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Just Another Day in Pakistan

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Pakistani university lecturer Junaid Hafeez has been sentenced to death on blasphemy charges.  He has been in prison, mostly in solitary confinement, while awaiting trial for six years.

 

This puts things in perspective for those of us who think we’ve had a rough time.

Really, Pakistan sucks.  It’s probably one of the top five suckiest countries in the world. 
 

https://amp.dw.com/en/junaid-hafeez-pakistani-academic-given-death-sentence-for-blasphemy/a-51762475?__twitter_impression=true

 

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It seems all Islamic countries are similar, is there any which are in good standings with amnesty international?

 

I remember seeing the stat that of the 44 armed conflicts in the world (any that had claimed more than 100 lives in the last 12 months) Islamic forces were one or both sides in 42/44. The only ones that were different were the drug wars in south America. Be a couple of years ago that I saw that, but it seems likely to still be the same. 

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At least 6 countries administer the death sentence for blasphemy.  So people like  us face execution.  

 

🇺🇳 5 out of those 6 serve on the U.N. Human Rights Council, or will be joining next week:

🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia

🇦🇫 Afghanistan

🇲🇷 Mauritania

🇵🇰 Pakistan

🇳🇬 Nigeria

 

I signed this petition calling for Pakistan to be removed from the U.N. Human Rights Council:

https://www.change.org/p/antónio-guterres-expel-pakistan-from-the-u-n-human-rights-council

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8 hours ago, Wertbag said:

It seems all Islamic countries are similar, is there any which are in good standings with amnesty international?

 

The best of the Islamic countries is probably the United Arab Emirates. It's the only one I'd consider visiting (though I probably won't). They've progressed beyond the others, but even they have a way to go to be a truly free society. 

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1 hour ago, TABA said:

At least 6 countries administer the death sentence for blasphemy.  So people like  us face execution.  

 

🇺🇳 5 out of those 6 serve on the U.N. Human Rights Council, or will be joining next week:

🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia

🇦🇫 Afghanistan

🇲🇷 Mauritania

🇵🇰 Pakistan

🇳🇬 Nigeria

 

I signed this petition calling for Pakistan to be removed from the U.N. Human Rights Council:

https://www.change.org/p/antónio-guterres-expel-pakistan-from-the-u-n-human-rights-council

 

I signed the petition about Pakistan. How could any of those be on that council, though?

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27 minutes ago, Citsonga said:

 

The best of the Islamic countries is probably the United Arab Emirates. It's the only one I'd consider visiting (though I probably won't). They've progressed beyond the others, but even they have a way to go to be a truly free society. 

 

Yes, the UAE is one of the better ones.  I actually lived in Dubai for almost a year in the 1980s.  This was after I had worked in Saudi Arabia: wow, what a difference!  Even then it was amazing, and now I wouldn’t even recognize the place.  They deserve a lot of credit.  

 

In terms of human rights and freedom though, I’d rank Turkey and Tunisia as the best of the Islamic countries.  Tunisia is getting better, Turkey has gotten worse.  To put it in perspective, they’re on a par with the least free European countries.

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31 minutes ago, Citsonga said:

 

I signed the petition about Pakistan. How could any of those be on that council, though?

 

They get elected by the General Assembly, where every country gets one vote.  The GA has voted to condemn Israel many times, but never has a bad thing to say about China, Cuba, Venezuela or any other dictatorship.  

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I'd heard from a Turkish lady that Turkey was getting more religious after having had a secular oriented government.

I saw a prediction today in the news that Iranians are getting fed up with the clerics running things and will overthrow them. We'll see. 

 

On another note, I just saw a new film from Pakistan called "Saawan" about a boy crippled by polio in a very poor village, abandoned and doing all he can to survive. It shows his noble character in contrast to several others, and some of the superstition they have to deal with as well as some of the serious criminals. It's on Netflix, but you have to search for it by name. 

 

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I don't recognize this news source, but the story aligns with other, more credible accounts I have read and heard of the status of Islam in Pakistan. Apologies for getting political, but this is a good case in point as to why Muslims should be banned from entering the United States, whether it be for immigration, employment, or even academic conferences. Everyone who crosses the border should be required to deny that Mohammad is the prophet of God.

 

Having said that, it might be surprising that I will advise @Citsonga that travel to the UAE is perfectly safe. My wife is from the UAE (obviously she is Hindu, but her parents were guest workers there when she was growing up). I've visited there several times. There is no freedom of speech and you can't criticize any religion, whether it be Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, etc., nor can you publicly eat food during Ramadan. But if you're just going there for vacation it's actually very safe, is populated by English-speakers, and has enough Western-style infrastructure that you can freely transit from one place to another without any issues. It pains me to say this, since I am someone who openly hates Muslim people, but based on my experience in the UAE, it's actually a nice place to visit.

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11 hours ago, Bhim said:

. It pains me to say this, since I am someone who openly hates Muslim people, but based on my experience in the UAE, it's actually a nice place to visit.

Nice of you to admit that. I feel sorry for you, hate is a waste that serves nothing productive in this world and only causes division and more conflict. 

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3 hours ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

 

Nice of you to admit that. I feel sorry for you, hate is a waste that serves nothing productive in this world and only causes division and more conflict. 

Humans tend to thrive on hate. The entire alt-right regime we're seeing now has mastered the art of capitalizing on that. Sewing the seeds of hate for a common "enemy" is the key element to a successful dictatorship.

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1 hour ago, florduh said:

Humans tend to thrive on hate. The entire alt-right regime we're seeing now has mastered the art of capitalizing on that. Sewing the seeds of hate for a common "enemy" is the key element to a successful dictatorship.

I know. And it's been normalized and "made ok" through Trump's speeches as well. Didn't want to get political but that's my take on it. 

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On 2/7/2020 at 8:59 AM, TruthSeeker0 said:

 

Nice of you to admit that. I feel sorry for you, hate is a waste that serves nothing productive in this world and only causes division and more conflict. 

 

It's curious that no one one here expresses such pity concerning my hatred of Christianity. Granted, everyone here (myself included) has a specific motive for anti-Christian hatred, but it seems to me like your fundamental qualm isn't an opposition to a lifestyle of hatred...

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I have noticed your hatred of christianity in the past.  I can relate to it; I have a pretty low opinion of the human race in general, and fundamentalist-type believers in particular.  I try to just live alongside them; but when someone tries to maniuplate me with faith-based appeals, it touches a sore spot and I want to pull out a klingon bat'leth and cut a piece of them off.  I would like to say that I do not hate anyone, even fundamentalists of any religion; but if I were honest with myself I am not sure I could say it about a few specific individuals.


I used to be part of an atheist chat room that is long gone.  It had a different culture than this forum; a lot of us were hard-core atheists, and evangelism was not welcome.  The evangelists were mostly christians but there were a few muslims too; “have you ever read the holy koran?”  From now on I am probably going to stay out of the Lion’s Den and let others argue with the evangelists; all I am looking for is a “safe place” for unbelief.

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2 hours ago, Bhim said:

 

It's curious that no one one here expresses such pity concerning my hatred of Christianity. Granted, everyone here (myself included) has a specific motive for anti-Christian hatred, but it seems to me like your fundamental qualm isn't an opposition to a lifestyle of hatred...

Hello Bhim, one thing to note is that in your earlier post, you say that you openly hate "Muslim people." That's different from saying that you openly hate "Islam". 

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Being a country boy here in The South, I'm used to hearing bigotry and racism from the local yokels, ignorant sods, the lot of them.  Hearing such from one so intelligent is weird.  Not passing judgment, just making an observation.

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5 hours ago, Bhim said:

 

It's curious that no one one here expresses such pity concerning my hatred of Christianity. Granted, everyone here (myself included) has a specific motive for anti-Christian hatred, but it seems to me like your fundamental qualm isn't an opposition to a lifestyle of hatred...

How would I be aware of that? I don't remember and am not aware of all the positions taken by individuals in this forum. Hate is hate to me, regardless of where its pointed, so I won't reiterate what I said. 

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4 hours ago, ficino said:

Hello Bhim, one thing to note is that in your earlier post, you say that you openly hate "Muslim people." That's different from saying that you openly hate "Islam". 

 

I agree with this. Hating Islam is very different from hating muslims,  just as hating Christianity is very different from hating christians. Hate the sin, not the sinner ;)

.

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6 hours ago, Bhim said:

 

It's curious that no one one here expresses such pity concerning my hatred of Christianity. Granted, everyone here (myself included) has a specific motive for anti-Christian hatred, but it seems to me like your fundamental qualm isn't an opposition to a lifestyle of hatred...

 

I guess we don't see open calls for discrimination against Christians as we do Muslims. I haven't seen you, or anyone call for blanket bans on people simply because they are Christian. (Correct me if I'm wrong) That could be part of the distinction?  

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Maybe just a definition issue?  How exactly is the word hatred being used? 

Most atheists don't hate the religious.  We disagree with them, we work in opposition to their church and openly mock their beliefs, but we don't wish harm or death upon them.

I hate ISIS and their horrific rules.  Due to that I would willingly enact violence upon them to protect the world from their evil.  I do not have that same level of anger towards Christians or Muslims.  I only hate those who would hurt innocents such as child abuse or inflict pain and death in service of their god.  That is not the majority of the religious.

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21 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

I guess we don't see open calls for discrimination against Christians as we do Muslims. I haven't seen you, or anyone call for blanket bans on people simply because they are Christian. (Correct me if I'm wrong) That could be part of the distinction?  

 

I've expressed a belief in the past that churches should be burned down by the government (without the people inside). I still believe that, but I don't press the point too often because the large number of Christian's in Western nations makes it infeasible. I think if we talked about this a bit more, you may object to my view.

 

On the other hand, if we talked about what I think should be done with Muslims in more detail, you may find that you don't object. To be sure, I do believe in discrimination against Muslims. But discrimination isn't necessarily wrong. We already discriminate against people who might be violent or who might be heavy welfare users...unless they're Muslim. I think this is worth talking about if you are interested.

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I think I understand what you mean. I see the churches, and other evangelical religions, as cults. Most of the time they don't present a visible problem, but historically and when taken literally, they have resulted in a lot of trauma, torture, death, genocide, and billions in wasted money. It is irritating to see so many church buildings within a mile of my house, but that is a reflection of just how much influence our culture has from believers. 

 

However, I am trying to give my story where I can in order to influence our culture away from gods and religions. Attacking structures and people tends to make them more steadfast (like the Soviet treatment of believers) rather than removing them. I also see our way of life as one that allows for freedom of beliefs even when I disagree with them. That does give room for more radical elements to develop, but it also lets us be free in other ways that don't need anyone's or any government's approval. 

 

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10 hours ago, Bhim said:

I've expressed a belief in the past that churches should be burned down by the government (without the people inside). I still believe that, but I don't press the point too often because the large number of Christian's in Western nations makes it infeasible. I think if we talked about this a bit more, you may object to my view.

 

Ohhh yeah.... this conversation could go places. For me, what I want is for religion to disappear. However I realize that's highly unlikely for it to happen organically, and if I condone the use of force I start treading on some of my core values. It's hard to promote that everyone should be free to believe what they want while simultaneously suggesting we burn down every religious building. (I say every relgiious building because IF that was my position I wouldn't single out a particular religion). However this opens up the can of worms of now whoever has the power can declare whatever they don't like gets destroyed. In that case welcome to the futuristic authoritarian state?

 

10 hours ago, Bhim said:

On the other hand, if we talked about what I think should be done with Muslims in more detail, you may find that you don't object. To be sure, I do believe in discrimination against Muslims. But discrimination isn't necessarily wrong. We already discriminate against people who might be violent or who might be heavy welfare users...unless they're Muslim. I think this is worth talking about if you are interested.

 

This topic could be interesting, but would have to be done in the ToT. I guess it depends on what form of discrimination. We all discriminate by having preferences for example. That's why people prefer certain other people etc. Discriminating against other people based entirely on their religion (Or sex, skin colour blah blah you know the gist) I think is a dangerous path. I think you'll find that you and I share a similar distaste of Islam as a religion, but disagree on what to do about the people aspect. Both of us are probably worried about long term cultural and world impact, but from different perspectives.

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@Bhim I take it you see no merit in the love thy neighbor teaching. As has been pointed out, when you discriminate and act against a certain portion of the population, that leads down the road to authoritarianism way too easily, and isn't that what you despise about religion? 

People who are brainwashed can be victims to that state of mind, hating them simply because they haven't "woken up" is useless. I say this as a former fundamentalist - I see how I was where they are currently at and I don't see how hatred does anything but cause potential conflict with them. They already have a persecution complex, so why add fuel to that fire? Reasoned debate if they are so inclined is much more effective. Is your neighbor likely to despise you in return if you display open hatred, or attempt to find common ground if you extend a hand of friendship? You jettison anything potentially productive with hatred. 

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20 hours ago, Bhim said:

I've expressed a belief in the past that churches should be burned down by the government

You sure you don't just have a hatred of wooden buildings? 

The buildings aren't the religion, so their destruction wouldn't stop the beliefs. When the Russians attempted such things they just generated hundreds of church groups from every house, warehouse and alternative location. Even if you hate the religion, destruction of property doesn't achieve the destruction of the organisation which is what the aim should be. You need to change minds. 

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