Thursday, May 26, 2005

Defaming Islam

Many of us recall the 1973 Broadway musical, "Jesus Christ Superstar", which shocked many Christians. All of us are old enough to remember 1988, when Muslim author Salman Rushdie published a novel about immigrants, "The Satanic Verses", which resulted in book burnings and killings world wide. In the late 1990s, Andres Serrano created the artwork, "Piss Christ", which was extremely blasphemous to Christians, considering that its exhibition had involved government funding and approval. Today, if you drive through Rutherford, North Carolina, you may see displayed upon one of those ubiquitous trailer signs in front of a country church, "The Koran Needs to be Flushed". Meanwhile, in Italy, another author has been brought up on charges for her recent book which defames Islam as being a religion of hatred and slavery, not love and freedom. Is it not time that Muslims who have chosen via immigration to live in free democratic societies, learn to accept freedom of speech for all? Or is that contrary to the teachings of the Koran? And speaking of the Koran, my understanding is that "The Holy Book of Islam" only exists when written in Arabic, where it is entitled "al-qur'anu l-karîm". If that is correct, then why should "flushing a Koran" be a killing offense at all?
Fallaci charged in Italy with defaming Islam:
"ROME (Reuters) - A judge has ordered best-selling writer and journalist Oriana Fallaci to stand trial in her native Italy on charges she defamed Islam in a recent book.

The decision angered Italy's justice minister but delighted Muslim activists, who accused Fallaci of inciting religious hatred in her 2004 work 'La Forza della Ragione' (The Force of Reason). Fallaci lives in New York and has regularly provoked the wrath of Muslims with her outspoken criticism of Islam following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on U.S. cities.

In 'La Forza della Ragione,' Fallaci wrote that terrorists had killed 6,000 people over the past 20 years in the name of the Koran and said the Islamic faith 'sows hatred in the place of love and slavery in the place of freedom.'

State prosecutors originally dismissed accusations of defamation from an Italian Muslim organization, and said Fallaci should not stand trial because she was merely exercising her right to freedom of speech. But a preliminary judge in the northern Italian city of Bergamo, Armando Grasso, rejected the prosecutors advice at a hearing on Tuesday and said Fallaci should be indicted."
From North Carolina comes this sign posted in front of Danieltown Baptist Church, which has sparked debate in Rutherford County about religious tolerance. The Looney Left has the video (Quicktime Video 6.35MB) from Keith Olberman's show, with the usual outrageous comments such as: "creaton! too perfect. don't worry, he does not represent mainstream america. they have to go to the freaky south to dig up these yokels. this **** is what will destroy the religious right. keep it coming." (Posted by pablo at OneGoodMove). You will have to ask Pablo what is a "creaton", as here in the South, we yokels don't know nothin' much about good English.
Church sign sparks debate

By JOSH HUMPHRIES Daily Courier Staff Writer

FOREST CITY -- A sign in front of a Baptist church on one of the most traveled highways in the county stirred controversy over religious tolerance and first-amendment rights this weekend.

A sign in front of Danieltown Baptist Church, located at 2361 U.S. 221 south reads "The Koran needs to be flushed," and the Rev. Creighton Lovelace, pastor of the church, is not apologizing for the display.

Seema Riley, a Muslim, who was born in Pakistan and reared in New York, was one of those upset by the sign. She moved to Rutherford County for the "small town friendly" atmosphere, she said. When she saw the sign on the side of the highway Saturday she felt angered and threatened. "We need a certain degree of tolerance," said Riley. "That sign doesn't really reflect what I think this county is about."

She said that according to Islamic faith, a follower does not even touch the Koran without going through a ritual cleansing. Muslims believe the physical book to be a sacred item that is treated with respect and reverence, much like the image of Jesus in Christianity, according to a report on National Public Radio.

"For someone to put that sign up -- the person just didn't understand -- didn't take into consideration what putting up that sign means," said Riley. "I don't think it should be posted on a sign in public viewing on the highway to create a hostile environment for me."
To those newcomers who are uncomfortable living in free societies, and consider the environment to be too hostile, we have an old saying in America: "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

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