Saturday, May 05, 2007

Criticizing Islam

International Herald Tribune reported Two Azerbaijani journalists were convicted of inciting hatred Friday with an article seen as criticizing Islam and sentenced to prison after a trial that highlighted religious tension in the predominantly Muslim nation..... The November article asserted that Islam has suffocated people, pulled them away from freedom and hindered humanity's development, and said that the Prophet Muhammad created problems for Eastern countries.
All of that is true, and if that offends Islam, then Islam is offended by itself.
... Tagi told the court that when he wrote the article, he relied on the constitutional stipulation that Azerbaijan is a secular state and its protection of free speech. The article was "aimed against religious superstition, I did not insult Islam," he said.
Obviously such protections are not what they should be in a predominately Muslim country.
.... Political analyst Mubariz Ahmadoglu suggested the court had to weigh protection of the freedom of speech with concerns about how its ruling would affect the activity of Islamic extremists. He also said a not guilty verdict would have opened the door to efforts to sow discord and destabilize the country.

"Azerbaijan is a secular state and is distinguished by its tolerance,
but if the court hadn't sentenced them the Muslim bigots could have cruelly disposed of them,"
And now that they are in prison, the Muslim bigots can kill them without people noticing as much as if they had been killed while free men.
Ahmadoglu said. "Besides, had the case gone unpunished, it could have resulted in publications insulting other faiths, thus making it possible for the radical forces to create a threat for the national security of Azerbaijan."
What faiths, besides Islam, provoke violence when something critical is said about them? Were you afraid some crasy Methodist, or Buddist, or Baptist, or Hindu might be ticked off at something that someone said about their faith, and that it would have put the national security of Azerbaijan at risk?

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