People have opined that shadow laws that run parallel to normal jurisdiction like Sharia are bad. I agree – it must be one law for all. Introducing a competing law for one part of the population is an incredibly stupid idea. Judging a person by two different set of rules undermines everyone’s belief in justice: if the same deed results in more than one possible sanctions, something is wrong with your system. If everything results in the same, they are the same system, and no second set of laws is required.
What bugs me most, though, is that the most vocal proponents of shadow sharia law are really advocating something else: They want one law for believers, one for infidels, and none for themselves.
Often, I’m asked why I even bother; why don’t I just shut up and ignore all those religious idiots? After all, it’s none of my business; I really should care less about what people believe. As one exasperated fundamental Christian asked: ‘If you don’t believe in God, why do you keep talking about Him’? And isn’t belief in a benevolent God a good thing?
Of course, most of that is correct: I shouldn’t care about other people’s religion; mostly I don’t. Belief in supernatural beings can be benign. The problem is, however, when someone’s superstition adversely affects the freedom and well-being of others.
In 2004, a devastating Tsunami hit the Aceh province in Indonesia. A horrendous tragedy. Every rational person agrees that this happened naturally. In deeply religious (and therefore scientifically retarded) Aceh, however, those in power saw it as a sign from God that they weren’t pious enough. As a result, Aceh now has one of the most draconic, barbaric and misogynistic Sharia in place that punishes even trivial things like not going to prayer on Friday. It’s irrelevant if you are a muslim or not, by the way. You either go to prayer – or the stockades, awaiting your punishment. Sharia has outlawed cinemas, heavily restricts what – if any – music you may listen to. Women must no longer straddle a motorcycle, nor are they allowed to wear pants.
If you now think that perhaps I’m citing an extreme example to make a point – please recall that less than 50 years ago, children’s playgrounds where closed on Sunday, and dancing was forbidden on holy days – in the UK, Germany, Switzerland and most other European countries.
So the next time you ask why bother, ask yourself: how would you like ten lashes from the whip for skipping a service for the Flying Spaghetti Monster (blessed be his noodly appendages)?
That is why I bother.
And so should you.
Atheists often hear the ridiculous assertion that they hate gods.
But let’s be honest – even if we did, it wouldn’t affect anyone else. If a god can’t take the fact that a mortal hates them – well… On the other hand, there are ample reason to hate gods if they existed.
If you look at the Aceh province of Indonesia, for example, you’ll see a God-given system in effect. And it positively hates humans, women in particular. If you drink alcohol, kiss while not married, skip friday prayer, or – god forbid, literally – engage in anything homosexual, you will receive barbaric, horrendous corporal punishment. There is nothing benevolent about this system; it is pure, unadulterated hatred of anything that those in power deem ‘un-islamic’. And of course it also applies to non-muslims.
If you look at Aceh’s sharia laws, and believe that they are inspired by a God, the conclusion is obvious: God hates humans. Anything that could be fun, happy, or joyful is an affront to that god: music, cinema, driving a motor cycle, or openly showing affection. That god expects everyone to be miserable – and thank him for it. Hating such an unpleasant, blood-thirsty, petty and spiteful God would be a virtue.
Ah, unreason. The other name for faith, bigotry and hate. Consider this:
There is no doubt that the word ‘sharia’ carries huge challenges in relation to public relations. If you talk about anything [related to] ‘sharia’, the first vision people get is chopping off of people’s hands, having four wives and all sorts of unusual practices which, in today’s world, are not compatible with the values which we live by.
So far, everyone would agree. The problem: thus begins a staunch defense for Sharia law. How is that possible? There’s a reason we associate Sharia with chopped-off hands, misogyny and homophobia: because Sharia law is exactly that. This isn’t even a matter of contention – it’s documented in the Quran, Sunnah and Hadith, and actively fought by major Human Rights Organizations. Just like Christian or any other religious law, Sharia law is highly immoral. A pig’s a pig, no matter how much lipstick you put on it. It boggles the mind how grown, educated people manage to add One plus One, and arrive at Lalateen.
It’s fitting, then, that the person who uttered above quote is UK’s Minister of Unreason, Baroness Warsi. She attacks the problem of Sharia’s bad reputation from the wrong direction. Instead of trying to correct what’s wrong, she wants to make Sharia law more acceptable in the UK by tapping into Sharia-conform finance.
This comes from the same woman who is on the record as bemoaning that Islamophobia had “passed the dinner-table test” and become socially acceptable in the UK. Yet she sees no problem when expressedly barbaric, misogynic and homophobic Sharia law does pass the same test.
To be blunt: Sharia-conform financing is the ethical equivalent of purchasing blood diamonds. It’s advancing morally corrupt and unacceptable behavior. It’s unfathomable how Warsi can’t see it.
Now, Warsi admittedly isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. But is it really that much to ask of a member of a country’s government that they perform some gross error checking before speaking up? She’s starting to make american ex-governess Sarah Palin look good.