Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Democracy and Faith

Would you mind terribly if an artist in your country drew humorous cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh)? Or if a writer made fun of him in a novel? or if an artist painted verses from the Qur'an on to a naked female body?

All these things have been done, and Muslims have reacted with swift outrage, sometimes murder (Theo van Gogh, who filmed a naked women with verses from the Qur'an was murdered and beheaded by a Muslim jihadi).

For these are freedoms of expression - a central tenet of democracy. According to democrats, freedom of expression includes the freedom to shock and offend.

Yet Muslim men and women espouse democracy as if it won't hurt the religion - or the sentiment of 1 billion Muslims. In our country (Bangladesh), we have traitors who would love to make fun of the Prophet and Islam. That is one reason they love democracy.

Yet I know a devout Muslim woman who loves democracy - she doesn't realise, the idiot that she is, that democracy means freedom of expression - freedom to make fun of Islam and everything we consider sacred and holy. She is a misguided fool, who wants to appear an 'intellectual'.

Fundamentalists can take an idea to its logical conclusion - unlike the foolish woman mentioned above. They realise that in a democracy, everything will be permitted - from blasphemy to burning holy books (heaven forbid!).

The second khutbah of the Friday prayers forbid us to criticise our rulers - democracy means criticism of rulers. Surely, democracy was forbidden by our ancestors!

Curse democracy as you would curse the plague or snakes - for it pits brother against brothers, and leaves nothing sacred. Let democracy be preached only by the enemies of Islam and Muslim civilisation. They are friends of the Great Satan.

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