Apr 21, 2017

This week’s story about Islam.

 Two gay Indonesian men have been arrested and face 100 lashes in a case that is drawing international attention to the enforcement of controversial new Islamic bylaws in the semi-autonomous Aceh province.

Mobile phone footage, showing vigilantes slapping one of the young men as he sits naked on the ground awaiting arrest by local sharia police, has been shared on social media in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

Human Rights Watch has demanded their immediate release, saying their possible punishment – a public beating with a stick – constitutes torture.

I realize to some this would be considered ‘Muslim bashing’ but I really don’t think anyone in the West can do anything to change Islam or the voices that are the loudest in the faith.

If we look at the three Abrahamic religions, two of the three have undergone reform movements since their inception however, the last of the three to appear, Islam has not undergone any radical reform within the faith.

Oddly enough I came across this gem:
Jews and Christians are specifically protected in the Quran as Peoples of the Book, reinforcing their spiritual connection to Islam by virtue of having been given revelations from God. The Islamic legal tradition has upheld the rights of Jews and Christians to maintain their beliefs and practices within their communities in Islamic lands, and this policy of tolerance has generally been upheld.
One would wonder where that tolerance has gone when we see example after example of intolerance paraded before us almost daily.

Many Muslims are good, peaceful people but until those voices raise up to marginalize and ostracize those who have commandeered their faith there will ever be acrimony between Muslims and non Muslims.We cannot continue the fallacy of Islam not presenting an existential threat to free and open societies when the loudest voices within the faith are those of hatred and intolerance.

We need to start calling it out for what it is, here in our country and in other countries around the world. Ignoring an ongoing and growing problem isn’t going to make it go away, it will only get worse.

I’m hoping people within the faith begin to recognize what is happened and start to make a point to stand against this behavior - they’re the front line soldiers in this fight. As that passage mentions above we are all of us Peoples of the Book and should look to find common ground together so we can live in peace. We must challenge the threats to that peace as much as we can.

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