Questionable Motives

May 27, 2010

How do you make suicide bombers?

Filed under: Islam,Religion,suicide bombers/mass murderers,Taliban,TED — tildeb @ 5:38 pm

Send ’em to a religious school!

TED video here by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

December 22, 2009

What beliefs do the Taliban and the Southern American Baptists hold in common?

Grotesque misogyny is the answer: both the Taliban and the Southern Baptists employ the “lessons” of biology and scripture to “prove” women’s inferiority.

Shame on both.

So what’s an ex-president of a secular democracy to do when his church endorses misogyny? Jimmy Carter did the right thing: he quit – an act of bravery that other people of faith with moral courage should do.

Sensible, decent Jimmy Carter got it right again. “This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. It is widespread. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue, or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a higher authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries. The male interpretations of religious texts and the way they interact with and reinforce traditional practices justify some of the most pervasive, persistent, flagrant, and damaging examples of human-rights abuses.”

To read more of  Francine Prose’s articulate piece from Laphram’s Quarterly, go here.

December 14, 2009

How to justify religious belief but disclaim its abhorent practices: Is this the best explanation a bishop can do?

The Rt Rev Stephen Venner called for a more sympathetic approach to the Islamic fundamentalists (in Afghanistan) that recognises their humanity.

“The Taliban can perhaps be admired for their conviction to their faith and their sense of loyalty to each other.”

Besides their attacks on the armed forces, the Taliban have also been responsible for public beatings, amputations and executions and have launched bomb attacks on the civilian population in Afghanistan.

The bishop said that some of their methods of combat are not honourable or acceptable, but argued that it was unhelpful to demonise them.

“We must remember that there are a lot of people who are under their influence for a whole range of reasons, and we simply can’t lump all of those together.

Colonel Richard Kemp, a former commander in Afghanistan who has written about the insurgency, said the bishop was being naïve.

“We clearly need to understand our enemy but that is more of a military issue rather than a religious one,” he said.

“There are elements in the Taliban who do not act from a religious perspective and it is important to understand and turn them around.

“But there are many others who will not be persuaded. Their central creed and ethos is about violent oppression which comes from a politics of extreme religion that has very little to commend it in terms that we would recognise or appreciate.

“In many ways it is a mistake to compare their faith of extreme holy war with the kind of religion of peace and understanding that the bishop follows. They certainly wouldn’t show understanding of his faith.”

From the article here.

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