Liberal Grace

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Shame on Muslims?

This news item highlights a very different world view on what brings "shame" to Muslims.

Reward offer for beheading
An Indian Muslim group has offered a 500,000 rupee ($11,319) bounty for the beheading of controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen. The president of the All India Ibtehad Council, Taqi Raza Khan, said he had declared the reward for anyone who carried out the “quatal” or “extermination” of the “notorious woman.”
Nasreen has incensed conservative Muslims for writing a novel “Lajja” or “Shame” depicting the life of a Hindu family facing the ire of Muslims in her homeland of Bangladesh. The book has been banned from being sold in Muslim-majority Bangladesh. The author was forced to flee her homeland in 1994 after radical Muslims decried her writings as blasphemous and demanded her execution.
“Taslima has put Muslims to shame in her writing. She should be killed and beheaded and anyone who does this will get a reward from the council,” he said in a statement received in Lucknow, capital of northern Uttar Pradesh state.
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Which, in your mind, brings bigger "shame" on Muslims: the book or beheadings?

It's a profoundly different worldview (that I'm not suggesting breaks neatly along religious lines.)

The same worldview difference came up with the cartoon scandal last year. I am sympathetic to Muslims who feel their faith was insulted. (I often get the same feeling fairly about my faith.)

From my world view, the reaction -- especially the violent reaction --- to the comics damaged Islam far far more than the comics did.

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