Sunday, February 22, 2009

religious texts violate the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006


I had this thought whilst reading this document and apparently I'm not the first. The act makes an offence of:

"inciting (or 'stirring up') hatred against a person on the grounds of their religion"

Certainly the koran contains many hateful speeches:

"Jews and Christians are 'cursed', 'apes and swine', servants of Satan, 'unbelieving', and 'evil'. Muslims are informed that they should not becomes friends of Jews or Christians who are 'unjust people' and 'friends of each other' . These 'companions of the flaming fire' are presented as corrupters of Islam who will not rest until Muslims reject Islam and follow them. Despite the apparently varying positions on Jews and Christians found in the Qur'an, it is very clear that it shows them no intrinsic respect, condemns their beliefs, and warns Muslims not to trust or associate with them. At best, Muslims are enjoined to 'pardon them and turn away' (5.13), while at worst they are commanded to 'fight' them 'until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection' (9.29)."
Likewise, the bible contains many hateful passages, often imploring "good" christians to kill unbelievers, homosexuals, adulterers, etc. etc. For example, if your brother, son, daughter, wife or friend tries to get you to worship another god:

"thou shalt surely kill him, thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death"
Deut 13:6-10
Obviously the torah is most of the old testament so there's plenty of shared hatred there. (Has anyone ever considered the delicious irony of christianity and judaism sharing the same magic texts that implore them to murder followers of other cults?)

According to the Wikipedia article, this was pointed out by many critics of the Bill! As a result an amendment was made to the bill during its passage through the Lords that has:
" the effect of limiting the legislation to "A person who uses threatening words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening... if he intends thereby to stir up religious hatred". This removed the abusive and insulting concept, and required the intention - and not just the possibility - of stirring up religious hatred."
I still don't see how this exempts any follower of an abrahamic religion in possession of a holy book. What is the act of following a religion, if not an expression of support for its malevolent tenets? The caveat of "intention to stir up religious hatred" reveals the hypocrisy of your average sky-pixie fan (who will obviously deny any such intention) as such a denial directly contradict the tenets of their chosen death-cult.

Ergo, followers of abrahamic religions are, in the eyes of the law, either hate-filled bigots or hypocrites.

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