Saturday, February 12, 2011

The difference between Religious tolerance and Respect for religious beliefs

Religious toleration is the condition of accepting/ permitting others' religious beliefs and practices which contradict/disagree with one's own view/practice.


Religious tolerance is different from respecting the religion itself. It is agreeing that the other person has the right to hold on to his/her belief. It is respecting the right of others to hold their beliefs. If there was respect for all religions it wouldn't make us progress. Progress comes from questioning a certain belief and evolving it overtime. Criticizing/reforming a mainstream belief is the same-thing as disrespecting the religion. But this criticism lets us evolve and progress overtime.


I for one, respect, and accept the right of others to hold on to different beliefs which may contradict my own. But I may not respect the religion/belief itself.


For example I do not respect the belief called Wahabism, but I do respect the right of people to hold on to their beliefs (if they do not mean any harm to others). For me, Wahabism, is sexist, backward and primitive and these people have strayed away from what they believe as a scripture in my opinion. I'm just expressing my opinion.


Another example is that while I do not respect creationism (the belief itself), I do respect creationists' rights to believe and hold on to that belief, and also criticize my own belief of evolution. I would not get violent if they criticize my beliefs and it should be that way. There is no point in being violent. It is a reflection of uncivilized, devolved behavior in my opinion.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My response to the people who think that the Maldivian Constitution grants people full rights

Some people think that the Maldivian constitution is very humane and tolerant...and that it gives people full freedom of...

Freedom of thought, opinion and expression:

Article 27 states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and the freedom to communicate opinions and expression in a manner that is not CONTRARY TO ANY TENET OF ISLAM.

Why does this part:- "Not Contrary to any tenet of Islam" have to come in our constitution. Islam should not become a limit to free speech, because of 2 reasons:

1)Your "Islam" may be different from my "Islam"
2)Everyone does not necessarily have to be Muslim (2:256), [10:99]

If freedom of thought, opinion and expression existed, people would be able to express their thought, opinion and religious belief publicly and promote secular thought which is illegal in Maldives due this phrase:- "Not Contrary to any tenet of Islam" being added.

moving on...

Freedom to aquire knowledge and learn:

Article 29, of the constitution guarantees “Everyone has the freedom to acquire and impart knowledge, information and learning

If everyone had the freedom to acquire and impart knowledge, information and learn why does the country ban religious books like the bible? I think that the Ban on some books (which appear contrary to Islam) contradicts with this law.

Freedom of association

Article 30, guarantees “freedom of association”

If freedom of association existed people would make groups and promote their views that maybe even contradictory to mainstream Islam.

Freedom of peaceful Assembly

Article 32 of the constitution guarantees freedom of peaceful assembly

If freedom of peaceful assembly existed people would be able to have protest/gatherings which may promote a view that contradicts with mainstream Islam. But this is again contradicted by article 19 of the Constitution.

Article 19 of the constitution states that citizens may not engage in any conduct or activity that is expressly prohibited by Islamic Shari’ah.

Doesn't article 19 contradict article 32 then??

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Only one thing is left out, that is freedom of religion. I must tell you that without freedom of religion, full freedom in a country/society/state would not exist. All the above rights work together in order to grant us freedom of Religion. If freedom of religion existed in Maldives, people will not get stripped of their citizenship and they will be free to worship peacefully. Also, they would be able to build their places of worship and worship peacefully. The former apostate Mohamed Nazim, will not be liable for prosecution if freedom of religion existed.


People should be free to believe what they want to believe. If a community or system or any structure deprives its members of this basic freedom, it will produce hypocrites and suppressed people who have no strength of belief or goals to work for and will likely result in a weak system or community. Freedom of belief is the air that healthy and just communities breathe.

Conclusion
There is no Freedom of thought, opinion and expression in the Maldives There is no Freedom to acquire knowledge and learn in the Maldives. There is no Freedom of peaceful Assembly and freedom of association in the Maldives and most importantly, there is no Freedom of religion in the Maldives.


Monday, December 20, 2010

For the Maldivians who use the fact that the Vatican is 100% Christian against freedom of religion in the Maldives

Some people have found out a rather stupid way to justify that freedom of religion should not be allowed in Maldives because the Vatican, being a non Muslim/'Western' state comprises of entirely Christian citizens.

This is a rather stupid way to oppose freedom of religion if you ask me, I hope that my readers will also agree with me.

I have two or three refutations for them.

Firstly, you must understand that most citizens of the Vatican are members of the Christian Clergy, meaning that they comprise almost entirely of Bishops, Priests and Cardinals plus, the personal Body Guards of the Pope. There are also a very few people who are Officials of the state. The members of the clergy cannot be Non Christian. Would you accept a Jewish "priest" or a Christian priest to spread Islam in a mosque?

Secondly, the Body which is responsible of protecting the Pope is known as the Swiss Guard. (It is a small force maintained by the Holy See and is responsible for the safety of the Pope, including the security of the Apostolic Palace. It serves as the de facto military of Vatican City..)

The vaticans would not want Non-Christians to guard their holy places, secrets and relics would they? If you disagree, then I suggest you put a Non Muslim to guard the Kaaba in Mecca. That would be cool, would it not?

Mecca, Saudi Arabia contains the holiest shrine in Islam, the Kaaba, does not allow non Muslims to reside or even step inside the city. Saudi Arabia is a 100% Muslim country (according to the Saudi Arabian Government), and it does not allow Non Muslim foreigners to even step inside the city of Mecca. For all I know, I am allowed to go to Vatican city/visit it even if I am a non Christian.

You must understand that most of the workers in the Vatican are not citizens of Vatican city. They are Italians and they reside outside the Vatican. For this reason, all of the actual Vatican citizens are Christian.

Thirdly, they claim that Maldives is an Islamic state, and again claim it to be 100% Muslim. I do not believe that it is neither "islamic" nor 100% Muslim. If Maldives is a Muslim state, then why does it follow the Constitution over the Divine Commandments? Why would a Convicted Non Muslim not only lose their citizenship , but be liable for prosecution as well. God has commanded you not to force others to believe. I believe prosecuting them=forcing.

Consider this quranic verse:

Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most sure hand-hold, that never breaks. And God is Hearing, Knowing. [2:256]



Cheers!