I have to make a quick comment on this story because it's so stupid and sad. There's this article from the Toronto Star which outlines the story of Faryal Bhatti, a grade 8 student in Pakistan. She is a Christian student who misspelled the word "praise" in Urdu, changing its meaning to "curse". That didn't fly in her classroom and the teacher beat her in front of the other students before sending her to the Principal.
What do you think happened next? Well, she was expelled from school, her mother had to leave her job, her family were evicted from their home, and they've gotten death threats from psychotic religious assholes. I would, however, be remiss if I didn't say that there were some clerics with somewhat saner points of view. Like Maulana Mehfooz Ali Khan, for example, who said:
I protest against the decision of expelling the child and transferring the mother...This action by the committee has printed a very negative image about Islam on the child’s mind, we want the people to learn about Islam, not to make them hate it.Yeah, exactly. There are far too few religious moderates willing to stick their necks out for tolerance and non-murderous behavior - mostly because they'll get fucking murdered.
If you read the article, then you will have seen the bit about Salmaan Taseer, the assassinated former governor of Punjab state, who wanted to repeal or lessen Pakistan's blasphemy laws. His insane bodyguard killed him because of this, shooting him 27 times in the back.
Sure, Islam has mostly moderate people in its ranks, good people who just use the religion to get through the day and to help them be better people. The trouble, as always, is that the scriptures of Islam lean in favor of the maniacs and psychopaths who use murder, intimidation, beatings, and menace to control populations. It's the ravings and blatherings of the few loud Koran-thumpers who get the ink and the attention and it's about time that the general population raises its collective voice and tell them to shut the fuck up.
Get on that, will you Pakistani populace?