Friday, March 26, 2010

Why is China opposed to “defamation of religion”?

Greetings.

Jewish date:  11 Nisan 5770 (Parashath Ṣaw).

Today’s holidays:  Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent (Roman Catholicism), Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel (Greek Orthodox Christianity), Feast of Mansur al-Hallaj (Thelema).

Worthy causes of the day:  “Repower America | We got next”, “Take Action: Send Congress Your State's Invoice for Foodborne Illness.”, and “MoveOn.org Political Action: Republican Leaders: Condemn the hate”.

New cool software:  Ancient Semitic Scripts, which is a collection of fonts for Hebrew and Aramaic based on historic texts.  Mac OS X users can put the font files (things ending with “.ttf”) into the Fonts folder of the Library folder (personal or system).

Topic 1:  More anti-Semitism:  “Not the White Response” and “Muslim-Jewish tensions roil a Swedish city”.  The first article deals someone saying something outrageous and then trying to rationalize it, thus metaphorically only stuffing his foot further into his mouth.  The second deals with anti-Semitic hate crimes in Malmo, Sweden, much of them connected with Islam.

Other religious persecution:  “Pakistani Christian couple refuses to convert: husband is burnt alive, wife raped by police”, “Christians Face 1,000 Attacks in 500 Days in Karnataka, India”, “Kidnapping reflects fears of Pakistan minorities”, “Christian Woman Jailed under Pakistan’s ‘Blasphemy’ Laws”, “Islamic Extremists in Somalia Kill Church Leader, Torch Home”, “RUSSIA: Lutheran extremists?”, and “RUSSIA: Who initiated anti-Jehovah's Witness and anti-Nursi campaigns?”.

SVG version of :Image:State Religions.png base...Image of state religions which really ought to include atheism via Wikipedia
Topic 2:  “UN rights council slams 'defamation of religion'”.  This article has me puzzled.  Islamic countries are infamous for promoting prohibiting “defamation of religion”, the intent being to protect Islam from criticism or condemnation, whether it be fair or not.  However, China, of all countries, supported the resolution.  China, you will recall, is an officially atheist country.  The only way I see around the discrepancy is that China wants atheism protected from defamation as a religion, though this may be pushing it.

For the record:  I am opposed to this resolution because it seeks to squelch legitimate debate.  If one cannot make decent replies to criticism but has to squelch it, then one should be questioning whether one is right in the first place.

Topic 3:  For today’s religious humor, based on the next major Jewish holiday, Pesaḥ (Passover):  “Tough Love” and “All Together”.

Peace and Shabbath shalom.

Aaron
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