Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Threat To The State

A bad man

In the latest in a long string of human rights outrages by that textbook Islamic state, Iran, a protestant clergyman, Wilson Issavi, has been jailed for “converting Muslims”. He has been tortured and threatened with execution.

This is far from the first time something like this has happened in Iran. In her must-read book Religious Minorities in Iran, University of Southern California professor Eliz Sanasarian notes that for decades, there has been an "intense preoccupation with conversion of Muslims to other faiths and proselytizing among the Muslims. On any major piece of legislation...involving religious minorities, blunt comments on the floor of the Majlis by deputies as well as various cabinet ministers point to an unceasing fixation on the possibility of Muslim conversion." (p.129)

Publications widely circulated in the mainstream in Iran since the Khomeini revolution have openly discouraged Muslims from getting close to non-Muslims in case they are "seduced" by them into converting away from Islam. For example, one religious advisor in a youth magazine from 1986 wrote: “For common people it is unlawful to go to church because going to church and having fellowship with Christians gradually puts the people under their influence.”

Such bigoted attitudes quite obviously stem from the Qur'an and Islamic law. Apostasy is, of course, punishable by death, and is described by the renowned Islamic legal manual Reliance of the Traveler as "the ugliest form of unbelief". And to prevent such ugly disbelief, the Qur'an explicitly commands Muslims in several places (see 3:28, 5:51, etc) not to befriend unbelievers, lest they become "one of them". Furthermore, one of the many oppressive restrictions imposed upon dhimmis, or non-Muslims living under Islamic rule, is that they are forbidden to evangelize. It seems clear that Islam's one-sided rules for proselytisation must account for the spread of Islam over the years, coupled with the decline of non-Muslim religions in Islamic countries. If Ahmed changes the rules of a chess game so that he can take Dave's pieces, but Dave can't take Ahmed's, there can and will only be one winner.

Those are the simple facts. What the Iranian regime has done here, as well as in many other similar cases over the years, is to simply follow the orthodox teachings of Islam. Perhaps they have got their religion all wrong, wrong, wrong, as we are constantly told, but fourteen centuries of tradition and jurisprudence, as well as documentable history, appear to say otherwise.

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