March 25, 2006

"The Quran is very clear and the words of our prophet are very clear. There can only be one outcome: death."

So said cleric Khoja Ahmad Sediqi, a member of the Supreme Court in Afghanistan, speaking about the case against Abdul Rahman, who converted from Islam to Christianity. What is the specific text that is supposedly so clear? And where is the vigorous debate from people who know the Quran and have other interpretations? We keep hearing about how the charge of apostasy offends Western religious freedom values and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (which the Afghan constitution adopts), but why are we not also hearing questioning of the asserted interpretation of the Quran? Why is this controversy allowed to appear to be only a conflict between Western values and Islam? In American law, if a jurist insisted a constitutional clause was very clear, and we didn't like his answer, we'd look at the clause for ourselves and debate about it.

47 comments:

Balfegor said...

we didn't like his answer, we'd look at the clause for ourselves and debate about it.

As a non-Muslim, I'd feel a little awkward standing up and telling a bunch of Muslims that I am right and they are wrong about the substance of their own religion. I'd want to have a Muslim on my side to hide behind, and if none show up, I'd be pretty much sunk.

Besides, I don't speak or read Arabic, so I can't really interpret the relevant provision. In the US, I think we still have a dearth of Arabic speakers, especially Arabic speakers directly engaged in public debate (in print, on the television, or in politics generally). So most of our public commentators are simply not qualified to comment here, and they know it.

Ann Althouse said...

First, I mistrust the assertion that the Quran is clear when it isn't accompanied by the clause itself.

But I'm not saying I want to actively debate the meaning of someone else's sacred text. I said I want to hear "vigorous debate from people who know the Quran and have other interpretations." Basically, why are the Muslims with other interpretations not speaking so we can hear them? I know they exist. Journalists should seek them out.

Sean said...

Very few American academics would put forth alternative interpretations of anything if they were threatened with being assassinated by those who didn't like their interpretation. At least in this country, the kind of people who do academic law and the kind of people who take risks for what they believe aren't the same kind of people.

Patrick Martin said...

Thank you for bringing this up, Ann, as I have been wondering the same thing. As to why we haven't heard more from moderate, modern Muslims, I think that's because many of them justifiably fear violent retaliation. The Islamofascists (or whatever one calls them) are very effective at squelching dissent. Remember Salman Rushdie? The cartoons? It's only going to get worse until the world stands up and says we will not tolerate evil and hatred, even when clothed in religious garb.

Balfegor said...

Basically, why are the Muslims with other interpretations not speaking so we can hear them? I know they exist. Journalists should seek them out.

A while back, you had put up a post about reform within the Arab world, and how Westerners noticing reformers and doting on them eroded their credibility in their own countries. I hope -- for the Islamic world's sake -- that there are such reformers, but if the dynamic there (Westerners like you => tool of the Western oppressor!) is at work in public opinion in the Muslim world, there may be significant reform elements at work, consciously avoiding our notice.

Dave said...

All that I ask of the religious is that they consider the depths to which religion has sunk man.

What kind of world do we live in when one can be threatened with execution merely for having a set of beliefs different from the majority? Where is the debate about the ways in which religion has been used as a cudgel to suppress and oppress dissenting opinion?

Patrick Martin said...

Wikipedia has a lengthy article on Apostasy in Islam, with plenty of links and quotations.

Elizabeth said...

What are the consequences for Muslims who join that debate? Can laypeople do so without fear of reprisal? I would hope for clerics to challenge this interpretation. I'd expect not to hear much from within Afghanistan, but what about from Muslim clerics in the U.S. and Europe?

It would have been asking for a death sentence to dispute the witch trial hearings in Salem during the worst of the hysteria. Is the same fear a factor here?

ShadyCharacter said...

Well, what if the Koran baldly says

God says "Thou shallt kill all apostates. And no, I don't mean that metaphorically, I mean grab a sword with at least a 33" blade and saw the head off of the apostate."

I think we might be in a situation pretty close to this - and we certainly are in the minds of many Muslims.

Now what?

$CAV3NG3R said...

Anecdotal my interaction with muslims maybe, but since I have them as first cousins and schoolmates/classmates and grew up around enough of them, I'm sorry but I've not met any so-called moderate moslem. There are three types of moslems that I know, nominal ones, devout ones who ignore the militant ones but tacitly support them or at least think that on some level they are righting wrongs or doing Allahs will and lastly your regular plane-flying militant ar**hole.

Witness this, when the cartoon stuff came up I asked a couple of them about it and guess what, they offered all sorts of reasons why those people resorted to violence, not one of them condemned the acts and only one grudgingly accepted that was not the way to go when I asked how in the world does a violent response to cartoons make logical sense. These are guys with grad school education, guys who otherwise are extremely intelligent, guys i've known for years (one i've known since high school). I guess I shouldn't be entirely surprised, religion has a way of making otherwise rational people hold on to some really irrational ideas. I should know afterall I bought into the whole pentecostal/evangelical, spirit-filled, tongue-speaking, demon-chasing version of christianity for close to ten years.

It's entirely possible that there are actually devout moslems who don't subscribe to killing people but I honestly doubt it. They might not do it themselves but I'm yet to meet a 5-times-a-day-praying moslem who thinks those things are wrong or that israel should exist.

Just my $0.19876287

$CAV3NG3R said...

shady: Then it's D-day all over again but the rules of engagement are obviously different. This might sound harsh, but I guess it's kill or be killed.

AST said...

I reacted like balfegor. How do I know what the Quran means? But what is really going on is that like all laws this is a matter of interpretation and I just can't buy it that a "religion of peace" really believes that changing religions is grounds for the death penalty. If the Quran says that, the Quran is wrong.

The whole concept of a final judgment makes no sense if we don't have the ability to make our own choices. This is a doctrine invented by men, not revealed by God, who Muslims always assure us is merciful. There are plenty of other Muslims who would not demand a beheading of someone for becoming a Christian. But lately, we're not seeing any of them.

Islam is being represented to us by it's most noisome, rigid and cruel practioners. If the rest of them don't stand up and take back their religion they're going to become pariahs along with the terrorirsts.

Ann Althouse said...

"Remember Salman Rushdie..."

As I understand it, Rushdie did something different from participating in the tradition of interpretation of the Quran, something more along the lines of mocking it. I would hope that moderate Muslims would not cede the public debate to the harshest interpreters. But my understanding of this apostasy question is that the stronger argument is on the side of the death penalty requirement. Still, I have heard that there is a minority position that is a Muslim interpretation of the Quran that says otherwise. I am only expressing my hope that Muslim scholars would weigh in on this and not leave the matter in the form it appears now: the Western tradition versus Islam.

Finn Kristiansen said...

Dave said...

All that I ask of the religious is that they consider the depths to which religion has sunk man.


Obviously Dave, you insist on remaining ignorant of any contributions to society by religious people the world over, whether monks sheperding and preserving documents through the dark ages, believers founding new national entities and colleges, or various religious types pushing for equal rights under the law (for blacks and others).

Dave, why don't YOU do some studying, on your own time, and see what non-religious people have done...talk to Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot, and make yourself a little graph (or body count chart). Man does stuff to man, and usually, religion, has nothing to do with it.

I think the problem in this case, is that we fail to make any sort of distinctions between religions, and insist on a kind of politically correct equality, where all religions are equally flexible, equally benign and equally capable of the same positive outcomes.

Perhaps, by looking for vocal Islamic voices, we are actually trying to convert Islam into something we wish it to be, instead of just observing what it actually is.

So on and on we go, scratching our heads like monkees, and waiting for some moderate Islamic person to risk life and limb to explain how Islam was, is, and can be, utterly something else. I would argue that Islam, in word, is pretty specific, and blunt, and if practiced with any orthodoxy, quite difficult.

Islam is like trying to follow the Old Testament word for word. There is a reason Christ in Christianity serves such a vital technical role, as he makes Christianity actually workable (without killing all your hell headed neighbors).

ShadyCharacter said...

The head judge, from the BBC:

""The Prophet Muhammad has said several times that those who convert from Islam should be killed if they refuse to come back," says Ansarullah Mawlafizada, the trial judge.

"Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, kindness and integrity. That is why we have told him if he regrets what he did, then we will forgive him," he told the BBC News website."

Do you hear that? He's learned the Western party line on Islam and he's throwing it back in our faces. Our politicians prattle on endlessly about Islam as the religion of peace and here this guy predicts the inevitable facile arguments of self-loathing Westerners...

downtownlad said...

I have a hunch that the Quran does require the death penalty. Which makes me 100% convinced that the Quran is false. God, if he does indeed exist, would never be so insecure that he requires those who question his existence to be put to death.

Then again - the Old Testament and the New Testament make statements that are just as extreme. It's that "most" believers of Judaism and Christianity choose to ignore those verses.

Probably because the West is about 700 years ahead of the Muslim world in terms of human thinking when it comes to freedom, liberty, and the rights of man.

Why try to reason with intolerance? I just choose to mock them.

Patrick Martin said...

Ann, my understanding is that Rushdie committed blasphemy (denial of an essential principle of Islam), rather than apostasy (the public abandoning of the faith itself). There's a rather confusing exposition on the subject of Islam, blasphemy, apostasy, and Western society at the Canadian Society of Muslims website, which has larger sections on Sharia law in general.

Ann Althouse said...

Downtownlad: "Why try to reason with intolerance? I just choose to mock them."

Because there are a billion believers, who care about their historical tradition, many of whom mistrust Westerners. Sheerly for practical reasons, you should care about the internal argument. You will not succeed in simply telling Muslims to swap their tradition for yours. The best hope lies within.

downtownlad said...

Ann - I'm not trying to tell them to swap their traditions. If you ask me, the situation is pretty hopeless.

I suspect that after a couple of hundred years of oppression, some Muslims will finally raise a fuss, eventually start their own enlightment, and eventually join the West.

I really think that the West should just cut ourselves off entirely from the Middle East. Let them kill themselves and oppress their people. As long as they leave us alone.

And let's be realistic here. The real source of this insanity is not Islam. It's Wahabbism. Saudi Arabia is funding something on the order of 80% of the mosques in the West. As long as Saudi Arabia pays the check, you will not hear a peep from moderate Islam.

Unfortunately, America is not willing to do what is necessary to cut Saudi Arabia off from the world. We should be raising our gas taxes to $5 a gallon, building hundreds of nuclear plants, and investing in alternate energy.

You really want moderate Muslims? Then drive the Saudis into poverty. That is the only way.

You can't reason with these people. They are insane.

Balfegor said...

God, if he does indeed exist, would never be so insecure that he requires those who question his existence to be put to death.

As an atheist, it's probably awfully presumptuous of me to say this, but this sounds rather arrogant of you, to project your conception of human psychology onto the divine. "Insecure?" How very contemporary!

Finn Kristiansen said...

downtownlad said...
...Then again - the Old Testament and the New Testament make statements that are just as extreme. It's that "most" believers of Judaism and Christianity choose to ignore those verses.


I would make a distinction between Old and New Testaments and would argue that the New Testament, and Christ specifically, make no such extreme claims. That's part of what makes the New Testament different.

Further, while Christians (to varying degrees) believe the entire Bible (to varying degrees), there is some understanding that the Old Testament is unliveable and that the New Testament, and Christ, are paramount (thus distinguishing the Christian from the Jew).

Usually it is Christians who fail to make such distinctions, dipping all over the Bible, who end up doing acts or holding opinions that are, on face, somewhat illogical or in unison with what we see here with this Quran situation.

downtownlad said...

Balfegor - I'm agnostic. If God does exist, I'm almost certain that he doesn't care whether or not humans (one species amongst billions) on a tiny planet amongst trillions) practice one religion or another.

There's nothing arrogant in that. It's called reason and common sense. I'm not projecting human psychology onto the divine, when I say that God does not have human traits such as insecurity.

Ann Althouse said...

Downtownlad: "You can't reason with these people. They are insane."

That's basically racist. You need to rethink it.

downtownlad said...

It's not racist Ann. Islam is a religion, not a race. And I am attacking Wahabbism, not Islam itself. There ARE moderate Muslims. They are just afraid to speak up, because they will be killed if they do.

Wahabbists are fundamentalists. They think the word of the Quran is the word of God and it is heresy to question it.

How can you possibly reason with that? They are NEVER going to change their mind. For every matter in the world, they have to go to one book to see what God thinks.

But if you're implying that I'm bigtoed towards Wahabbists, I plead guilty.

Balfegor said...

Balfegor - I'm agnostic.

And I'm an atheist. And?

If God does exist, I'm almost certain that he doesn't care whether or not humans (one species amongst billions) on a tiny planet amongst trillions) practice one religion or another.

To my knowledge, in neither Islam nor mainline Christianity could God be considered unconcerned about the doings and existence of humanity. In Christianity, there's the whole "For God so loved the world, he gave them his only begotten son," etc. etc. thing. In Islam, I am on rather shakier ground, but I think Iblis gets his punishment for refusing to bow down before Mankind. Or something like that.

There's nothing arrogant in that. It's called reason and common sense. I'm not projecting human psychology onto the divine, when I say that God does not have human traits such as insecurity.

That's not the reasoning I pulled out of your original post there: "God, if he does indeed exist, would never be so insecure that he requires those who question his existence to be put to death." I read that as insinuating that if God requires that apostates be killed, it is somehow an expression of insecurity. Why would that be?

My issue here (in which I could be said to be doing exactly what I said I was uncomfortable doing in my first post up top) is that we shouldn't condescend culturally to Muslims -- even on the extremes. Nor should we substitute our own conception of what a god is or ought to be, based on our particular cultural norms, for what they understand their god to be, and for what they understand the relation between their god and mankind to be.

Gaius Arbo said...

The extremes are always dangerous. I think there's one big problem here. We here in the west tend to think as politics and religion as two distinct things.

I don't think Islam (or the Islamists, or the extremists, or however you want to frame it)does.

To those people politics and religion are exactly the same. Period. So you are either with them or you are (going to be) dead.

Ann, I am not in any way, shape or form a racist, but I do not see a peaceful resolution here as long as the extremists control the debate.

The extreme version of Islam that demands death to an apostate is hopelessly stuck in the 7th century and cannot coexist in a rational world. We have a problem, and we need to think long and hard on how to deal with it.

Aspasia M. said...

I've met moderate Muslims in Hyderabad, India. I don't know any American Muslims.

I'm with the commenters who don't feel qualified here. I've never read the Quran and I don't know any Arabic.

For that matter, we have a real shortage of Arabic translators in America. We have an obvious need to better understand the Middle East and train Arabic speakers.

But, anyways - there are some provocative passages in the Bible that I would suggest caution us against the dangers of literalism. (I'm thinking Leviticus, and other stuff like Do Not Suffer a Witch to Live.)

downtownlad said...

Balfegor - To my knowledge, in neither Islam nor mainline Christianity could God be considered unconcerned about the doings and existence of humanity.

True, but I'm quite convinced that none of the religions practiced here are earth are factual. Thus, I find any representation of God in the Old Testament, the New Testament, or the Quran, as simply a reflection of the people who wrote it.

I have no idea whether God exists or not. But if he does, he surely doesn't get too concerned about the events of man. I'm sure he has bigger things to worry about, such as creating new dimensions, creating the Grand Unifying Theory, etc.

Except for cartoons. I'm sure he cares about those!

vbspurs said...

Usually it is Christians who fail to make such distinctions, dipping all over the Bible, who end up doing acts or holding opinions that are, on face, somewhat illogical or in unison with what we see here with this Quran situation.

And then there are us Catholics who don't really pay much mind to the Bible. :)

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Nor should we substitute our own conception of what a god is or ought to be, based on our particular cultural norms, for what they understand their god to be, and for what they understand the relation between their god and mankind to be.

I think we all spoke about this in Ann's thread about "Is Islam compatible with democracy?".

We most of us said that yes, it could be. Look at Turkey, e.g.

But that the sharia was not.

Me, I think a person has the right to believe, or not to believe in a God, religion, or the God of $$ if s/he so wishes.

If they are dissatisfied with their birth religion, they have every right to change it, and this includes from Christianity to Islam I make clear, just in case we have any bewildered Wahabbists reading this.

That people even give this situation a cultural relativist angle, is unfathomable.

No one should be killed because he changed religions.

And no country which seeks to call itself democratic, would do that.

Full stop.

Cheers,
Victoria

Daryl Herbert said...

Ann:

Is it racist to say that some group of people cannot be "reasoned" with?

I have met with Muslim students at the university I went to and attended their events, listened to their speakers, etc.

In order to be able to reason with someone, they must believe in reason. The crazy fantasy talk I heard from those guys convinced me they could not be reasoned with. Their handle on facts was so slim as to be delusional. Anything that didn't go along with what they wanted to believe was out of the question. Anything their leader said was accepted unquestionably, even when he was saying really kooky stuff.

It is probably racist to say all Muslims can't be reasoned with (race and religion are tied up pretty closely, and I think people often use the term "racism" to mean bias against ethnic groups (which can be racial or religious). But a huge number of Muslims cannot be "reasoned" with by any decent defintion of the word.

bearbee said...

"I said I want to hear "vigorous debate from people who know the Quran and have other interpretations." Basically, why are the Muslims with other interpretations not speaking so we can hear them? I know they exist. Journalists should seek them out."

Islam & Pluralism
A Contemporary Approach

S. A. Rahman, former Chief Justice of Pakistan while discussing in his monograph ‘The Punishment of Apostasy in Islam’ looked “into the evidence in the Quran and the Sunnah in detail, and draws attention to the fact that the Quran is silent on the question of death as the punishment for apostasy, despite this subject occurring no less then twenty times in the Holy Book” [ibid p 93].

bearbee said...

In The Name of God

In fact in a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court of Malaysia ruled that conversion to Christianity by a Muslim is not a punishable offence.

word verification: lawjag

bearbee said...

Afghan Apostasy Case
The issue of apostasy, when a Muslim converts to another religion, is one of the most sensitive areas of Islamic law. But there is no one authority in Islam, and the four main schools of Islamic thought differ on fundamental religious issues. So Muslims are left to decide which of a myriad of interpretations to accept on issues such as abortion, polygamy, divorce, homosexuality and, arguable the most important of all apostasy.

bearbee said...

OPPOSING VIEW POINTS
Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph. D.

bearbee said...

Case against Christian convert dismissed: report
An Afghan court has dismissed the case against a Christian convert for lack of evidence, according to a news agency report

David said...

Patience is something the Muslims have that we in the west have little of. It will take time for the enlightened view being espoused in Kabul to a find it's way to the frontier regions.

I recently saw a documentary that involved building a ski resort in the Middle East. Can you imagine the average abdul al (insert tribal affiliation here) seeing snow for the first time? I remember waking up in a compartment on a northbound Italian train with my blond wife and her sister to see several Moroccan guys with their faces pressed against the glass. They had never seen a woman uncovered and certainly had never seen blond women.

Most Muslims are not from the city but from the backwaters of wherever they come from. Immigration brings a goat herder from the hardscrabble regions of the desolate earth to the big city. All they have is what some so-called Islamic cleric has told them because someone else taught him and so on back hundreds of years.

To show how clueless the west is, Volkswagen named a model after a tribe that runs smuggling routes through the Sahara. The "Touareg" are a nomadic people that al qaeda uses, among others, to smuggle weapons, people, drugs, etc., on their caravans.

Know your enemy and how he thinks. Maybe the Europeans should find another place to go topless than the frontier beaches the Muslims populate.

Mary said...

Alleluia!

CatoRenasci said...

Though I've read most of the Koran in an English translation, I don't think it's our job in the West to interpret what the Koran means for faithful Moslems. Just as I would not take it kindly if a non-Christian tried to tell me what the New Testament meant.

It seems to me we have to determine what the standards of our own civilization are, and then stick to them. Regardless of historical practice, I think it's fair to say that no country that claims the mantle of Western civilization today advocates punishing those who change religions, or deny religion altogether, in any way at all, let alone punishing them by death.

It's not as if we don't have a dog in the fight - it very much matters to us whether most Moslems are prepared to accept interpretations of their religion that allow it to be consistent with the standards the West regards as universal -- among them the freedom to chose and exercise religion for oneself regardless of what one has previously been born to or believed.

Obviously, we are biased in favor of seeing such interpretations and in seeing such interpretations prevail.

However, being interested is not the same thing as being a party to the dispute. There's no place here, I think, for an amicus curia brief because the court of Moslem jurisprudence and Moselm opinion will not accept it.

Of course, the stakes are monumentous. Should moderate interpretations of Islam become accepted, we will be spared the necessity of a war with Islam a l'outrance.

Ann makes the point there are a billion or so Moslems. And there are several billion people who are not Moslems and have no intention of becoming Moslems. Should it become clear that the billion Moslems cannot play well with others, then the others will have to do something called self-preservation about it.

And, unless the Moslems figure that out and change their behavior and their religion, it's going to be very, very ugly. But, a lot uglier for Moslems than for the rest of us.

Kathy said...

China, Vietnam, and North Korea, only the latter being arguably a theocracy in the traditional sense, routinely imprison, torture, and even execute people who merely believe in ways that don't suit those in power. This gets very little press in the West, but it's easy to find documentation. So religions don't have a monopoly on this. I agree with the earlier poster who said people just behave badly to each other. (And Turkey doesn't have a great record here even in recent years.)

Christian Solidarity Worldwide
Prisoner Alert
Chosun Journal

Finn Kristiansen said...

downtownlad said...
Balfegor - I'm agnostic. If God does exist, I'm almost certain that he doesn't care whether or not humans (one species amongst billions) on a tiny planet amongst trillions) practice one religion or another.


Yea, because it's natural for a creator to create something, and then not care what happens to it. Perfect sense.

Isn't it possible that God could have created millions of worlds, each with it's own story, and it's own path to him (and one that is irrelevant to our own path). Isn't it possible that some worlds are in fact in daily unison and conversation with that God, (having not screwed up or turned away), while other worlds, like ours, need a bit of help and instruction?

Kind of like having children... some follow your path, often they don't. Some stay in touch, some don't. But you never actually forget the number of kids you have, and you do care what choices they make.

Religions are choices, and it's illogical to assume that they will all- being different paths- get you to the same destination.

And if in one religion God is saying, "Hey, talk to me through prayer" and in the other religion God is saying, "Smoke this bong and let Brother Bob bang your hot wife", well, one could imagine the theoretical REAL God having a concern about which religion you choose.

Does a religion make you love those around you? Does it help you reduce the suffering in the world? Does a religion point ask you to share the good news or keep it to yourself? Does your religion encourage you to forgive, to look outward?

Why do we choose to dismiss religions, (the lazy man's option) than parse the religions.

To say that God does not care what religion we follow is to say that God does not care about that we think about him at all, religion being the vehicle that we tend to use to make God a reality in our lives.

Freeman Hunt said...

This is supposed to be one of the verses in support of killing apostates from Islam. I have to go watch a movie, but I have two copies of the Quran and may try to go over it more thoroughly later on.

Surah 4: 88-89
88. Then what is the matter with you that you are divided into two parties about the hypocrites? Allah has cast them back because of what they have earned. Do you want to guide him whom Allah has made to go astray? And he whom Allah has made to go astray, you will never find for him any way.
89. They wish that you reject Faith, as they have rejected, and thus you all become equal. So take not Auliya (protectors and friends) from them till they emigrate in the Way of Allah. But if they turn back, take them and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither Auliya nor helpers from them.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Dave said: "All that I ask of the religious is that they consider the depths to which religion has sunk man."

All I ask is that you quit your thoughtless mantra and demonstrate that you know what you're talking about. Or was that just something you heard, thought sounded good, and adopted as your faith?

Dave said: "Where is the debate about the ways in which religion has been used as a cudgel to suppress and oppress dissenting opinion?"

In the past, I have attempted to engage you in debate. Finn Kristiansen attempted to engage you on this thread. So far you have refused.

I'll try again. You are correct. Religion has been used as a cudgel to supress and opress dissenting opinion. Science has been used to kill millions. Is science bad?

Abraham said...

Downtownlad: I totally agree on the energy independence issue being good for the United States, and that nuclear energy is the least worst practical solution at the moment. But the reality is that despite the impression one might get from the environmentalist movement, we are not the planet's only consumer of oil. In fact, only a small portion of the petroleum we consume even comes from Saudi Arabia. Therefore, even if we completely stopped patronizing them, it would do little to nothing to de-fund them or cripple them in any significant way.

downtownlad said...

Not true Abraham.

We consume 30% of the world's oil. If we can cut that consumption by half, the price of oil would plunge.

If we could invest in alternate energies and make those viable, the price of oil would also go down.

The quickest way to increase those investments is by hiking the tax on oil. I suggest $5 a gallon. That would increase private investment in alternate energies, lower the price of oil and choke off money to Saudi Arabia.

To prevent our economy from tanking because of the gas tax hike, we should cut taxes elsewhere. I suggest eliminating the income tax on corporations.

bearbee said...

"...is by hiking the tax on oil. I suggest $5 a gallon."

"....we should cut taxes elsewhere. I suggest eliminating the income tax on corporations."


And who could be elected or re-elected advocating such program?

Muhammad said...

The context is misunderstood and there isn't anyhting in the quraan sayiong that a person should be killed for not believing in Islam.

Infact the Quraan says that "there is no compulsion in religion." This alone disallows the killing of someone merely over a change of faith.

a good article which explains this particular issue about Abdul Rahman can be found at http://front-line.blogspot.com

Thanks.

M.