Religion and State

Farkhunda Malikzada was a 27 year old Afghan woman who was beaten to death in March by a mob outside a Mosque in Kabul.  She was accused of burning a Koran, but in fact the police investigators learnt that she had a dispute with a man who was selling charms outside the Mosque.  She told him that what he was doing was un-Islamic.  He was the one who then falsely accused her of burning a Koran and of being an American and called on people to kill her.

A mob gathered and attacked her, they beat her, threw her body from a roof, then ran a car over her and dragged her body thru the streets and then set fire to it.  How can one understand such uncivilized brutal behavior?  It was perpetrated by ordinary religious Afghans, not terrorists or members of a specific organization.  It can only be attributed to the lack of rights or respect for women in Islamic countries, and also to the extremism of Islam itself, a religion in which any perceived insult to Mohammed, the Koran or Islam is punishable by death!  Some 49 men were arrested by the authorities, but only three were finally sentenced to death.   The police stood by while this murder happened and 12 policemen were arrested and sentenced to jail time.

The young Afghan girl Malala Yousafzai, who supported the right of girls to education, was shot in the head by a Taliban, but miraculously she recovered and won the Nobel Prize.  Many other young girls and women have been murdered by the Taliban in their violent attacks on girl’s schools.  A similar program is being carried out by the Islamist Boko Haram in Nigeria, who have murdered, raped and kidnapped hundreds of girls in their campaign against female education.

The 12 people killed in the terrorist attacks in Paris a few months ago were murdered because the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo had previously printed a cartoon satirizing Mohammed.   Thousands of people are being killed, often beheaded, in the areas controlled by the so-called Islamic State in central south Asia (formerly Syria and Iraq) for merely not being Muslims, for being infidels.   Yazidis, Shia, Christians, and even Sunnis, who will not accept their version of Islam, are being murdered.  In Bangladesh, in the latest religious killings  of four bloggers, Niloy Neel, who questioned Islamic practices, was hacked to death with a machete in his home.

In Jerusalem, a 16 year old girl who was a spectator at the annual Gay Pride Parade was stabbed to death by an ultra-Orthodox fanatic named Schlissel, who had committed the same crime 10 years before and had spent 10 years in jail. He stabbed and wounded five other people.  This perpetrator should never have been released, don’t they check the sanity of those they release?  In the Arab village of Duma on the West Bank last week, two houses were set on fire by presumed Jewish extremists, who had written “price tag” slogans on the walls.  Several members of the Dawabshe family were injured and the infant Mohammed and his father died.  These are all examples of what religious extremism can do against the right to life of innocent people who have committed no crime.

It is true that one cannot lump all religious people in with the ones who commit these heinous acts.  But, there is a tendency to do that.  The Palestinian Arabs in their culture, their school books and their campaign against Israel do precisely that, they blame the Israeli Government for all acts carried out by a handful of religious extremists.  If you compare the thousands of Israelis murdered in Palestinian terrorist attacks over the years to the few Arabs who have been killed by Jewish terrorists, it is disproportionate.  Yesterday an Arab targeted his car at Israeli soldiers and injured three of them before he was shot.   But, in the past dozens have been killed in such “traffic attacks.”

I abhor all killings in the name of religion.  But, let’s keep a sense of proportion.  Because three people were killed by Jewish terrorists, that does not mean the sky is falling.  The so-called Jewish underground that attempted (and failed) to carry out attacks in Jerusalem a few years ago consisted of 15 people.  In Gaza there are ten of thousands of armed terrorists whose aim is to destroy Israel and kill all Jews.  And that’s not to mention the Sunni Islamic State and Shia Iran and its proxies, Hizbollah and others, who are dedicated to wiping Israel off the map and killing all Jews (and I believe them).   Only by defeating these fanatics can we bring peace.  They cannot be reasoned with nor negotiated with (Obama please note).

In the final analysis, the only solution to this problem is to have a State where religion is at least subsidiary to, if not completely separate from, the secular power.  This is the case in the US, France, UK, Israel, and a handful of other States.  But, in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other Islamic countries there is still a very long way to go, since under Islam secular and religious power are combined.  It is only in Egypt and a few other Islamic countries that there is a strong movement to ensure this crucial separation.  If the Islamic Caliphate or the Iranian Shia State is ever strong enough to challenge the West, we will be in great trouble.  We MUST preclude that from happening and the sooner the better.

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