Monday, May 13, 2019

Features of Islamic Extremism




Apologists for Islam claim that Islamic terrorism is the work of a few religious fanatics. However, that Islam demands this level of extremism from its adherents as is evident from Islamic writings and  teachers.

Devout Muslims believe they have a duty to expand the rule of Islam. They justify abuse of "infidels" and "idolaters" and under the right circumstance, any one of them can be turned to violence. The most prominent leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, admits that the "killing of apostates is essential for Islam to survive." He simply is reiterating what is said in the Qur'an.

"If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him." (Qur'an 3:85)

Qur'an 9:30 states that Christians and Jews are perverse. Allah himself fights against them.

"He it is who has sent His Messenger (Mohammad) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam) to make it victorious over all religions even though the infidels may resist." (Qur'an 61:9)

The Qur'an contains 109 verses that call Muslims to war against non-Muslims in order to advance Islamic rule globally. Some include commands to chop off heads and fingers. Terrorist acts are encouraged. "If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember." (Qur'an 8:57)

After capturing Mecca in 630 A.D., Mohammad delivered this speech:
"Bear in mind that every claim of privilege, whether that of blood or property is abolished...I reject all claims relating to life and property and all imaginary honors of the past, and declare them to be baseless... A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim and all the Muslims are brothers of one another and constitute one hand as against the non-Muslims."
The Turkish journalist Uzay Bulut studies religious movements. She has written:
"Sadly, the founder of Islam did not leave behind a humanitarian message to respect people of other faiths and to be on an equal footing with them. What the Islamic State (ISIS) and other barbaric Islamist groups have been doing to people is horrific beyond words; but it is meticulously based on Islamic scriptures. So it is not the West causing these human tragedies; it is Islam and Muslims."

Consider these words of the Islamic theologian Syed Abul A'ala Maududi:
"Islam wishes to destroy all states and government anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam regardless of the country or the nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a state on the basis of its own ideology and program."

Related reading: Islamic Violence Against Women; Facing the Facts About Islamic Extremism; Is Islam Ethical?; Islamic Extremism and Iconoclasm


Monday, April 1, 2019

Moratorium on Heritable Genome Editing?



Bioethicists have voiced a global plea for a moratorium on heritable genome editing in the wake of the recent Chinese experiment aiming to produce HIV immune children.

From Science Daily. Read it here.

In an article in the latest issue of international scientific journal Nature, Professor Jing-Bao Nie together with another 16 academics from seven countries, call for a global moratorium on all clinical uses of human germline editing to make genetically modified children.

They would like an international governance framework -- in which nations voluntarily commit to not approve any use of clinical germline editing unless certain conditions are met -- to be created potentially for a five-year period.

Professor Nie says the scientific scandal of the experiment that led to the world's first genetically modified babies raises many intriguing ethical, social and transcultural/transglobal issues. His main personal concerns include what he describes as the "inadequacy" of the Chinese and international responses to the experiment.

"The Chinese authorities have conducted a preliminary investigation into the scientist's genetic misadventure and issued a draft new regulation on the related biotechnologies. These are welcome moves. Yet, by putting blame completely on the rogue scientist individually, the institutional failings are overlooked," Professor Nie explains.

"In the international discourse, partly due to the mentality of dichotomising China and the West, a tendency exists to characterise the scandal as just a Chinese problem. As a result, the global context of the experiment and Chinese science schemes have been far from sufficiently examined."

The group of 17 scientists and bioethicists say it is imperative that extensive public discussions about the technical, scientific, medical, societal, ethical and moral issues must be considered before germline editing is permitted. A moratorium would provide time to establish broad societal consensus and an international framework.

"For germline editing to even be considered for a clinical application, its safety and efficacy must be sufficient -- taking into account the unmet medical need, the risks and potential benefits and the existence of alternative approaches," the opinion article states.

Although techniques have improved in recent years, germline editing is not yet safe or effective enough to justify any use in the clinic with the risk of failing to make the desired change or of introducing unintended mutations still unacceptably high, the scientists and ethicists say.

"No clinical application of germline editing should be considered unless its long-term biological consequences are sufficiently understood -- both for individuals and for the human species."

The proposed moratorium does not however, apply to germline editing for research uses or in human somatic (non-reproductive) cells to treat diseases.

Professor Nie considers it significant that current presidents of the UK Royal Society, the US National Academy of Medicine and the Director and Associate Director of the US National Institute of Health have expressed their strong support for such a proposed global moratorium in two correspondences published in the same issue of Nature. The editorial in the issue also argues that the right decision can be reached "only through engaging more communities in the debate."

"The most challenging questions are whether international organisations and different countries will adopt a moratorium and if yes, whether it will be effective at all," Professor Nie says.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Murder of Journalists in Mexico: "Historic High"

National Public Radio (2107)


According to the New York-based nonprofit, six journalists were killed in Mexico this year, putting it just behind Iraq and Syria as the deadliest places in the world to work in the media.

Another reporter may be added to Mexico's murdered list for 2017. On Tuesday, Gumaro Pérez Aguilando was killed in the state of Veracruz. The 35-year-old crime reporter was gunned down while attending a Christmas party at his son's elementary school.

Pérez was registered in the state's journalist protection program. But Wednesday, state investigators said he was no longer a working journalist and had ties to organized crime. That drew an angry protest by the secretary of the state's Commission for the Attention and Protection of Journalists.

"A discussion of a person's character, with the intention to judge him and criminalize him, does not help those of us who desire justice for journalists who have been assassinated," said Jorge Morales Vázquez.

Read it all here.

Related reading: 50,000 Murdered in Mexico in Twelve Years; Three Journalists Found Dead in Veracruz; Mexico Fails to Protect Wornat and Monroy; Mexico Leads Latin America in Media Professional Murders; Zetas Dismember Female Journalist; Mexican Drug Lords Killing Journalists


Friday, January 18, 2019

Is Islam Ethical?


Alice C. Linsley


The rise of Islamic terrorism due to the radicalization of younger people across the globe has raised questions about the ethics of Islam. Are violence, intolerance, and imposition of Sharia inherent to this religion? If so, is peace and co-existence possible?

One might argue that Islamic ethics is essentially about domination. The religion provides justifications to kill non-Muslims, rape, seize lands, behead those who commit adultery (mostly pinned on women); dismember law breakers, enslave women and boys for sex, and tell lies to advance Islam. This ethical system is contrary to the values espoused by most Western young people who oppose discrimination, segregation, and the destruction of priceless artifacts. However, many do not realize that Islam and the values of the secular West are at odds. The naive have fallen prey to sophisticated Islamic propaganda. They also have not learned to think critically about their own culture.

Were one to read only the writings of Dr. Khaula Rehman, the view of Islamic ethics would be very different. This revisionist perspective would have us believe that Islam promotes freedom of speech and human rights. Yet the sacred texts of Muslims expose this false narrative. Consider the following:

Hadith Bukhari, 52:260; Bukhari 59:643 3
Muslims may kill Jews and Christians if they do not convert or pay.

Qur'an 8:12; 8:60 5
Muslims are justified in terrorizing non-Muslims.

Qur'an 4:3; 4:24; 5:89; 33:50; 58:3; 70:30 6
You can enslave others for sex and work:

Qur'an 65:4 7
Muslim men may rape, marry (consummate marriage), and divorce pre-pubescent girls.

Qur'an 33:27, 8:69, 48:20; 8.
Muslims may seize land, houses, and the wealth of non-Muslims.

Qur'an 5:38
Islamic justice requires that the hands of thieves be cut off.

Hadith Bukhari 81:792 9
Muslims may lie to advance the cause of Jihad.

Qur'an 98:6; 11
Muslims may treat non-Muslims as vile creatures deserving no mercy.

Qur'an 4:10
Treat non-Muslims as sworn enemies.

Concerning Christians who believe that Jesus is the Son of God, we find this condemnation:

And on the Day of Resurrection you will see those who lied against Allah (i.e.attributed to Him sons, partners, etc.) their faces will be black. Is there not in Hell an abode for the arrogant ones? (The Groups: 60)


Choose your darkness

It is easy to criticize the ethics of Islam, but western secularism is equally dark and evil. It would have us believe that the earth and all life results from random material processes; that life is meaningless; that the individual controls his destiny; that there is nothing special about humans; and that the unborn child is a lump of flesh to be removed, like an unwanted tumor.

Our politics and social policies are dictated by activism and lobbyists, rather than Sharia. Our public system of education excludes all metaphysical conversation (thanks to John Dewey). Consumerism and coddling characterize the universities so that it is easier to enroll in a course on transgender studies that it is to study logic or quantum physics.

When it comes to religion, our social conventions are across the board, at least at first glance. We want the freedom to believe and practice our own religion, be it "churchy" or secular. In reality, we all are herded down the same path of feel-good religion, away from intimacy with our Creator. The accepted places of prayer are noisy entertainment venues. No bowing on prayer rugs facing Mecca. Rather a casual worship in jeans, sipping Starbucks coffee, and keeping God at a distance.


Related reading: Facing the Facts About Islamic ExtremismIslamic Iconoclasm; Muslim Style Segregation; The Heresy of Worshiptainment; Secularism: A Christian Heresy?


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Ethics and Christmas




'Tis the season once again for shopping, long lines and short tempers. This is the only Christmas many Americans know. How have we become so detached from one of the holiest days on the Christian calendar?

The ethics of Christmas are discussed in this PBS video.