I saw a sign outside my local church the other day that read:
Know God, Know Peace
No God, No Peace
Then I read this today:
An enraged Muslim mob beat a Christian couple to death and burnt their bodies in the brick kiln where they worked on Tuesday for allegedly desecrating pages of the Holy Quran.
He said that on Sunday, Shama, wife of the deceased Shahzad Masih, was cleaning her quarters when she found some amulets belonging to her late father-in-law who used to ‘practice’ black magic.
“Shama burnt the amulets and threw them on a garbage heap. Irfan, a Muslim co-worker at the kiln, noticed some half burnt pieces of paper from the amulets and raised clamour, claiming that these were pages from the holy Quran, Soon the word spread and at 7am on Tuesday, a Muslim mob of about 3,000-4,000 people attacked the couple’s quarters at the brick kiln and tortured the couple to death. They later threw their bodies into the kiln and completely burnt them,” he said, adding that he and some other Christian families who worked at the kiln fled the kiln immediately after the incident.
He said the couple, aged between 30 and 35 years had three children while Shama was expecting a fourth child.
Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in the country, with even unproven allegations often prompting mob violence. Anyone convicted, or even just accused, of insulting Islam, risks a violent and bloody death at the hands of vigilantes.
Here’s a case of real Christian persecution.
It always amazes me when religious zealots say that without their book we have no basis for morality, but then one group of them or another go off and do something like this in the name of that very same book.
Memo to religious people: burning, desecrating, destroying a book does not entitle you to murder, rape or otherwise harm someone.
Blasphemy is not a good reason to jail, behead, torture or terrorize someone. It does not give you the right to riot. If there is a god, it wouldn’t need your defense in the first place. It would be plenty capable of defending itself.
I’m not sure how the pastor of that original church – the local one with the sign – can blissfully go around spouting such nonsense, when the evidence is so overwhelmingly not in their favor. It seems obvious to me that simply ‘knowing god’ or believing that a god exists does not guarantee peace. It also doesn’t guarantee brutality like the one described in this news story.
In fact, if you say that your religion is the thing that brings you peace, then I believe you. If you practice your religion peacefully, and use it to help you in your day-to-day life, then I completely understand your position.
But saying that if you don’t believe in god, you will know no peace is ridiculous. There are millions of atheists and agnostics that will never form a mob and terrorize people. They will likely lead very peaceful lives and they may even describe themselves as ‘being at peace’ with themselves. They may not achieve that peace using the same methods as a religious person, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t peaceful and aren’t at peace.
That Christian couple deserved better. Their unborn child deserved better. Their children (now orphans because of superstitious goonery) deserved better.