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We need to stop being such cowards about Islam

That was the title of a column by Johann Hari in The Independent.

An extract: " In Europe, we are finally abolishing the lingering blasphemy laws that hinder criticism of Christianity. But they are being succeeded by a new blasphemy law preventing criticism of Islam – enforced not by the state, but by jihadis. I seriously considered not writing this column, but the right to criticise religion is as precious – and hard-won – as the right to criticise government. We have to use it or lose it.

Some people will instantly ask: why bother criticising religion if it causes so much hassle? The answer is: look back at our history. How did Christianity lose its ability to terrorise people with phantasms of sin and Hell? How did it stop spreading shame about natural urges – pre-marital sex, masturbation or homosexuality? Because critics pored over the religion’s stories and found gaping holes of logic or morality in them. They asked questions. How could an angel inseminate a virgin? Why does the Old Testament God command his followers to commit genocide? How can a man survive inside a whale?

Hari goes on to make some interesting points. Perhaps you would care to read the piece and come back here to debate it?

 

When we link articles or websites elsewhere, we do so in the belief that the viewpoint(s) expressed on those are worth reading. Citizens for Peace aims for dialogue, and the first step towards constructive conversation is the recognition of and respect for views other than one's own. Unless the introductory copy specifically states otherwise, such links should not be construed as an endorsement from Citizens for Peace.

 

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