The Organization of Islamic Cooperation seeks blasphemy laws

“We are living through a period of unease," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last week. "We are also seeing incidents of intolerance and hatred that are then exploited by others. Voices of moderation and calm need to make themselves heard at this time. We all need to speak up in favor of mutual respect and understanding of the values and beliefs of others.”

Read more: www.globalpost.com

Free speech has a sharp edge

 Free speech is just that, even though it can be a
double-edged sword. That’s how democracy works.

The Sydney Morning Herald has published an article from
guest author, Uthman Badar, spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir , an Islamist group
banned in most Muslim countries. As scores of Fairfax journalists swell the
lines at CentreLink, their comments about “guest” author fees would be
interesting, especially given the following:

‘Uprising
in the Muslim World’ Khilafah Conference 2011 in Sydney on July 3, 2011. About
1,000 Australian Muslims attended the conference hosted by the controversial
Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir which called for the creation of a global
caliphate or Islamic government. 

In his address, spokesman Uthman Badar said, “Australian
troops fighting in Afghanistan are "fair game" and Muslims "have
an obligation" to target them.”

Asked directly if he condoned the killing of Australian
troops in Afghanistan, Mr Badar replied: “If you are occupying someone else's
land those victimised people have the right to resist.” He also refused to
condemn tactics such as suicide bombing as long as "innocent
non-combatants" were not targeted.

Hizb ut-Tahrir claims to be the largest Islamic political
party on earth, operating in 40 countries, is enjoying growing influence in our
region with a series of Indonesian events in the last month drawing 150,000
people.

GC.Ed.

Read the article:www.smh.com.au

Return of the missing post

Semple

I was more than surprised at the deletion of Andy’s post. It
was the result of resizing type, large fingers on a small keyboard and an
operator on training wheels. While I can restore the article, I can’t retrieve
the comment, which are now at rest, somewhere in cyberspace.

I know your time and thoughts put into comments are
substantial and without your participation it would be a boring website. I hope
you can remember the nature of those comments and repost. Mea Culpa! GC.

If they call you an Islamophobe, don’t worry. You’re in good company

I’m not anti-Islam, I’m anti-Islamist and there’s a huge distinction. I don’t care whether my neighbour claimed there were thirty gods or no God, as long as the neighbour neither picked my pocket nor broke my arm.

Radical Islam, though, picks pockets and breaks arms and that’s why we must find a way to stop it.

The underlying problem with radical Islam is that it is both political and religious. It teaches that the two cannot be separated. The Islamists believe that man-made laws are inferior and must be replaced with “God-given” Islamic or sharia law and that all governments worldwide should be Islamic.

Coupled with the mandate that violence be wreaked upon all unbelievers until they capitulate to Islam’s yoke, radical Islam is anathema to individual liberty everywhere.

There is no doubt that there is an active campaign by Muslim radicals to destroy Western civilization from within – quietly, peacefully, even legally. They are working to destabilise Australia and ultimately replace the Australian Constitution with Islam sharia law. And this should bother every Australian.

And it’s already happening. They have brought about women-only classes and swimming times at public pools. Some public schools have been pulling pork from their menus.Women have been beaten, strangled, and killed by their husbands, brothers, or fathers for “dishonouring” their families.

It’s death by a thousand cuts, or sharia inch-by-inch as some refer to it, and most Australians have no idea this battle is being waged every day across Australia.

By not fighting back, by allowing certain radical Muslims to obfuscate what is really happening, and not insisting that the Islamist adapt to our culture, Australia is cutting its own throat with a politically correct knife and helping to further the Islamists’ agenda.

You see, the Islamists aren’t stupid. They are slowly creating a specialised victim status for themselves whereby any discussions of Islam, as well as their motives for Islamic supremacism, were quickly becoming no-go topics.

The Islamists have realised that they could further their radical agenda by playing upon Australia’s natural distaste for racism. They did it by creating a label that smacked of bigotry and which could be applied to anyone who called into question their true loyalties, motivations, religious texts, or ultimate end game – Islamophobia - and if you dare criticise Islam, you are immediately labelled as an Islamophobe.

Australia is doing nothing but ceding ground to the Islamists. It would rather be politically correct than victorious, and as long as it refuses to engage its enemy on every single front, Australia will never win.

For the majority of its adherents, Islam is a gentle religion. Moderate Muslims not only don’t want to commit acts of violence, they don’t want anyone else to either, especially not in the name of their religion. If it were up to the moderates, I’m sure they would gladly see the violent passages the radicals use to justify their actions torn-out from the Koran.

The majority of Muslims in Australia and around the world are moderate and peaceful. Islam brings comfort and provides a path for over a billion people on this planet. It is the source of goodness. Moderate Muslims want to live in harmony with their neighbours, regardless of what their beliefs are.

Non-Muslims want the moderate Muslims to reform Islam, but no one does anything to help them. Some of us (politicians) don’t seem to understand that the moderates who are brave enough to stand up are constantly drowned out by the Islamists who are more media savvy, better organised, and considerably better funded.

Most Muslims have a private spiritual life and are quite happy to live in a country where they can practice their faith freely and openly. But Islamists don’t want a ‘private spiritual life’ – they want a political system that makes faith a very public, state oriented system (Saudi Arabia/Iran). At first I didn’t get it but now I do. It’s all about politics, not religion. In the world of Islamic extremism there is no separation of mosque and state because their church is their state. Their religious leaders are their political leaders and those leaders are happy to give you a simple choice: Live under Islamic sharia rule or die.

I’ll end this post with the best interpretation I have read of what an Islamophobe really is and should anyone ever call you one, my advice is wear it as a badge of honour.

Quote

Now an “Islamophobe” is a non-Muslim who knows way more than they are supposed to know about Islam.

Islamophobia is a fear of losing life or liberty to Islamic rule merely because the laws, sacred texts, and traditional practices of Islam demand the submission of culture, politics, religion and all social expression. It tends to afflict those most familiar with the religion while sparing the more gullible.

Unlike Infidelophobia (Quranically-inspired hatred for non-Muslims), Islamophobia doesn't involve dead bodies, but rather bruised Muslim feelings, which – according to the teachings of the faith – are far more important than the lives of infidels.

In Muhammad's day, Islamophobia was treated with a practice known asbeheading. Since this is now impractical outside of the Muslim world, the condition is best addressed by means of prevention. Such preventive measures include willful ignorance (best assisted with a strong dose of taqiyya).

The fact is that when Islam checks in, a lot of folks wind up checking out… permanently. Therefore Islamophobes are a pretty broad group.

Islamophobes include:

Salman Rushdie knows about fatwas, fear and freedom

Sir Salman Rushdie got first hand experience about religious extremists when his life changed dramatically upon the publication of his book, The Satanic Verses. Sir Salman said: 'Novels such as The Satanic Verses would struggle to be published today because the violent fallout and fear would be too great for publishers.'

Full story here.

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UP GOES THE BLACK FLAG

Jimmccrudden

Jim McCrudden dares to write about the murder of US Amassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens like no other about the wave of Islamist insanity now spreading like a lethal virus against Western interests in some 20 countries. All of it driven by a perceived insult to the prophet Mahammad in a Youtube clip.

Four days ago, on September 11, the 11th anniversary of the
Twin Towers massacre, Egyptian Muslims attacked the US embassy in Cairo; the
Marine defenders were ordered to withdraw and hide, and Islam’s ancient black
flag – the one used when they began the conquest in the Middle East and Europe
– was hoisted in place of the torn down and desecrated US flag.

Murdered-us-ambasador-to-Libya
Simultaneously, Libyan Muslims attacked and set fire to the US Embassy in Libya
murdering at least four men including the ambassador who was dragged through
the streets—that’s him above, his name is Chris Stevens—and burnt the place to
the ground. Stevens apparently died in Benghazi hospital of smoke inhalation. A news report made by the Libyan
Free Press reported that Ambassador Stevens was raped before he was killed.
In each case the murderers claimed they were offended by a movie made in
America. The offence, of course, is a convenient bullshit masquerade. Certainly
they were offended by a movie they had never seen but only heard about, but the
attacks were co-ordinated to take place on September 11th for obvious reasons.
There was also an attack on the US embassy in Yemen.

 The US response was swift.

Obama-pisses-himself Urine running down their legs, they came out and condemned, not the attackers,
but makers of the movie about Mohammed and mewed pitifully that everybody
should respect other people’s religions.
In other words, ignoring this terror campaign against its embassy, the murder
of its staff and the desecration of the American flag the formal response was
to apologise for the right to free speech inherent in the US constitution.
The statement read was, “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the
continuing efforts by misguided individuals [the movie makers] to hurt the
religious feelings of Muslims—as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all
religions. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right
of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”
While bleating about the “religious feelings of Muslims,” the U.S. embassy in
Egypt had nothing to say about the fact that, immediately before the Embassy
was attacked, a Christian man in Egypt stood on trial for “insulting”
Islam—even as a throng of Muslims besieged the court-house, interrupting the
hearing and calling for the man’s death. Appeasing thin skins is more important
than speaking up for those whose lives are at stake—not just Christian
Egyptians, but now U.S. employees—over issues of freedom of speech, not to
mention terrorism.
Despite the fact that there had been widely publicised long standing threats to
the U.S. embassy well before any movies demanding it be burnt to the ground,
culminating with the destruction of the American flag—Victoria Nuland, the U.S.
State Department’s SpokesIdiot, speaking in response to this latest attack,
said that “none of this suggests that there are hostile feelings for the U.S.
in Egypt.” No, of course not.
The US Attorney General has asked for an investigation. The Libyans have
replied saying it isn’t easy – there were so many there, it was all mixed up,
the light was uncertain, a lot of people were just watching; many were looking
the other way….
None of this is surprising—not the attacks on the U.S. embassies, not the
murders, and certainly not the U.S. government’s head up their arse response.
This event explains the situation in a way Blind Freddy understands: the more
you appease, the more contempt you earn from those you appease, and the more
demands will be made of you.
Today, far from being respected as a super-power, the U.S. is increasingly seen
as a subdued, contemptuous crawler—who must say “how high?” whenever commanded,
“jump!”
Thanks to Obama. He did it single-handed.

UPDATE. There have been counter demonstrations in Libya, by
Libyans, supporting the US. They condemn the film, but they also condemn the
attack on the embassy.

Jim McCrudden is a retired lawyer, a scholar of Dickens, Shakespeare and many others. He lives on the NSW South Coast and has keen interest in politics.

A New Athiesm

Tim-HumphriesTim Humphries considers new atheism:

 Much has been written over the years about Atheism and its constant opposition to Christianity and more specifically all forms of religion. Indeed the historical iconography of Atheism is dominated by the larger than life character of Charles Darwin. A quick search of Darwin's complete works  reveals a treasure trove of information including descriptions of geological phenomena, notes from the 'Beagle' voyage and other well constructed pieces that formed the conceptual underpinnings of Origin of Species and thus Natural Selection.

As a scientific and intellectual achievement Darwin stands unmatched in his voluminous exposition of a view of the natural world that challenges all thinking individuals to consider the ultimate question "what is the meaning of life?".

This repudiation of religion and the social, cultural and political forces of enlightenment which must be superseded by Atheistic reason, is a division that remains to this day. The compelling monograph's, manuscripts and discussion papers all point to the idea of a world and universe that operates within particular natural laws that cannot be escaped.

From the spectacularly heretical achievements of Galileo right down to the beginnings of the modern age, the idea of science and reason as inextricably connected courses through history, politics and tellingly through the philosophical and intellectual battles of religion, redefining every age.

What I find extraordinary is the fact that Atheism itself often proports to have most if not "all the answers" on the universe, origins and every other question through observable science. Whilst there is partial validity to the scientific elements, the fact remains there is much in this world and the wider universe that remains unexplained.

For instance if the moon as demonstrated by its proximity to earth has received several meteor strikes in the billion or so years to our time, why hasn't the earth been destroyed ten times over by a similar meteor strike?

How if the big bang theory is true can it be that the earth and the surrounding solar system were able to form from such a high level of energy and explode out and land in precisely the right position to sustain life? How can the arguments about chaos and random action from big bang or other sources of origin be explained in the light of the vast infinity of space?

Further without drawing God into the equation, how can infinity be explained at all? It is true that the vastness of infinity, string theory and parallel universes raise the specter of visionary science fiction television going boldly where no man has gone before. The truth remains that much is unexplainable.

Remarkably the 20th Century produced the era of Dawkins and Hitchens. I would argue that these two luminaries of the Atheist tradition formed and cemented a dogmatism within Atheism that blunts its influence to this day.

The recent emergence of internet based Atheist Stefan Molenuex and British intellectual Alain De Botton represent a seismic shift in what I call the 'Atheists Playbook'. Both men represent what can be described as soft and cuddly atheism that seeks to ameliorate the 'us and them' ideological battles. Though they do demonstrate strong views on the key issues, it must be noted that the "I'm right, you're wrong" approach of Dawkins and Hitchens is shifting to "we can agree, disagree and agree to disagree" on a whole range of issues, without degenerating into an ideologically charged argument over who is right and who is wrong.

This is a uniquely post-modernist phenomenon that must inevitably force the political and religious world to take note. Alain De Botton's latest book Religion for Atheists highlights this trend towards co-opting the moral and supernatural claims of religion towards secular aims. De Botton has seen an opportunity to trace the intellectual schema of religious ethics that informs judo-christian and other societies and has moved to attempt an insertion of this ethical framework into secular atheism. It is summed up best by his coy question "even if religion isn't true, can't we enjoy the best bits?".

The gauntlet has been thrown down. If secular atheism is seeing potential in a softer less pointed approach, replacing it with a a form of indirect plagiarism, surely the religious world of the West and East must also take up the cudgels to coyly and more strongly plagiarize the reason based elements of atheism to explain religious faith. The opportunity is there. I'd like to establish a Christian Materialist School of thought to raise the bar on faith and reason and its complementarity. Either way the battle between Religion and New Atheism has reached a new level.

Tim Humphries writes from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia and can be contacted at mothyspace@gmail.com

 

Reasonable Decisions and Embarrassed Churches

Chris AshtonSo a Christian campsite excludes a group that is opposed to the Christian faith, it ends up in the media, and guess what: the Christian organisation back-pedals, lets the group in, and apologises for a misunderstanding. This is, of course, what happened this week. The Christian organisation in this case was the Salvation Army, and the group that sought the campsite booking was the Lebanese Muslim Association.

But the situation, the media coverage, and the resulting capitulation, all sound eerily familiar. Just last month a lesbian couple tried to enrol their daughter in a Roman Catholic primary school. The whole drama was played out in the media with the usual cast of outraged Greens MPs, an appalled bishop, a repentant school which finally offered to enrol the child, and a couple of lesbians who rejected the school's subsequent offer. 

Obviously that entire incident was a set-up designed to embarrass the Catholic church. I mean, did the parents not realise that Sacred Heart Primary was run by the Roman Catholic church, an organisation with a reasonably well known position on homosexuality? Did they not think that the issue may come up? And what parent in their right mind would pay money to have their child indoctrinated against the legitimacy of the parents' relationship?

Of course, the issue of public funding does come into play, and there is perhaps a case for stopping government funding of religious schools, or for having them accept every application, or at least for a fairer, more transparent funding arrangement, but that is not my main concern here.

What I am concerned about is the way that Christian organisations embarrass themselves by reversing what are prima facie reasonable decisions. Government funding not withstanding, isn't it reasonable that a church as opposed to homosexuality as the Roman Catholic church should be allowed to exclude the child of a lesbian couple? Isn't it reasonable that a Christian denomination such as the Salvation Army should be able to exclude from its facilities groups that teach doctrines contrary to the Christian faith? Why should this embarrass the churches?

Well, the embarrassment arises – at least in the case of the campsite – because, apparently the Lebanese Muslim Association isn't about Islam at all. In fact, it doesn't "want to preach any religion. This is just a group of young people coming to have fun" (young people from Western Sydney, the SMH dutifully adds). A creative explanation to be sure, but as unlikely as the Salvation Army's response is disingenuous: that it was all just a "misunderstanding," a situation the Army is "currently addressing."

To suggest that a religious organisation is not about religion is old trick – no points for creativity there. But the Christian response of capitulation and apology is a relatively recent innovation which is, sadly, becoming common place. Perhaps it's lingering guilt over the Crusades – I don't know. But I do know that such appeasement does not serve the Christian faith, rather it impinges on the freedom of every religion and viewpoint as the scramble to include everyone begins!

 

Chris Ashton is an elder in the Presbyterian Church, and a postgraduate theology student. He occasionally tweets @ChrisAshton.

Public School Chaplaincy: Sacred or Secular?

IMG_3741

Chris Ashton argues that true Christians should oppose federally funded school chaplains:

The decision of the High Court in the challenge to federally funded school chaplaincy may still be months away, but the parties involved have taken no holiday from the passing around their hats and spruiking their causes. Roughly speaking, supporters divide as follows: those associated with the "chaplaincy industrial complex" (comprising myriad churches and para-churches, in addition to the various evangelical chaplaincy providers themselves) on the one side, and assorted atheists, humanists and greens on the other. But of course, these descriptions are far from absolute: curiously, for example, our left-wing, atheist Prime Minister has come out in support of this chaplaincy, and first, second and third respondents in the court case are various Labor government departments.

But what I want to know is: where are the Christians supporting the compulsory, free and secular education they once believed in? Of course, once upon a time, secular did not mean atheistic, and so there is no good reason that Christians shouldn't be the champions of secularism once again.

A properly understood secularism is not the Godless society that Greens yearn for and that Christians fear. Rather, it is a society where the appropriate distinction between the religious and the non-religious is respected. Some activities are clearly religious: Sunday worship for Christians, attendance at Synagogue for Jews, and daily prayers for Muslims. Other activities are clearly not in the realm of religious, even for the most devout. 

Jesus himself distinguishes between the sacred and the secular. In Matthew 22 he was asked whether or not it was lawful to pay taxes. Famously he illustrated his point with a Roman coin, asking, "whose likeness and inscription is this?" The coin displayed an image of Caesar, "therefore," said Jesus, "render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." Of course, Christians believe that all things belong to God and are subject to him, but here Jesus legitimised a distinction that had already existed in the Old Testament: some things are religious, like theology, piety and Christian practice – the things of God; while other things are not, like paying taxes, the general education of your children, and the Christian's normal interactions in society.

The problem with chaplaincy is that the sacred and the secular are not distinguished, as common sense and the Lord Jesus dictate that they should be. Rather, the sacred and the secular are confused and morphed into an ugly monster, and one that should frighten Christians as much as it does atheists such as the plaintiff in the High Court challenge.

In her now infamous speech to the Evangelical Fellowship of the Anglican Communion, the CEO of Victoria's largest chaplaincy provider decreed chaplaincy to be a "God-given open door" to fulfil the "Great Commission," which is Jesus' command to his church to "make disciples of all nations," even "baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). That sounds like Christian ministry to me, until the part where she back-pedals and claims to be all about "educating children," categorically denying that any of her organisation's chaplains are out to proselytise – a denial about as believable as Gillard's new found faith in chaplaincy! 

And this is where Christians ought to be concerned. The chaplaincy industrial complex is spruiking its cause among church and para-church alike, and yet it has confused the sacred and the secular. It can't tell the difference between "the things of God" (Christian ministry, for example) and "the things of Caesar" (in this case, "educating children"). Worse still, there is duplicity here. When it is passing ‘round the plate in the local congregation, it's because earlier, and from the pulpit, it aligned itself with the Great Commission; but when the Education Minister starts asking questions it becomes all about "educating children." Quite frankly, I don't want them having any part in the education of my children!

Of course, as a Christian, my children will receive training in the Christian faith, but they will do so in the appropriate context, and not in one that trivialises the absolutely divine things of God by confusing them with the secular things of Caesar and his usually fine secular education.

Chris Ashton is completing his Master's degree in theology, and is an elder in the Presbyterian Church of Australia. He occasionally tweets @ChrisAshton.

 

 

I Just Can’t Wait to be King

222988-brown

Be under no illusion about who is really running this Government.


 

The Elite first fought in the name of Religion, then Communism, then Terrorism and now in the name of Climate Change. Their excuses for global domination always change but their aim remains the same – Domination.

Special thanks to Wakeup2theLies for the video. If you like, you can follow him on twitter @wakeup2thelies

Andy Semple

Follow him on twitter @Bulmkt

Is Belief in God Ingrained in our “Human Nature”?

A new Oxford University study has found that faith and religion come to human beings naturally — possibly instinctively. The initiative, entitled the “Cognition, Religion and Theology Project” took three years to complete and involved more than 40 different studies in 20 countries around the globe. According to CNN, the study has some intriguing findings:

Studies around the world came up with similar findings, including widespread belief in some kind of afterlife and an instinctive tendency to suggest that natural phenomena happen for a purpose.

While the results don’t speak to whether or not God (or gods) exists, Roger Trigg, the project’s co-director, believes that the findings are immensely important to religious freedom and human rights. When considering the idea that some governments restrict religious activities, Trigg said:

“If you’ve got something so deep-rooted in human nature, thwarting it is in some sense not enabling humans to fulfill their basic interests. There is quite a drive to think that religion is private. It isn’t just a quirky interest of a few, it’s basic human nature. This shows that it’s much more universal, prevalent, and deep-rooted. It’s got to be reckoned with. You can‘t just pretend it isn’t there.”

CNN points out the notion that both atheists and the religious can use the study to validate their beliefs. Trigg explains that the faithful can look at the data and say, ‘If there is a God, then … he would have given us inclinations to look for him.” On the flip side, atheists would potentially accept the notion that faith appeals to the human heart and mind, but that humanity must evolve and move beyond simple myths.

Arguably, the former argument seems more compelling, especially considering the fact that religious beliefs remained consistent, despite major cultural differences. Clearly, a common thread connects the human search for a higher being.

In the end, the study contends that regardless of culture, belief in the afterlife and in purposeful happenings or happenings with divine purpose is completely natural and ingrained in human nature. Rather than existing as a remote or infrequent societal occurrence, faith and religion are normal and frequent human experiences. What do you think?

Read more about this project on CNN.com

 

Andy Semple

Speak without fear and Question with Boldness