In preparation for our reading of Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali this month, I’d like to bring your attention to yet another outrageous event in the Muslim world:
An Afghan court sentenced Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh, 23, a reporter with the Jahan-e Now daily paper, to death on Tuesday after he was found guilty of blasphemy, a court official said.
Kambakhsh was detained three months ago after complaints from some of his university classmates for allegedly mocking Islam and the Koran, and for distributing an article which said the Prophet Mohammad had ignored the rights of women.
It’s time to let Muslims know that blasphemy, with no victim, is not a crime in any civilized society for good reason. It is time to call for moderate Muslims to speak out in opposition to this ridiculous and shameful behavior, and for nonbelievers to join with them in protest against violent extremism. It’s time for non-Muslims to let the Muslim world know that this is not acceptable and we will not respect or honor a religion or society that condones such barbarism.
I hear a lot of talk about how not all Muslim people are extremists, and that Islam is a religion of peace. I’m all for respecting moderate religious people, if I see that they are standing up against fundamentalistm and extremism. But I haven’t see much evidence of this, particularly within Islam. I believe that moderate Muslims who do not speak out against the violence and backwardness of extremists become part of the problem, by silently condoning the actions of their zealous brethren.
If people of faith want respect, they must begin to act in a manner worthy of respect.