Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ann Barnhardt would be in trouble with the 'Law' . . .

Jamil Khir Baharom
(Image from Wikipedia)

Ann Barnhardt, whose 'performance art' I linked to a couple of days ago in an examination of "free expression," would be prosecuted for her performance under Malaysian law as one of those "non-Muslims who quoted or interpreted Quranic verses freely on their own understanding and do [sic. did so] so without sincerity were deemed to have insulted the Holy Book." The authorities wouldn't be able to get her for lack of sincerity, but she did quote the text rather freely, and offer her own, fiery hermeneutic, so they'd get her for that.

Or so I gather from the words of a "Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department," a certain "Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom," quoted in the ominously titled article, "Reciting from Quran only allowed if it's to understand religion," The Star (April 11, 2011). Jamil Khir Baharom cites the "National Fatwa Council edict on Islamic affairs," according to which, "the Government can take appropriate action against parties that abused Quranic verses for ulterior motives or to question Islamic practices."

"[T]o ensure that racial harmony is maintained."
Oh, that's all right, then . . . because Islam is a race, of course, not a religion. Right. And of course, the best way to ensure racial harmony is to prosecute non-Muslims for questioning the words of the Qur'an. By this law, anything deemed 'Islamic' by the National Fatwa Council would be protected from 'racial-hatred' speech, such that any remark considered critical of Islam would be castigated as 'racism'!

I take it that Islamists now consider racism worse than unbelief? What a surprise! Also interesting. Being an infidel is preferable to being a racist.

Jamil Khir Baharom and the National Fatwa Council of Malaysia definitely have their political correctness down pat.

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At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And that is one reason why some individuals do something like burn the Koran: They count on reactions within the Muslim world that will be viewed by their ultimate target audience elsewhere in the world. They want those people to react to the intolerance and brutal overreactions in the Muslim world.

I don't agree with the Koran burning, but there might be a principle in there somewhere worth considering. Look at how much of the Western media has reacted since the Muhammed cartoons first drew Western attention to the phenomenon. The shock of the violence, and the threat of unleashing it again, have got them self-sensoring beyond anything they would have tolerated in most other circumstances.

Ultimately, what does such silence do? In part, does it help in some way perpetuate and legitimize the intolerance and oppression elsewhere?

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not offering this as a conclusion but just as food for thought:

Once Rushdie was championed after writing a book - now these people are criticized for burning one.

(For myself, I give kudos for writing the book and nothing for burning one - because one takes effort and engagement and the other is lazy and limited.)

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Most people have no interest in the Qur'an and also no intention of reading it -- and that includes most Muslims. Even fewer folks would even think of burning one . . . until they see the reaction. Then, some might consider it, though the threats of violence would stop most of those people, too.

But the violence and the threats of violence have people talking. I hear a lot of people openly wondering how the "religion of peace" has so many violent defenders.

I always remind those people that it's just a small minority, surely no more than 10% of Muslims, so there can't be many more than 100 million violent extremists.

Jeffery Hodges

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