"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Faith, riots and (un)reason - Threatening the Pope or Salman Rushdie with death is just a way of avoiding reality

"I would add that I am far more horrified by the endless Muslim-on-Muslim killing going on in Iraq than by anything the pontiff could possibly say.

According to United Nations estimates, an average of a hundred Iraqis are being killed every day, almost invariably by other Iraqis. And all too often, many of the victims are tortured to death.

When Israel killed a thousand Lebanese civilians in a month of senseless bombing, Muslims (and others with a conscience) around the world were rightly incensed. But approximately the same number of Muslims are being killed by other Muslims every 10 days in Iraq, and there is no protest anywhere.

Before the invasion of Iraq, when Saddam Hussein tortured and gassed his own people with impunity, I do not recall any Muslims condemning him publicly.

Applying these same double standards, when Nato forces accidentally kill Afghans, we are furious. But when the Taliban kill innocent Afghans in suicide bombings, and assassinate teachers for teaching girls, we look the other way... Saudi Arabia, while funding Wahabi mosques across the West, refuses to permit non-Muslims to build their places of worship on its soil....

For me, the really worrying part of the Pope's address was his demand for the subordination of reason to theology: "Modern scientific reason quite simply has to accept the rational structure of matter and the correspondence between our spirit and the prevailing rational structures of nature as a given, on which its methodology has to be based. Yet the question why this has to be so is a real question, and one which has to be remanded by the natural sciences to other modes and planes of thought; to philosophy and theology."

Sorry, but I'm not buying this. This is precisely why I don't think faith and reason can ever be reconciled."


I'm surprised that this actually got published in Today, instead of the tired old platitudes about religious harmony.

Maybe they're trying to regain street (or intellectual, at least) cred after this July's fiasco.

I just hope the author doesn't get any death threats for being an apostate.
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