In Islamabad, Pakistan, an 11-year-old girl with Down syndrome supposedly burned “pages of a Noorani Qaida, a booklet used to learn the basics of the Holy Quran.”
In response, Islamic protesters beat her and her mother up (the rest of the family escaped)… and local authorities sent the girl to juvenile prison.
Have I mentioned she’s 11 and has Down syndrome…? Hardly evidence of purposeful blasphemy. It doesn’t help, though, that her family is Christian and that’s a minority faith in the country.
(Even if it was blasphemy, though, who the hell cares? It’s a goddamned book. It’s a symbol that meant nothing to her. But to these religious extremists, pages of a book are worth more than a non-Muslim’s life.
It gets worse, says the website Christians in Pakistan:
The whole community is now threatened by extremists wanting to burn down the village. 2-300 people have left their homes and are in hiding due to threats from mobs declaring that they will soon attack the village.
… Around 1500 people blocked the roads around the village and burned tires wanting to attack the village…
Meanwhile, in America, the group Backyard Skeptics is meeting today at the Huntington Beach Pier in California to do something they did back in September: Tear up sheets of paper with Bible verses printed on them. (Why not actual pages from the Bible? That might provoke the wrong kind of response.)
This is what happened back in September (beginning at the 2:10 mark):
Why do it at all? Group leader Bruce Gleason explained it this way:
“[T]to demonstrate that no one can live by certain laws of the bible, and that many verses in the bible are immoral or just plain silly and should not be approved of in today’s modern culture,”
As examples, Gleason’s [press] release asks, “Should a woman who was raped be forced to marry her rapist? Should children be stones for insubordination? Should non-virgins be killed on their wedding night?
“Both the Old Testament and New Testament have laws that no good Christian would live by without being thrown in jail.”
It’s blasphemy designed to make a point (even though most people won’t see it like that at all).
Incidentally, if Christians wanted to really capitalize on this, all they would have to do is say they support Gleason’s group’s right to free speech even if they disagree with his actions. They would come out as winners in the world of PR.
But they would never do that.
At least Gleason won’t be arrested for this.
Just like the Pussy Riot saga shows, as bad as things are in America, it can be so much worse for religious minorities in other countries.
(Thanks to @ylaenna for the link)