UPDATE – death threats for supporting evolution

The UK’s Guardian has a longer article all about this today. Here are a couple of snippets from it (just a taste, if you want more, then click the link) …

The death threats against Hasan were made in an anonymous leaflet handed out by protesters. It quotes religious authorities saying that any Muslim who believes in evolution is an “apostate” who “must be executed”.

An online petition against Hasan has apparently attracted 1,100 signatories, although they are not listed publicly. The petition says they are “horrified” by his views on evolution and call for him to be removed before the mosque becomes a “hotbed of modernist extremism”.

And can all this get any worse? Well apparently yes it can, because …

Harun Yahya, a popular Islamic creationist scholar from Turkey, begins a UK tour in London on Monday, adding to the debate. Last December Salir al-Sadlan, a senior Saudi-based scholar Salir al-Sadlan, said Muslims shouldn’t pray behind someone who believed in evolution in a speech at Green Lanes mosque in Birmingham.

OK then, so on my list of “Reasons why Islam is a truly bad Idea” I guess i can add

  • Complete and utter stupidity of the totally moranic kind
  • Intolerance
  • Violent

Oh wait, hang on a tick, I already have all those on my list … again, and again, and again and again, for way too many reasons to even begin to enumerate.

The truth is that believing nonsense does not make you ignorant or stupid, and to be frank, most believers are ordinary decent people leading quite normal lives, they are just like most non-believers in that respect. Tragically, you do occasionally, as in this instance, find some who truly do believe to such an extraordinary degree that they are prepared to embrace the superstition even when mountains of evidence all around points to it being nonsense. These are the folks who are dangerous, both to their fellow believers and also to us, because their belief overrides their normal human decency and integrity.

We need to be critical of the belief, even to the extent of being obnoxious about it, yet at the same time not attack and alienate the individuals. So how does that translate? For me it means that I do not in any way respect their superstitious nonsense, yet at the same time I respect the integrity of the individuals as decent honest humans until they have proven otherwise.


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