Religion, it seems, has a peculiar desire to throw their weight around, like a petulant brat of a kid who, in a brawling, unreasoning mien, refuses to back down on the particular toy car he has set his sights on.
From demands to boycott supposedly blasphemous works, such as the Da Vinci Code, and the latest works by Philip Pullman, "The Golden Compass", Christians, it seems, are quite brow beaten by the fact that their religion no longer holds that much of a sway in the media and in particular, Hollywood, and they seem hell-bent on grabbing some of their old influences back.
Radical Muslims, however, prefer to take the "crash and burn" route: Protests and shootouts galore, when some infidel or kafir decides to depict Muhammad or Allah in an unflattering light: After all, pictorial representations of both prophet and deity alike are considered blasphemous in the beautiful world of Islam (Their aesthetic sense can perhaps be represented by the somewhat Martian-like dressing known as the burkha: A drab, shapeless piece of clothing that covers the woman from head to toe, leaving a slit for the eyes so that the poor woman doesn't knock herself senseless into onrushing traffic. Allah be praised).
When certain acts of blasphemy are allegedly committed by non-Muslims, Muslim radicals are apt to go bananas and take the accused infidel to task: Riots by ignorant buffoons against such supposedly unpardonable crimes are usually rampant in Muslim-dominated cities, followed by cries of execution against the alleged offender. Popular figures, such as Aryaan Hirsi Ali and Salman Rushdie, often have to live under the ominous shadow of a fatwa, or a religious edict, by some pompous religious leader who simply wants an axe to grind against those incorrigible infidels.
& so, the recent case of a teddy bear named Muhammad became the latest furore to rile the Muslim radicals yet again.... and once again, the ancient laws of blasphemy raises its ugly head.
Teacher Guilty in "Muhammad" Teddy Bear Case
KHARTOUM, Sudan - A British teacher in Sudan was convicted Thursday of the less-serious charge of insulting Islam for letting her pupils name a teddy bear “Muhammad,” and was sentenced to 15 days in prison and deportation to Britain.
Gillian Gibbons could have received 40 lashes and six months in prison in the case if found guilty of the more serious charge of inciting religious hatred and given the maximum penalty.Blasphemy: A Criminal Offense?
It is quite unthinkable and frivolous to me, or any liberal-minded individual, that anyone can be sentenced to 40 lashes and 6 insidious months in prison for a rather innocuous act of naming a a teddy bear: One would even question the barbarity of such a sentence.
Religious intolerance, when interwoven with the web of secular law, becomes an ominous institution of unlawful abuse: Anyone who harbors a vendetta against a individual can manipulate a harmless act, such as naming teddy bears, or even whipping up a dish of bacon (Muslims don't eat pork. Us infidels who aren't vegetarians can hardly live a day without a few slices. Mama mia!), & condemn the act as a misdemeanor in the eyes of the Sharia Court.
Teacher Fled By Presidential Pardon: Questions Asked
Fortunately, Gillian Gibson had a Presidential Pardon from the President of Sudan, which granted her release, and sparing her from the whip. As if such a harmless act of teddy bear playtime ever requires an act of pardoning!
Whenever we read such outrageous news in the media, we should ask ourselves whether we can afford to grant religion any kind of respect: If respect can only be demanded through violence, torture and subjugation, then it is perhaps high time for us to stop giving such archaic, nonsensical teachings a wide berth and start questioning the need to even harbor such cruel and ridiculous dogma.
Now that I am finished with my rant, can someone come up with the name of my new teddy bear???
-A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.