Give a criminal enough rope and he'll hang himself.
Give a religious zealot enough rope and he'll hang you.
-Hugh Kramer



Naushad Valiyani, a doctor in the Pakistani city of Hyderabad was taken into custody Friday on a charge of blasphemy. He's accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammed, a very serious crime in Pakistan.
The alleged insult took place in the doctor's office when he made the mistake of throwing a medical representitive's business card into a trash bin. The medical representitive, Muhammad Faizan, went to the police and filed a complaint against Valiyani. The police then arrested the doctor.
While this may leave most Westerners scratching their heads in puzzlement over what crime was committed, both the medical representitive and the police had no doubts. Since Faizan's name was on the business card and his first name, Muhammad, is the same as the Prophet's, treating that business card with anything less than the uttermost respect is blasphemy.


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What if a "Muhammad" makes a joke at his own expense...

The Puritains were like that.  So were the priests and leaders of the Inquisition.  So was Cromwell in England, and for that matter, a number of the underlings of Henry VIII and his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth 1.  There is a reason for the expression "Bloody Mary".


So were Stalin, Mao, the East German dictators, the German Nazi heirarchy, probably Julius Ceasar and Constantine, a number of Chinese emperors, and many more.




What are the lessons to be learned?  How did England become more tolerant?  And Spain?  And New England?  Certainly, fundamentalist fervor, totalitarianism, and bigotry seem to define Islam in certain places and communities.  These traits also seem to cross religious, political, and ethnic lines, however, so probably say something about being human as well.  The Evangelicals in Uganda are clearly headed in this direction now, with their "Kill all gays" legislation in the making.  Which we are doing nothing to stop.  Are there lessons that we can apply to Fundamentalist Islamic countries? 


Does the Internet have a role?  Does Atheist Nexus?


There are groups on Nexus for former Muslims, for Arab Atheists, and for Pakistanis.  If you happen to see a new member from one of those places, you might welcome them, tell them they are not alone, and direct them to the groups that might help them know they are not alone, as well as groups like Atheist News.


My 2cents.  I am not a site administrator, just a pushy atheist.


p.s.  Medical detail people are pushy and can be very unethical,  but having a doctor arrested for not buying their product is only a unexpressed dream come true to most of them.   Moving from bribes to threat of death....  priceless.

Absurdity at it's finest. 

Note to self, name my kid Mohammed, so they have no choice but to give my kid complete respect or suffer blasphemy. XDD


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