No Free Speech in India
Posted by honestpoet on February 11, 2009
Here’s an article about a writer and her publisher being held for “offending the religious feelings” of Muslims (which is apparently a crime there) for an article in which she wrote “I don’t respect the idea that we should follow a ‘Prophet’ who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they wouldn’t follow him.” The title of the piece is “Why Should I Respect These Oppressive Religions?” Personally, I think that’s a good question.
I understand Muslims’ desire not to have thrown in their faces the fact that Mohammad was a pedophile and a genocidal maniac. And I understand India’s desire not to stir up their Muslim population, considering their tendency to violence when their religious feelings get hurt. But they’ll never progress as a democracy if they don’t embrace the concept of free speech. If someone can’t handle hearing someone else point out the problems with their religion, they need to examine their beliefs more closely, not silence the offending speaker.
It’s high time the fundamentalist Muslims of the world got their heads out of their collective asses and joined the present, rather than clinging to their past. There’s a reason Muslim countries are among the poorest, least developed places on the planet, and that’s the way in which they suppress dissent. New ideas, so necessary for progress, can’t flower in such a climate. Not to mention the fact that they cut off half (the female half) of their population from participation. That’s a lot of brains to leave out of the problem solving.
Some Muslims actually fantasize (the evidence of this litters the internet) that one day Islam will cover the globe, so we all may as well just give in to it. They don’t understand how great it is to live in a place where we are free to use our minds, and to speak our minds. We’re not going to give that up to go back to some medieval era when the church and the state were one (we experienced that already, when Christianity was as oppressive as Islam is now, in its own adolescence). Instead, if they don’t give up on the idea that they’ve got a firm grip on the truth and some divine mandate to shove it down the world’s throat, they’ll find their religion stamped out like a brush fire. The more they resort to violence and repression, the more opposition they’ll find among the world’s free thinkers. Already the events of 9/11 caused in this country public discourse, with writers like Sam Harris, questioning the validity of religious belief. With any luck, with their continuing idiocy, they’ll cause the death of religion altogether.