Friday, April 25, 2008

** Revolution by intimidation

Revolution by intimidation
Brahma Chellaney

Having helped sow the wind in Nepal, India now will reap the Maoist whirlwind. New Delhi first ceded strategic space in Nepal to outside powers and the United Nations and then, in an intimidationplagued environment, encouraged a process that has sprung a nasty surprise.

Yet, no sooner than the Maoists triumphed in the elections, New Delhi’s after-the-fact rationalisations began.

Nepal is not just another neighbour but a symbiotically linked state with close cultural affinity and open borders with India that permit passport-free passage. The Indo-Nepal equation is deeper than between any two European Union members.

Indeed, ever since the 1950 Chinese annexation of Tibet eliminated the outer buffer, Nepal has served as an inner buffer between India and China.

The Maoist victory presents India with new potential challenges. It is likely to embolden other revolutionaries in the red corridor from Pashupati to Tirupati that the way to secure power is to wage unbridled violence until the established order gives in to a political and constitutional restructuring.

Equally significant is that India now will have to openly vie with China for influence in a state that had been its security preserve for more than half a century.

Maoist leader Prachanda’s pledge of “equidistance between India and China” despite Nepal’s 1950 security treaty with New Delhi underscores Beijing’s gain.

At a time when China is still battling a Tibetan uprising, the Nepal events arm it with additional leverage to dissuade New Delhi from playing the Tibet card.

It is karmic justice that the monarchy, which for long sought to play the China card against India, now faces extinction from the very forces—the Maoists—it initially helped rear to counter the India-friendly Nepali Congress.

Working with the guerrillas
The poll outcome raises the spectre that radicalisation could extend from the polity to the military, as the victors seek to integrate their former fighters into the security forces.

The Maoists’ stint in office, however, could help gradually defang them by making them indistinguishable from other politicians.

The new situation signals three likely developments.

First, Nepal’s rocky and troubled path to democracy since 1990 is unlikely to end, with the polls marking only the newest chapter in a blemished experiment.

Second, India’s relationship with Nepal is set to become more complicated, with little progress likely on addressing Indian security concerns or harnessing hydropower reserves for mutual benefit.

And third, the Maoists’ hard part comes now on the twin issues of governance and Constitution framing.

Those who sought to bring about a revolution by chipping away at state institutions are being called upon to reverse state atrophy. It won’t be easy for them to embrace what the situation demands — consensus building. If anything, they are likely to make India a convenient scapegoat for their failures in office.

Despite its proverbial aversion to hard decisions, India is left with no soft options. An openborder policy is sustainable only if India moves its security perimeter to the Nepalese frontier with Tibet. The onus must be placed on the Maoists to show through actions that the government they lead deserves sustained Indian aid, or else these revolutionaries will take Indian aid and also damn India.

New Delhi ought not to shy away from employing the immense leverage it holds: Nepal’s topography, with mountainous terrain sliding southward into plains, shapes its economic dependence on India. The ethnic Madhesis who populate the Terai, Nepal’s food bowl, are India’s natural constituency, and that card is begging to be exercised.

— The author is professor of strategic studies at the Centre for Policy Research.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

** The Other side of Sufism

The other side of Sufism
- R.K. Ohri, IPS

A reappraisal of the role of Sufis working as missionaries of Islam

For centuries the Sufi creed and Sufi music have been termed as great symbols of spiritualism and promoters of peace and harmony between the Hindus and the Muslims.

The cleverly marketed concept of Sufi spiritualism has been unquestioningly accepted as the hallmark of Hindu-Muslim unity.

It is time we studied the history of Sufis, tried to track the narrative of their coming to India and analysed their explicit missionary role in promoting conversions to Islam.

More importantly, it needs to be assessed how did the Sufis conduct themselves during reckless killings and plunders by the Muslim invaders ? Did they object to the senseless mass killings and try to prevent unremitting plunder of Hindu temples and innocent masses? Did the Sufis ever object to the capture of helpless men and women as slaves and the use of the latter as objects of carnal pleasure ?

These are some of the questions to which answers have to be found by every genuine student of Indian history.

Most Sufis came to India either accompanying the invading armies of Islamic marauders, or followed in the wake of the sweeping conquests made by the soldiers of Islam.

At least the following four famous Sufis accompanied the Muslim armies which repetitively invaded India to attack the Hindu rulers, seize their kingdoms and riches and took recourse to extensive slaughtering of the commoners.

Almost all Sufi masters were silent spectators to the murderous mayhem and reckless plunder of temples ands cities by the marauding hordes across the sub-continent.

Taking advantage of the fact that the Hindu masses are deeply steeped in spiritual tradition and mysticism, the Sufis used their mystic paradigm for applying sort of a healing balm on the defeated, bedegralled and traumatized commoners with a view to converting them to the religion of the victors.

The following well-known Sufi masters came to India along with the invading Muslim armies which repetitively invaded India in wave after wave:

Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer had accompanied the army of Shihabuddin Ghori and finally settled down at Ajmer in the year 1233 A.D.
Khawaja Qutubuddin came to Delhi in the year 1236 in the train of Shihabuddin Ghori and stayed on to further the cause of Islam.

Sheikh Faridudin came to Pattan (now in Pakistan) in the year 1265.
Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya of Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin came to Delhi in the year 1335 accompanying a contingent of the Muslim invaders.
Additionally, the famous Sufi Shihabuddin Suhrawardy of Baghdad was brought to India for carrying out the missionary work of conversions by

Bahauddin Zakariya of Multan several decades after the Hindu ruler had been defeated and the kingdom laid waste after repetitive plunder and manslaughter.

Like all Sufi masters, his main task was to apply the balm of spiritual unity on the traumatized Hindu population and then gradually persuade them to convert to Islam. Not a single Sufi, the so-called mystic saints, ever objected to the ongoing senseless manslaughter and wreckless plunder, nor to the destruction of temples, nor for that matter to the ghoulish enslavement of the so-called infidel men and women for sale in the bazaars of Ghazni and Baghdad.

Operating from the sidelines of spiritualism they even participated in the nitty-gritty of governance to help the Muslim rulers consolidate their authority in the strife torn country. And significantly, their participation in the affairs of the State was not conditional upon the Muslim rulers acting in a just and even handed manner. On the contrary, the Sufis invariably tried to help the Sultans in following the path shown by the Prophet and the Shariah.

Another important objective of the spiritual and mystic preachings of the Sufi masters was to blunt the edge of Hindu resistance and prevent them from taking up arms to defend their hearth and home, their motherland and their faith, through the fa├žade of peace and religious harmony. The Naqashbandi Sufis had very close relations with Jahangir and Aurangzeb.

The well known Sufi Saint of Punjab, Ahmad Sirhindi (Mujadid) of the Naqashbandi order (1564-1634) held that the execution of the Sikh leader Guru Arjun Dev by Jehangir was a great Islamic victory. He believed and openly proclaimed that Islam and Hinduism were antithesis of each other and therefore could not co-exist.

Even the Chishti Sufi, Miyan Mir, who had been a friend of Guru Arjun Dev, later on turned his back on the Sikh Guru when the latter was arrested by Jahangir and sent for execution.

It may be recalled that the great Sufi master of the eleventh century, Al Qushairi (A.D.1072) had unambiguously declared that there was no discord between the aims of the Sufi ‘haqiqa’ and the aims of the Sharia. The definition given by Al Hujwiri should be able to quell any doubt about the commitment of Sufis in upholding the supremacy of the Islamic faith over all other religions.

That dogma has been the key component of the philosophy of Sufism not only in India, but across the world - from India to Hispania (i.e., the Spain).

The great Sufi master, Al Hujwiri, laid down the golden rule that the words “there is no god save Allah” are the ultimate Truth, and the words “Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah” are the indisputable Law for all Sufis.

In other words, the Sufism and the ulema represent the same two aspects of the Islamic faith which are universally accepted and obeyed by all Muslims. By definition therefore Sufi masters could be no exception.

The renowned ninth century Sufi master, Al Junaid, also known as “the Sheikh of the Way”, and widely revered as the spiritual ancestor of Sufi faith, had categorically proclaimed that for Sufis “All the mystic paths are barred, except to him who followeth in the footsteps of the Messenger (i.e., Prophet Muhammad) [Source: Martin Lings, What is Sufism, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1975, p.101]. As pointed out by Reynold A. Nicholson in the Preface to the famous tome, ‘Kashaf al Mahjub’ (Taj & Co., Delhi, 1982). “no sufis, not even those who have attained the highest degree of holiness, are exempt from the obligation of obeying the religious law”.

In fact, the famous tome, ‘Kashaf al Mahjub’ written by Ali bin Al-Hujwiri, who was also known as Data Ganj Baksh, was widely regarded as the grammar of Sufi thought and practice. Most Sufis have invariably drawn on the contents of this treatise for preaching the sufi thought ( also known as sufi silsilas). As already stated, on page 140 of Kashaf al Mahjub Al Hujwiri loudly proclaims that “the words there is no God save Allah are Truth, and the words Muhammed is the Apostle of Allah” are the indisputable Law.

K.A. Nizami in his celebrated book, The Life and Times of Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya (Idarah-I Adabiyat-i-Delhi, Delhi) has stated that the Auliya openly used to say that “what the ulama seek to achieve through speech, we achieve by our behaviour.” The Auliya was a firm believer in the need for unquestioned obedience of every Muslim, every Sufi, to the dictates of the ulema.

According to K.A. Nizami, another Sufi saint Jamal Qiwamu’d-din wrote that though he had been associated with the Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya for years, “but never did he find him missing a single sunnat …… ”.

The well known authority on Sufism, S.A.A. Rizvi has recorded in his book, ‘A History of Sufism in India’ that Nizamuddin Auliya used to unhesitatingly accept enormous gifts given to him by Khusraw Barwar which implied that the Auliya was unconcerned with the source of the gift, provided it was paid in cash. Yet the Auliya was a firm believer in the need for a Muslim’s unquestioned loyalty and obedience to the ulema.

As reiterated by K.A. Nizami, Auliya used to preach that the unbeliever is the doomed denizen of Hell. In his khutba he would leave no one in doubt that Allah has created Paradise for the Believers and Hell for the infidels “in order to repay the wicked for what they have done”. It has been categorically stated on page 161 in the famous treatise, Fawaid al-Fuad, translated by Bruce B. Lawrence (Paulist Press, New York, 1992) that the Auliya confirmed on the authority of the great Islamic jurist, Imam Abu Hanifa, that the perdition of the unbelievers is certain and that Hell is the only abode for them, even if they agreed to confess total loyalty to Allah on the Day of Judgment.

In the above mentioned treatise on Sufi philosphy, Fuwaid al-Fuad, a very interesting instance of enslaving the kaffir Hindus for monetary gain has been cited which shows how another Sufi, Shayakh Ali Sijzi, provided financial assistance to one of his dervishes to participate in the lucrative slave trade. He had advised the dervish that he should take “these slaves to Ghazni, where the potential for profit is still greater”. And it was confirmed by Nizamuddin Auliya that “the Dervish obeyed”.

Obviously therefore, neither spiritual ethics and nor justice to all, including the infidels, were the strong points of Sufi saints.

If the narrative of the preachings and acts of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer are taken as indication of his religious philosophy and deeds, he emerges as a sufi master who nursed a deep hatred against the infidel
Hindus and showed utter contempt for their religious beliefs.

As elaborated by S.S.A. Rizvi in ‘A History of Sufism in India, Vol. 1 (Munshiram Manoharlal, 1978, p. 117), there is a reference in the book, Jawahar-i- Faridi, to the fact that when Moinuddin Chishti reached near the Annasagar Lake at Ajmer, where a number of holy shrines of Hindus were located, he slaughtered a cow and cooked a beef kebab at the sacred place surrounded by many temples.

It is further claimed in Jawahar-i-Faridi that the Khwaja had dried the 2 holy lakes of Annasagar and Pansela by the magical heat of Islamic spiritual power. He is even stated to have made the idol of the Hindu temple near Annasagar recite the Kalma.

The Khwaja had a burning desire to destroy the rule of the brave Rajput king, Prithviraj Chauhan, so much so that he ascribed the victory of Muhammad Ghori in the battle of Tarain entirely to his own spiritual prowess and declared that “We have seized Pithaura alive and handed him over to the army of Islam”. [Source: Siyar’l Auliya, cited by Rizvi on page 116 of ‘A History of Sufism in India’].

Throughout the Muslim rule all Sufis enjoyed full confidence, royal favour and patronage of the cruel Muslim rulers. Though foolishly accepted as “secular” by most Hindus seeking spiritual solace after being battered, bruised and marginalised, almost all Sufi saints dogmatically followed the commandments contained in the Quran, the Hadith and Sharia.

Historians have recorded that many Sufi saints had accompanied armies of the Muslim invaders to use their spiritual powers in furtherance of Islam’s conquests. Not one of them raised even a little finger to forbid slaughter of the innocents, nor did they question the imposition of jiziya by Muslim rulers.

In fact, most of them guided the Muslim rulers in carrying forward their mission of conquest and conversion by furthering their campaigns of plundering the wealth of Hindus of which many Sufis willingly partook share.

It was almost a taboo for Sufis, the so-called saints, to accept a Hindu ascending the throne of any kingdom during the heydays of the Muslim rule. . In an example narrated by S.A.A. Rizvi on page 37 of his well researched book, The Wonder That Was India (Vol.II, Rupa & Co, 1993, New Delhi) it is pointed out that when the powerful Bengali warrior, king Ganesha, captured power in Bengal in the year 1415 A.D., Ibrahim Shah Sharqi, attacked his kingdom at the request of outraged ulema and numerous Sufis of Bengal.

In the ensuing strife, the leading Sufi of Bengal, Nur Qutb-i-Alam, interceded and secured a political agreement to the benefit of the Muslim community and satisfaction of Sufis.

Under dire threat King Ganesha was forced to abdicate his throne in favour of his 12 years old son, Jadu, who was converted to Islam and proclaimed as Sultan Jalaluddin - to the satisfaction of the Sufi masters.

Similarly Sultan Ahmed Shah of Gujarat (1411-42), though a practitioner of Sufi philosophy, was a diehard iconoclast who took delight in destroying temples, as stated in the same tome, by S.A.A. Rizvi.

The Sultan also used to force the Rajput chieftains to marry their daughters to him so that they would become outcastes in their own community. And the endgame of the Sultan could as well be that perhaps some of the outcaste Rajputs might then opt to become Muslims.

Unfortunately due to relentless colonization of the Hindu mind during 1000 years long oppressive Muslim rule, the Hindu masses till date have failed to realise that the so-called Sufi philosophy of religious harmony is a one-way street. This trend of Hindus praying at tombs and dargahs has been nurtured by the strong undercurrent of belief in spiritualism among Hindu masses, even educated classes.

That is the crux of the matter. Deeply steeped in their traditional belief in spirituality and mysticism, the Hindus have developed the custom of visiting dargahs and continue to pray at the tombs of Sufis, no Muslim, nor any Sufi, has ever agreed to worship in a Hindu temple, nor make obeisance before the images of Hindu Gods and Godesses.

For them it would be an act of grossest sacrilege and unacceptable violation of the basic tenets of Sufism. That is the truth about the Sufi saints and their philosophy of inter-religious harmony.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

** Religious Harmony

Towards Religious Harmony

April 2008,Crusadewatch

Harendra DeSilva

Christian evangelists are on a roll in Sri Lanka. During the past few decades many reactionary Christian organisations originating in the west have swept into Sri Lanka with the single aim of converting all non-Christians to Christianity.

Having arrived in a "third world" country, their reasoning is that all
niceties and norms of decency can be dispensed with; evangelism is
carried out through whatever means necessary without any thought for
the consequence, even if this means creating a religious conflict.

Sri Lanka must be on high guard if she is to preserve her religious harmony, for looking around the world it can be seen that religious conflict has not been far behind wherever Christian evangelists have set up shop.

Moderate Christians in the country have opposed the acts of the minority
Christian fundamentalists, but this opposition has been much too soft
and has been relegated to a few personalities.

If the articles in
various national papers are anything to go by, more often than not we
come across members of the mainstream churches supporting and
encouraging the evangelists and their insidious activities.

By throwing their weight behind the Christian fundamentalists, moderate Christians are only doing what the fundamentalists want them to do: join in the offensive against other religions.

Such an outcome does not bode well for the future of this country, and a deep reflection on the issue ought to be undertaken by moderate Christians siding with (or leaning towards) the evangelists.

It is true that we have heard some sections of the Church condemn the
insensitive and indecent activities of the evangelists, but nothing has
been done to reign in those who continue with these provocative

No concrete steps have been taken to stop abusing the
poverty and destitution of a war-scarred population in order convert
them, and no concrete steps have been taken to stop once and for all
the iconoclastic practice of smashing Buddhist and Hindu statues to
signify total conversion to Christianity.

We are left to believe that
the public condemnation is merely a ploy to appear moderate and
tolerant, and that the Church continues to support such activities in
secret. But surely this cannot be true? For if it were, we have the
makings of a religious imbroglio that could overshadow the current
national conflict itself.

It is unfortunate but true that the history of the Church in this island
has not been one that it can be proud of. If truth be told, the
mainstream churches, hand in hand with the colonials, engaged in
vicious forms of evangelism, trying to convert all the non-Christian
natives to Christianity and bring them to the "civilization" that the
Europeans supposedly first brought to this country inhabited by
brown-skinned "pagans."

The Church played a leading role in trying to wean away the natives from their culture and national religion - Buddhism or Hinduism, and used whatever means at their disposal to carry out this task.

They shamelessly paid new converts to go around
villages degrading Buddhism and they had no qualms about providing
education through their schools if only the Buddhist and Hindu children
would convert to Christianity.

Churches were built on the desecrated remains of Buddhist and Hindu temples, and for a long time the inveterate enemies of the Church remained the two religions of Buddhism and Hinduism which were adhered to by the vast majority of Sri Lankans.

So it is with much concern today that the people of this country regard
the lack of action taken by the Church to arrest the activities of the

Is the Church falling back into its past history of openly
attacking and trying to annihilate other religions? Is this the case in this "age of enlightenment", and if so, how can such an openly hostile attitude towards other religions be conducive towards religious harmony?

The established churches in Sri Lanka
must be wary of providing support to the evangelists who are conducting
an ideological war against against non-Christian religions. By
providing overt or covert support to the activities of the evangelists,
the mainstream churches are only inviting the displeasure of the vast
majority of Sri Lankans who do not look kindly upon the provocative
methods of proselytism employed by the Christian fundamentalists.

Many in this country are quite plainly fed up with the crusade of conversion that is being spearheaded by the evangelists, and want the hate
campaign against non-Christian religions to end.

If the Church were
responsible and tolerant of other faiths, it ought to take into account
the thoughts and feelings of the Sri Lankan people, instead of
continuously ignoring them in order to satisfy the rather fanciful and
intolerant dream of Christianizing not only Sri Lanka, but the entire world

fundamentalists have sown the seeds of religious discord in this
country, and the fruit of their actions can only be disastrous. It is
in the interests of the Sri Lankan nation to take immediate steps to
neutralize the war waged by the Christian evangelists against
non-Christian religions, and to reinstall and reinforce a climate of
religious tolerance and understanding.

Moderate Christians must
understand that the religious harmony that was prevalent in Sri Lanka
has been breached solely by the irresponsible activities of the
evangelists, who care naught for the welfare of Sri Lanka, and who
would do anything in their power to "harvest souls" for their God.

By ignoring the principles of tolerance, love, compassion and
understanding that are enunciated in the Bible, the evangelists are going against the teachings of Jesus Christ, and are trampling on accepted norms of decency.

No good can come of it, and Sri Lanka should not have to undergo the trauma the Christian fundamentalists are thrusting upon her.

United together, Sri Lanka
can shake off the unpleasant activities and attitudes of the Christian
fundamentalists and move towards greater understanding and
co-existence. By doing so, the country can stave off a possible
religious war, and maintain its proud tradition of religious harmony.

But as long as the Christian evangelists continue with their
ideological war against non-Christian religions, and as long as some
mainstream Christians support and aid the intolerant activities of the
evangelists, an end to religious rivalry and hostility will not be

The vast majority of Sri Lankans comprising Buddhists, Hindus,
Muslims, moderate Christians, free thinkers and atheists will not be
happy over such a situation. They want the religious fanaticism of the
Christian evangelists to end as soon as possible - before it creates
debilitating religious rifts among society.

Opposing religious fundamentalism will be of benefit to Sri Lanka
both now and for the future. To ignore evangelism today will likely
lead to more hostile religious conflicts later on. This is something
that Sri Lanka can ill afford after more than 20 years of national conflict. United together as Sri Lankans who appreciate religious harmony and
co-existence, the intolerant worldview of the evangelists and their
machinations can and should be defeated. The voice of the tolerant
majority must be heard.
LTTE in Sri Lanka @

Thursday, April 10, 2008

** Caste not sole factor.. SC

'Caste not sole factor for backwardness'
Pioneer News
April 11

The Supreme Court on Thursday held caste as one of the determining but not the sole factor to decide social and educational backwardness of an individual.

"Determination of backward class cannot be exclusively based on caste. Poverty, social backwardness, economic backwardness, all are criteria for determination of backwardness," Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan said.

The list of socially and economically backward classes (SEBCs) is not solely based on caste, hence their identification is not violative of Article 15(1) of the Constitution, he said.

"When SEBCs are determined by giving importance to caste, it shall not be forgotten that a segment of that caste is economically advanced and they do not require the protection of reservation," he said.

However, the five-judge Bench, upholding the Central Act to provide 27 per cent reservation to OBCs in Central institutions, discarded the contention of anti-quota activists that castes cannot be used even as one of the criteria for identifying SEBCs.

"Caste plays an important role in determining the backwardness of an individual. In society, social status and standing depend upon the nature of the occupation followed," the Chief Justice said. "Caste is often used interchangeably with class and can be called as the basic unit of social stratification," he said.

The petitioners had contended that caste cannot be the basis for reservation as with the change in time, the caste system has undergone change and many persons have shifted their traditional occupations and have become doctors, engineers and lawyers. Related stories below:
1) Caste vs. Merit @

2) Sachar >> : Sachar report and logic

3)Who will save Harijans? @

4)Dalit Christians @
1,000 Dalit Christians to reconvert to Hinduism in TN
13 Apr 2008

CHENNAI: Thousand members who belong to Dalit Christian community will officially get reconverted into Hinduism on Monday in Tirunelveli town in a colourful function being organized by Hindu Monks Tamil Nadu Council.

This event gains significance in the backdrop March 9 police shootout in which two people were killed when clashes broke out between the members of upper caste Catholics and Dalit Catholics.

Speaking to TOI, Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) president Arjun Sampath said: "185 families of Dalit Christians will formally return to Hinduism. All of them hail from the interior villages of Tirunelveli district. This event is being organized on the occasion of Ambedkar’s birthday."
HMK had earlier tried to hold the event at Nellayappar temple in Tirunelveli. However, the HR&CE department which governs the temple refused permission saying that the temple premises could not be used for such purposes.

"So, we’re now holding the function at Nellai Sangeetha Sabha - which is a private hall", Arjun said. It’s learnt the function will start with a ganapathi homam and would be followed by prayaschitha yagam (atonement ritual) and sudhi chadangu (purification rite)

"We’ll purify all those who return to Hinduism by sprinkling ‘ganga theertha’ and ‘sethu theertha.’ We’ve specially brought waters from Rameshwaram sea and the Ganges for this purpose", Arjun said and added all of them would also be bestowed with holy Hindu names.

Further, those who want to follow Saiva cult would be given bhasmam (sacred ash) and a string of rudraksha while the vaishnavite converts would be given namam (tilak) and a string of tulsi. The Dalit Christians who return to Hindu fold would also be given a mantra deeksha (formal initiation) both in Sanskrit and Tamil.

HMK has also engaged the services of several notaries who would be present during the re-conversion function. "The members who return to Hindu fold will take an oath before them and sign affidavits. Later, we’ll get the conversion certificates from Arya Samaj to get their names changed in the gazette", Arjun said.

Depending on the success of this re-conversion, HMK also plans to re-convert 20,000 Christians in Villupuram district. "We’ll take it up in August", Arjun said.

India has a total 24 million Christian population. Of this Dalit Christians constitute 15 million while tribal Christians account for 3 million.

In Tamil Nadu, Dalit Christians complain of discrimination at the hands of upper caste Christians. They have separate burial grounds and seating arrangements.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

** I Don't Respect Religion

I Don't Respect Your Religion

-by Cenk Uygur

It appears Muslim fundamentalists just assassinated Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan. It is not entirely clear they were responsible however. Not only was there a bombing (usual trademark of fundamentalist attacks), but Bhutto was also shot. So, it could be some other forces in Pakistan who were opposed to the former Prime Minister, including the government of Pervez Musharraf (after the assassination, Bhutto supporters were chanting, "Dog, Musharraf, Dog.").

If it was religious fundamentalists, it wouldn't be the first time. It would be about the one billionth time religious folks have resorted to violence to settle disputes. And they usually kill people trying to bring peace or empower others.

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was killed by a Muslim fundamentalist for making peace with Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was killed by a Jewish fundamentalist for trying to make peace with the Palestinians.While Christian fundamentalists are busy trying to create the next Armageddon so we can all die. What a pleasant lot.Why do they do this? Because they're supposed to.

Read the Bible, the Torah and the Koran. They are all full of violent, bloody fantasies that teach you over and over to kill your enemies.Christians love to think they are the exception to this rule.

They'll say the Old Testament doesn't really apply anymore because the New Testament overruled all the gory, masochists violence of the earlier book. So, then I guess Genesis isn't true either since that's in the Old Testament? Oops.

Then, you'll get the excuse that Jesus was the Prince of Peace. Yeah, I know, that's why in Matthew 10:34 he says, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." Sounds down right Christian of him.

But even if you can make up pathetic excuses for this obvious blood-lust and call to violence, it doesn't matter. Because in the end Jesus murders almost all of us anyway.Jesus doesn't just kill the "liars" and the "sexually immoral" and the eight other categories of people who get thrown in "fiery lake of burning sulfur."

He kills all of the "unbelieving" folks as well. If you don't believe in Jesus, you get the lake of fire! What a swell guy.In most interpretations of Islam, Jesus is the prophet that returns at the end of time to kill everyone, too. The fundamentalist Jews also believe in a Messiah that comes to kill everyone and start the world over again.

So, pretty much every major religion agrees -- God is a murdering tyrant.If you don't kiss God's ass enough, he will kill you. And then for good measure, he will roast you over an open fire for the rest of time. You know who does torture? God does. If you don't believe in him and grovel at his feet for eternity he will torture you forever. That's what your religion teaches you and you want me to respect that?You know what I say to that -- Hell no!

If Jesus really comes back to kill everyone (except his sycophants who sucked up to him enough to earn his pitiful mercy), then I'll fight him. He is a ruthless, bloody, senseless killer. The worst tyrant the world has ever seen. All of the religions believe in this absurd, sick fantasy.

Then they wonder why their followers wind up starting wars and killing people who disagree with them.

Plenty has been written about how Christianity was made up in the Council of Nicaea by a bunch of bishops who cherry-picked inconsistent accounts to serve their political purposes (that is a slightly over-simplistic account, but everyone acknowledges that the Bible was written decades after Jesus died and was assembled by others who never knew Jesus or heard what he actually said).

How can anyone know this, and still believe in this nonsense? For the sake of sanity, I will assume that people who still believe in organized religion are ignorant of its history (and believe me, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism have equally ridiculous histories -- to people who aren't brainwashed by these cults, the most amusing thing is to watch one cultist claim that all the other religions are wrong but his is right).

But you can't claim you don't know the ending. Everyone knows what happens at Armageddon. Almost all of us get killed by God. Knowing this, you expect us to respect that guy? Why should I? He plans to murder me.This is the point when believers will tell you that you have a choice and you can avoid Jesus killing you if you just promise your unending loyalty to him (and presumably watch him kill the rest of humanity in front of your eyes).

I think Saddam Hussein used to say something similar. So did Stalin and Mao and every other dictator in the world. If you promise me your loyalty, then I won't murder you.No thanks. I don't have to respect that.

In fact, we are doing the world a great injustice by still respecting this lunacy.The funny thing is how touchy religious people are. They will get offended at the drop of a hat. Christians reading this now are so mad they can hardly contain themselves.

Just calm down, your God promises to torture me forever anyway. What can you do to me that he can't?Meanwhile, Muslims are sharpening their swords as we speak. They get to shoot people in the neck and watch them bleed to death, as they likely did to Bhutto today, but we can't publish a frikin' cartoon of their prophet?

Muslims who don't understand the irony of saying, "I will kill you if you say my religion is violent" are the dumbest people on earth.So, we have to live with these barbarians. But I don't have to respect them.

They can say anything they like about us and even look forward to the day where we all die a fiery death at the hands of their Leader. But we can't offend them? Please.If you are offended by the fact that your religion is made up, cruel, violent, barbaric and ridiculous, that's your problem, not mine. If I'm right, you're living your life based on a silly lie.

If you're right, I'll be murdered by your prophet and then roasted in hell for eternity. I think it's fair to say I should be the one offended.

For the record, I'm not. Harry Potter is just as likely to come to life and kill me for not believing in him as Jesus Christ is.

I'm not offended by your sad, little fantasies. But please spare me your righteous indignation about how I hurt your feelings.

Religious Tolerance @