ahmadis as non-Muslims by the government and put a stop to their negative and conspirational activities.”
    The only thing extremists hate more than people who are too different from them is people who are too similar.
     
    “Below are the 13 demands that the islamists have made…9. Stop the spread of Islamophobia among the youth through depiction of negative characters on TV plays & movies in religious attire and painting negative stereotypes of the beard, cap and Islamic practices on various media.”
    We have no need for satire when depictions of the real thing (like, say, a simple list of 13 demands) will do the work for us.

  17. laurentweppe:

    “And I thought the various demands of Islamists for repression and violence are all mythical propaganda?”
    Of course they’re not.
    The myth is that the represent the majority of opinion in the Muslim world

    And because it needs to be said once more:

    Number of people who voted during the last Bangladeshi national election: 69,2 million, 90% of which are Muslims
    Number of people who voted for the islamists during the last Bangladeshi national election: 3,2 million

    A tiny minority of bullies is trying to impose its will on the rest of the population, and some Westerners, pretending to be oh so much more enlightened than the rest are helping the bullies by pretending that they are the mainstream.

    ***

    What have you done lately?

    Personally, I watched drunken homophobes ranting bellow my windows and resisted the urge to throw my desk at them.

  18. timberwoof:

    “4. End to all alien cultural practices like immodesty, lewdness, misconduct, culture of free mixing of the sexes, candle lighting in the name of personal freedom and free speech.”

    I wonder how that groups. Like this?

    4. End to all alien cultural practices like { immodesty, | lewdness, | misconduct, | culture of free mixing of the sexes, | candle lighting in the name of personal freedom | and free speech.}

    Or is “candle lighting in the name of personal freedom and free speech” one of the items to be banned?

    Either way, it would make a dandy YouTube video.

    And “misconduct” is an alien cultural practice? These guys are seriously weird. (I’m trying to be polite.)

  19. No One:

    Technically one could say that islam is an alien cultural practice. Particularly the madrass fueled version.

  20. bad Jim:

    Would their demands mean they couldn’t allow their citizens to travel outside the country, where other norms prevail?

  21. SallyStrange:

    Talking about Bangladesh would be ever so much more helpful than talking about Islam without talking about Bangladesh. I mean, Ireland’s problem with abortion and women’s rights is directly related to Catholicism, but nobody assumes that it’s a 100% Catholic thing, because obviously Catholicism plays out differently in Ireland than in, say, Argentina or Montreal.

  22. martinc:

    laurentweppe pointed out @ 17:

    Number of people who voted during the last Bangladeshi national election: 69,2 million, 90% of which are Muslims
    Number of people who voted for the islamists during the last Bangladeshi national election: 3,2 million

    So basically 90% of the country are one religion, but live fairly secular lives. However about 5% of the country are extremist fundamentalists of that religion, and they:
    – claim to speak for all the people
    – demand special religious privileges they’d never countenance for other religions
    – insist that the nation itself is permanently attached to their religion
    – claim that any criticism of their religion should constitute a crime
    – insist that their religious leaders be considered above the law
    – clamor for legal changes that will enforce their religion on the whole population.

    Remind me again, this is a foreign nation we’re talking about, right?

  23. steffp:

    To understand the ongoing conflict one has to go back a bit in time.

    (1) 1949 – partition of British India: An unparalleled “ethnic cleansing” along religious lines resulted in the creation of a predominantly Hindu state, India, and a Muslim state, Pakistan, situated East and West from India. Millions of deaths, tens of millions of refugees. Most refugees went to West Pakistan, imposing an Islamist state there, and applying its (Saudi inspired) legal norms, Sharia and all, to all, of Pakistan, Politically a military dictatorship, Pakistan was dominated by the west Pakistan parties, although the majority of the population lived in the East, and was less prone to radicalization.

    (2) In 1970, the first democratic elections in Pakistan (East & West) resulted in a majority for moderate, more secular parties of East Pakistan origin. The ruling military did not accept the results, which ultimately led to calls for independence of East Pakistan. In March 1971, the Pakistan army staged military action against the independence movement, which resulted in one of the bloodiest wars in the region.
    This civil war resulted in hundreds of thousands (some say millions) of deaths – often genocidally directed at ethnic Hindu communities – ten million refugees, thirty million displaced people, and most atrocious, the organized raping of 200,000 to 400,000 women and children. In this conflict the locally rather unimportant Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami, which still exists, formed counter-independence militias, namely Razakars, Al-Badr and Al-Shams, who actively committed the above mentioned atrocities. In the end, the West Pakistan side was defeated, after India intervened. Bangladesh got its independence. One of the more forgotten conflicts of the 20th century.

    (3) It took Bangladesh almost 40 years to attempt criminal investigation of the unspeakable atrocities. It may sound strange, regarding hundreds of thousands of raped children and women from 8 to 78, but the first forming of a fact-finding body was in 2008, after a landslide victory of the Awami league. According to the Official Results, Bangladesh Awami League won 230 out of 299 constituencies. That’s a pretty solid majority.
    Which, for me. makes #6 of the list the most ridiculous of all:
    6. Declaration of Ahmadis as non-Muslims by the government and put a stop to their negative and conspirational activities.
    A three per cent party demands that a parliamentary 3/4 majority government be outlawed and go home. You really have to be a strong believer to think that is a reasonable demand. Well, Allah helping.

    (4) All Bangladeshi defendants in the war crime cases (12) are connected to Jamaat-e-Islami and its fundi ally, BNP, Three of them were given the death penalty, among others guilty of murder, genocide, rape and religious persecution. Others await conviction.

    (5) The accused bloggers merely express mainstream opinions – the ruling party is secular, and social democratic, and committed to progress, and has a solid majority. So is Bangladesh’s constitution. Bengal is a country populated by Muslims, not a Muslim Sharia country – like, say, Pakistan.
    It’s disgusting to see convicted rapists with blood-stained boots organize violent rallies to protect a religious figure dead for 1,400 years. Pure deception.

  24. laurentweppe:

    All Bangladeshi defendants in the war crime cases (12) are connected to Jamaat-e-Islami and its fundi ally, BNP

    It’s the other way around: All Bangladeshi defendants in the war crime cases (12) are connected to the BNP and its fundi ally, Jamaat-e-Islami.

    Anyway, one thing which always strikes me when it comes to this part of Bangladesh’s history is how similar it is to the collapse of Yougoslavia and the wars which followed, especially Bosnia:
    • A country fragments when a dictatorship loses its grip.
    • The pro-dictatorship faction tries to retain its power by commiting ethnic cleansing, rapes, and all other atrocities imaginable with the avowed goal to bully the populace into submission
    • The pro-dictatorship faction makes use of extraordinary vicious fundamentalists (muslim fundies in Bangladesh, christian fundies in Bosnia)
    • Once the pro-dictatorship faction is beaten, any attempt to put its war criminals before a judge is met with outrage and threats by their remaining supporters.

    Also, when it comes to uncanny similarities, you get the “center-right” political party cynically allying itself with fascists in order to increase its score during elections.

  25. steffp:

    @ 24
    You’re right on all counts, especially the Bosnia analogy.

  26. matty1:

    @6

    Is there anything else the people in Bangladesh could protest right now? Maybe the exploitation of their labor force by fucking corrupt corporations?

    In fairness to the people of Bangladesh there are fairly large protests and strikes over low wages and dangerous working conditions.

    Hundreds of factories which form the hub of Bangladesh’s garment industry are to close indefinitely after worker unrest sparked by the death of more than 1,100 colleagues

    A little more digging reveals that around 80% of workers in the Aishula district seem to be involved (see above link). About 500,000 people work in garment factories in the area (BBC News June 21st 2012, link omitted to avoid filter). That makes 400,000 people protesting over ‘exploitation of their labor force by fucking corrupt corporations’.

    Anyone know how this compares to the numbers involved in pro-Islamist protests? I tried to find a figure but the nearest I can get is the results of the 2008 election and I’m wary of assuming all Jamaat-e-Islami voters are on the streets for the party.

  27. laurentweppe:

    The main islamist protest in the capital drew 150-200.000 people summoned from all over the country.

    Now keep in mind that there were at the same time other protests, as big in size, of people who thought that the sentences given to the war criminals (including the assistant secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami who got prison for life) were too lenient.

  28. Taz:

    A tiny minority of bullies is trying to impose its will on the rest of the population

    They seem to be having some success.

  29. iangould:

    “They seem to be having some success.”

    True but don’t worry too much. I doubt they’ll get control of the Senate in 2014.

  30. iangould:

    Meanwhile SLC1 cries bitter tears of regret that it was only one boat.

    “A boat carrying about 100 Rohingya Muslims capsized off western Myanmar and many were feared drowned at the beginning of a mass evacuation from low-lying regions ahead of a powerful storm, a United Nations official said on Tuesday.

    The tropical depression, likely to strengthen into Cyclone Mahasen this week, threatens areas of Myanmar where about 140,000 victims of ethnic and religious unrest are living in camps. The United Nations warned last week there could be a humanitarian catastrophe if people were not evacuated.

    The boat struck rocks off Pauktaw in Rakhine State and sank, said Barbara Manzi, head of the Myanmar office of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

    A military intelligence officer told Reuters at least 50 people drowned when the boat went down at around midnight on Monday. It was one of six leaving Pauktaw, the official said, declining to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to media.

    The evacuation from Pauktaw was part of a government evacuation plan, said Kirsten Mildren, a spokeswoman for OCHA in Bangkok. She said she had heard five boats had set off but accounts were confused. She understood 42 people survived and eight bodies had been found.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/14/us-myanmar-storm-boat-idUSBRE94D04P20130514

  31. Taz:

    They seem to be having some success.

    True but don’t worry too much. I doubt they’ll get control of the Senate in 2014.

    I’m sure your humor will be a comfort to the bloggers facing ten years in prison. As long as people are being arrested, your assurance that it’s “a tiny minority” rings hollow.

  32. iangould:

    I’m sure Bradley Manning has a few thoughts on the matter too.

  33. bmiller:

    The sad thing is what closing these plants will do to the workforce. because we have to talk about another GOD, another religion here: MAMMON and his voracious demand for ever lower wages, ever worse working conditions. If the garment industry is vigorously regulated in Bangladesh, Wal mart and their ilk will just move the factories to Burma or other states where the population is sufficient cowed and unions adequatelyu suppressed. Hopefully not, but MAMMON is a powerful god, and complain as we might about Islam and chrisitan fundamentalism, they don’t have nearly the power of Wall Street and London and Brussels and the corrupt politicians who are Mammon’s priesthood. Heck, as consumers, we worship at Mammon’s temple, too. Look how LOW those prices are at Wal Mart! $79.95 VCRs, made in plants where children work 60 hour days! LOL.

    As for my perhaps poorly chosen words w/r/t islamism…keep in mind this was a response to Marcus’ comment on another thread which APPEARS (rather blatantly) to claim that criticism of the crimes of Islam is based solely on propaganda. I reject this argument.Plus, sadly enough, one can find polls in a majority of Islamic countries, especially Arab states, but even supposedley moderate places like Indonesia, in which clear majorities of the population do indeed call for death to apostates and Shariah law. of course, moderates exist in many countries, including Bangladesh. But to claim that this moderation is the “true” face of a religion that is at least as if not more totalitarian than Christianity is problematical.

  34. steffp:

    @33 bmiller
    Most consumers don’t worship at all, especially not one of the seven princes of hell. They try to make sense of their empty lives with cheap Asia made stuff, instead of doing something really fulfilling. Don’t exaggerate: Capitalism is not a religion, it’s an economy, although with an inverted POV.

    As for your remarks on Islam… Only 19.9% of Muslims live in the Middle East and North Africa. Another 15% live in sub-saharan Africa, and 62.1% live in South and South East Asia. Look up the list of counties where apostasy is a criminal offense (15), or a capital offense (9). You end up with the usual failed states: Iran, Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Yemen, Mauritania. Plus the oil-rich Islamist heartlands of the Arabian Peninsula.
    Now check the Muslim populace of these states – it’s 411 millions – a quarter of the world-wide Muslim population. 75% of all Muslims live in more or less secular countries, where killing an apostate is a crime. But of course, every tiny but violent 3% party, if islamistic, has the full attention of the media, while peaceful yet much bigger demonstrations for better working conditions are only mentioned in special publications.
    I’d really like to know what kind of a poll in Indonesia resulted in a majority for killing apostates. Indonesia has 6 state religions… yet Blasphemy laws of Irish dimensions, agreed.

  35. bmiller:

    “Most consumers don’t worship at all, especially not one of the seven princes of hell. They try to make sense of their empty lives with cheap Asia made stuff, instead of doing something really fulfilling. Don’t exaggerate: Capitalism is not a religion, it’s an economy, although with an inverted POV. ”

    Have you listened to the babblings about “The American way of Life is not negotiable” Of course I am speaking rhetorically/hyperbolically, but Americans certainly DO worship FREEDOM. The FREE MARKET SYSTEM. THE BIZNESS OF AMERICA IZ BIZNESS. We actually had a lady come to one of our local government planning commission meetings muttering darkly about how bicycle lanes and sidewalks are going to interfere with her God-given right to drive her huge SUV to WalMart to buy more cheap shit (cue Geroge Carlin).

    Even if “consumers” are not “worshipping “capitalism”, our masters certainly do.

  36. steffp:

    Oh, sorry for having an un-American global perspective. Like let’s say 6.5 billion other people.
    From what I hear about your living conditions, I’m glad to live in Asia, not the US.

  37. bmiller:

    Re: Moderate Islam. Certainly. But you know what, our bestest friends in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, are steadily working to change all that. There are now religious killings in Indonesia. Look at Boka Haram in Nigeria. The latter makes al Qaeda look moderate.

    As bensix points out:

    (Some) Governments have not executed religious dissidents in some time – it would too bad for PR – but vigilantes among their populations are happy to. Last year alleged blasphemers were murdered in Pakistan; attacked by mobs in Indonesia and stoned in the Maldives. Just last week, in an event that was extreme even by the standards of the region, 150 houses and shops in Christians in Lahore were burnt to cinders after some from the community was charged with using blasphemous language. The nation’s governors, meanwhile, are occupied with the blasphemy case that has been filed against its US ambassador. She faces capital punishment, ironically, for suggesting that blaspheming does not call for execution.

    The victims of this supremacist censoriousness have not merely been the apostates and blasphemers themselves but all those believers who have been sheltered from the scepticism that might have inspired their doubts. The intolerance of its internal critics have protected the religion from reform. Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, a Muslim opponent of sharia law, was executed in Sudan in 1985. Turan Dursun, a Turkish atheist and critic of Islam, was shot in Istanbul in 1990. Farag Foda, a secular academic in Egypt, was gunned down in 1992. Salman Taseer and Sahbaz Bhatti, Pakistani politicians, criticised their nation’s blasphemy laws and were swiftly assassinated. Thus has Islamic literalism been defended not been words and thoughts but fists and weapons….

    In Indonesia, meanwhile, believers hoped to celebrate with an open-air service. Other locals had different ideas. “More than 200 Indonesian Muslims,” we’re told, “Threw rotten eggs at Christians.” Rotten eggs sound disgusting, and by God they are, but they are less repugnant than the form of projectiles that a mob of 600 fanatics hurled at an Indonesian church earlier in the year: they chose bags of urine. Perhaps these are different people or perhaps they thought that they would cut their victims some slack over Christmas.

    Note also that Malaysia makes apostasy a crime, as does Indonesia.

    Note that many of these horrific cases are NOT in the Arab world. Also PLEASE note that I am not saying, in any way, that ALL MUSLIMS are evil, that there is no such thing as a moderate muslim, etc. etc. etc. I acknowledge fully that American actions and the histroy of awful European colonialism lead to (righteouss and understandable) rage, etc. etc. But the reality is “apostates” ARE being harrassed and killed throughout the Muslim world. We should certainly celebrate the majority (although it not as big a majority, or even a majority at all, in many countries, as we might hope) of moderates who oppose this kind of stuff. But the docttrines and culture of Islam IS a problem, as is the history and doctrines of evangelical Christianity and roman catholicism (c.f. Uganda RIGHT NOW).

  38. steffp:

    Oh, a copy&paste job.
    I don’t know bensix, but it’s all pretty flawed, and it reeks of moving the goalposts, bmiller.
    I mean, I live next door to Malaysia and Indonesia, and lived in Pakistan for a while. So I’m close.
    1) Of course there is religiously motivated violence in Indonesia – about as many as in the US. Remember the attack on a Sikh temple? Do you really believe that Xian and Muslim zeal are different?
    2) Stoning apostates in the Maldives? Rubbish. They’re strange, intolerant, and 400,000 people. My argument is that more than one billion Muslims live in countries who do not tolerate the killing of apostates, who call it murder and punish it as murder.
    3) Apostasy is a crime under state law in five of 13 provinces of Malaysia. Fine, imprisonment, flogging. Horrible, but not what you say.
    4) Indonesia is a secular country with 6 state religions, and no laws against apostasy. Do your homework.
    5) I gave a list of the failed states that punish apostasy, and I stated that they harbor only a quarter of the Muslim population. The rest lives elsewhere. All your arguments center on mob violence, none describes government action.
    6) You may have a point that there is more mob action in failed states with weak or nonexistent governments.
    But, you’re from the US, the motherland of vigilantes. All these romantic films where criminals are dragged from the prison by a mob and hanged on the next tree. You should know such behavior, and from your history, you should know what has to be done against it.. So don’t be hypocritical. Mobs aren’t confined to Islam. They are part of your very own history, less than 200 years ago.

  39. bmiller:

    Of course there is religiously motivated violence in Indonesia – about as many as in the US. Remember the attack on a Sikh temple? Do you really believe that Xian and Muslim zeal are different?

    No. I do not. I despise fundamentalist Christianity also. I also despise nationalism, so I look askance at American actions and policies which cause far more death and destruction than the worst imman, so…

    Are you really claiming the amount of religious violence is the same in the US and Indonesia? Consistantly? Color me skeptical.

    “Apostasy is a crime under state law in five of 13 provinces of Malaysia. Fine, imprisonment, flogging. Horrible, but not what you say.” What’s YOUR point? You seemed to claim that all of the problems with Islam and state-related violence are Arabic. I am providing examples otherwise. I could have been more precise….some states in Malaysis make apostasy a crime, but Malaysia as a whole is certainly very proactive in promoting and “protecting” Islam. And, those states in Malaysia do make apostasy a crime. how is your quote contradicting that?

    Religious violence in Indonesia is growing. Google “Aceh”. In this case, I (or bensix) said nothing about state sponsored violence. The network of Saudi-funded madrassas is growing, and the level of terrorism sponsored by Islamic radicals is growing. Besides, speaking of a lack of precision, my original series of quotes focuses more on popular attitudes and yes, mob violence. A problem which is GROWING as the pernicious influence of Salafi Islam extends itself well outside the Arab homeland. Are you denying that governments in Muslim countries don’t cater to this kind of pressure? Even reluctantly. Look at how crazy kkk christianity is catered to in the United States! I don;t understand your last point. Of course the United States has a bad history. When did I deny that? I am responding, again, to claims that Islamic violence is merely apocryphal or confined to failed Arab states. When I provide examples that this is not true, you nit pick details that sometimes ignore the original quotes or statements.

  40. bmiller:

    http://www.pewglobal.org/files/2010/12/2010-muslim-01-12.png

  41. jagwired:

    @26

    Good point and thanks for the link. My rhetorical question should’ve specified the extremists protesting in the OP.

  42. steffp:

    @#39 bmiller
    (1)” I (or bensix) said nothing about state sponsored violence.”
    Well, while my argument was that most Muslims, three quarter of them, live under conditions where the killing of apostates is not legal, and thusly not done, All the examples are about mobs.

    (2) The identification of Muslim=Arab is a pretty stupid thing.
    In the 22 Arab states live about 345 of the 1,600 millions of Muslims.See the list of Arab states on Wikipedia, and cross-reference it to the list of states who punish apostasy. Not all of them apply Sharia’s penalties, notably not Algeria (37 mio), Egypt (81 mio), Iraq (30 mio), Morocco (36 mio), Syria (22 mio), Lebanon (4 mio) and Tunisia (10 mio), plus a few minor states. Which leaves a mere 100 million of Arab Muslims who find state enforced death penalty for apostasy normal.
    For the umpteenth time: Iran is not an Arab state – they’re Persians living under a Shia theocracy. Which punishes apostasy. 72 million Muslims live under such conditions.
    In Asia, you have two islamist regimes, Pakistan (172 mio) and Afghanistan (30 mio). If you want to throw in the 5 rural Malaysian provinces in which apostasy is punished, OK, that’s another 5 million.
    Again, you end up with a majority of roughly 1,240 million of 1,600 million Muslims worldwide, for whom it is not legal to kill an apostate. You can’t argue that fact.
    Remember that killing the apostate is prescribed in quite a few religions (Notably the bible OT, and it was practiced quite a lot by medieval Christians: most of the crusades were against Christian “heretics”). Well, almost all Jewish and Christian scholars agree that this should not be done any more. So does the overwhelming majority of their believers. What makes you think that Muslims who fought hard to live in a secular country are only pretending to take a similar position?

    (3) Mob violence occurs frequently in countries with no generally accepted kind of government, which leads to people vigilantly taking things into their own hands. Again, your US Wild West. Such countries end up on the “Failed State List”, which refers to economical, political and educational failures. All the countries you mention are on the upper ranks of the failed state list. Alongside Christian Haiti and Animist South Sudan.

    (4)I’m not trying to minimize the hopeles state of human rights in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iran. I’m the first to concede that the Saudis and their oil-profit financed Salafist proselytizing all over the world are a horrible thing. They are directly responsible for the state of religious craziness which we witness in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Bengali pro-war-crimes demonstration of last week. But they are the Saudis, not a majority or even a relevant part of the Umma. Of course, overcapitalized, and thusly almost immune to failure, but, especially among non-arab Muslims, they are overly seen as trying to rebuild an Arab-dominated Caliphate. Which was not a nice period in Asian history. Bengali nationalism is especially anti-Saudi, whom they see as financiers of Pakistan’s notorious DSI (the guys who produced the Taliban).

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