Sunday, January 11, 2015

The march of solidarity in Paris

 Very inspiring to see images from Paris of world leaders joining the massive march of solidarity. And of course it's great that a Muslim employee of the Jewish supermarket helped hide so many people.

Interesting also that the leader of Hezbollah said that Islamist terrorists had done more harm to Islam than any cartoon or book. Interestingly Shiites celebrate the birthday of Mohammed on Jan 8th - Sunnis do it on the 3rd.

Hopefully the worldwide revulsion from these barbarous attacks will cause Muslim states to reconsider their blasphemy laws. Publishing such cartoons would result in a death sentence on many "Islamic" countries so it's a little difficult for them to be full-throated in their condemnation of such barbarity in Paris.  This not just a matter of justice (vital though that is) but of economic survival. Contra Piketty, wealth in the 21st Century is about ideas and not about physical property or inheritance. Apple, Google and Alibaba are valued at more than all the quoted property companies in the world put together, and this trend is likely to accelerate over the next decades. No country where people can be put to death for blasphemy or apostasy can hope to attract and retain the innovators who make such enterprises possible.
As I understand it there is nothing in the Quran about blasphemy, and the famous saying that there is no compulsion in matters of religion would seem to be a major statement against criminalising blasphemy. But in the "Hadith" there are reported examples of Mohammed calling for people's death for having "really hurt Allah and his apostle" (in this one though the alleged offences in this case include conspiracy to whip up armed attacks rather than blasphemy as such) including a poetess called ʻAṣmāʼ bint Marwān who was murdered in her sleep allegedly with Mohamed's approval - though the authenticity of this hadith appears questionable.

God cannot possibly need "avenging" by armed men - God is omnipotent! If people feel the need to use force to compel belief they are really saying that they don't truly believe in what they are supposedly "defending".

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