Internet evangelist Bill Keller, who has been outspoken against religions that he believes go against a biblical worldview, has written a letter to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, telling him he is ready to stand trial and even face the death penalty in Egypt if charged with attacking Islam.
Keller, who in recent times has made it his mission to warn voters that GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's Mormon faith is radically different from Christianity, has also talked often about the dangers of Islam. He has described Islam as "a 1,400- year-old lie from hell" and claimed that "the prophet Muhammad was a documented pedophile, polygamist, and murderer, who was visited by Satan himself to start this false religion in 600 AD." Keller has also petitioned against the building of a mosque close to Ground Zero in New York City.
"President Morsi, I refuse to be intimidated by your tactics to try and silence those who refuse to bow to the lies of Islam," Keller's letter begins. "Islam has been propagated around the world for 14 centuries through violence, terror, and death. How people have seen Muslims worldwide react with acts of violence and death in recent weeks and over these past years for foolish things like cartoons, movies, and speech they call insulating, are nothing but excuses to protest, riot, and intimidate into silence those who tell the truth about this false religion." more >>
Jewish and Muslims groups are denouncing anti-Jihad advertisements recently placed in the New York City subway system, arguing that the advertisements imply that Israel is anti-Islamic, and also promote a sentiment of Islamophobia in the United States.
"The challenge for us now is to raise our voices to say that these ads don't represent and don't reflect the mainstream American Jewish community," Mark Pelavin, senior adviser at the Union for Reform Judaism and associate director of the Religious Action Center, told The Jewsih Daily Forward.
The controversial advertisements were recently posted in 10 subway stations in NYC. The advertisements read: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad." more >>
Former President Bill Clinton commented on the current unrest in the Middle East in a recent interview, suggesting that religious extremists living in shame-based cultures are unlikely to survive the 21st century.
"If you live in a shame-based society where you think nothing good's gonna happen, the temptation is to wait for somebody to say something you'd find offensive and you can lash out against it. But free people absorb destructive things and refuse to be destroyed," Clinton said in an interview with "CBS This Morning" co-hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell.
"You cannot live in a shame-based world. You won't make it in the 21st century," he added. more >>
The violent response to an anti-Muslim movie has cast the subject of religious tolerance into the limelight. Is Islam a religion that can tolerate criticism? Can Muslims bear up gracefully when their religion is insulted? As I wrote last week, when it comes to Islam as practiced and understood in much of the Middle East, the short answer to these questions appears to be "no."
As Pastor Brian Lee points out in his article "Freedom of Religion Requires Freedom to Offend," to be a person of faith in America means being a person who is prepared to have his or her most cherished beliefs and convictions criticized, challenged, or ridiculed. Turn on your television or your radio, log on to your favorite social media website and odds are there will be content calculated to outrage and offend you. As Americans, we tolerate such indignities because we believe that free speech is a liberty that is fundamental to a free society. As the saying goes, "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." To many in the Muslim world, however, this appears to be an utterly foreign concept. Having never lived in America, they assume that the American government regulates political speech and artistic expression like their own governments do. In their societies, there is no separation of church and state. The state is viewed as an instrument of their faith. Thus, they cannot understand why the American government would "allow" such offensive material to be produced, and they demand that the American government punish the offenders.
American Muslims should recognize that such demands are ridiculous, and I'm sure that most do. Having personally enjoyed the fruits of freedom, they realize that's not how things are done in America. In America, you have the right to express your beliefs and the right to criticize the beliefs of others. That's true whether the objects of your criticism are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, Sikhs, Wiccans, you name it – just ask Bill Maher. more >>
A day after the United States condemned an offer by a Pakistani minister to pay $100,000 for anyone who kills the maker of an anti-Islam film that has caused an outrage across the Muslim world, the government of Pakistan reiterated on Monday it had nothing to do with the bounty.
Pakistan's Foreign Office said in a statement Monday that the bounty put on the filmmaker's head reflected the personal view of Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, and was not Pakistan's official policy, The Associated Press reported.
The statement came a day after a U.S. State Department official told BBC that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have both said the film on the Prophet Muhammad is "offensive, disgusting, and reprehensible." more >>
A human rights activist has stated that recent protests over an anti-Islam film have cast doubt on the progress Middle Eastern states have made on religious freedom since the "Arab Spring" began.
Tad Stahnke, director of Policy and Programs at Human Rights First, told The Christian Post that the protests have cast a "stark" image on whether religious freedom has improved in the Middle East.
"Are governments in Tunisia and Egypt, are they prepared to denounce the government restrictions and social hostility that is being promoted by these demonstrations?" said Stahnke. "It is an open question. It remains to be seen. We've been critical of governments not taking a definitive stand against violence, against religious intolerance, against extremism." more >>