Sunday, 4 July 2010

Justice For All

Three days ago, two suicide bombers carried out a deadly attack on a Sufi shrine in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore. At least 42 people died in the blasts at the popular Data Darbar shrine late on Thursday evening, officials say. At least 175 other people were hurt in the attack, believed to be the first to target a shrine in Lahore.

It goes without saying that I abhor those who carried out this crime against humanity, and mourn the loss of innocent life. These days, all criticism of Islam's violent streak by those such as myself brings cries from Leftists and Muslims of "Islamophobia" and "bigotry". And yet, so often, as in these cases, the victims of Islamic violence are Muslims themselves. If I was truly bigoted towards Muslims, I would not care about these recent attacks or others like them; in fact, I might even have rejoiced at the sight of Muslims killing each other.

But in reality, I believe in the equality of all people, including Muslims. I also uphold article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."

I oppose Islam as a belief system because so many of its central tenets, as accepted in orthodoxy for fourteen hundred years, emphatically deny this and other basic human rights, and deny the equality of all people in dignity and before the law. To oppose a belief system which denies these things is not "hateful", and it doesn't mean that one "hates" every individual that identifies themselves as a follower of that belief system. It is simply to stand up for justice and human rights.

It is telling that in this modern day and age, Leftists and liberals, who claim to have a superior moral code, generally ignore blatant violations of human rights committed by non-white, non-Western cultures, while fixatedly blaming the West (and Israel) for abuses real and imagined, despite the record of Western civilisation when it comes to defining the values of freedom and equality that we now take for granted.

In doing so, many "moderate" Muslims and their Leftist allies contribute to the success of those who deny basic human rights to whole classes of people, and that will always be to their perpetual shame.

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