“I’m gonna kill you, Marty! And strangle you! Then I’m gonna bury you, then dig you up and clone you, and kill all your clones!”
—Ben Stiller as the voice of Alex the Lion in Madagascar
Meet Rimsha Masih. Rimsha is a Christian living in Pakistan in a village near Islamabad. She is currently in prison facing execution for violation of Pakistan’s Islamic blasphemy laws. Her crime? She supposedly burned some pages from a schoolbook that contained verses from the Koran.
Rimsha is 11 years old. And she has Down syndrome.
According to news reports, Rimsha was attacked by her fellow villagers after a Muslim neighbor accused her of the burning. Police took her into protective custody, but a mob laid siege to the police station, forcing them to turn her over for imprisonment and ultimately for execution. Mosque loudspeakers broadcast reports of the girl’s “crimes,” leading hundreds to flee, fearing wider-spread retribution against Christians. Although Pakistan’s President Asif Al Zardani apparently has called for some kind of investigation, the girl’s fate remains in limbo. But unless he and the myriad international groups protesting the incident are able to intervene—and nothing to this point suggests they will be able to do so—these people are going to kill a mentally handicapped little girl in the name of Allah because she (allegedly) burned a piece of paper.
Is the almighty Allah really so impotent that He cannot take care of Himself vis-à-vis an obviously impaired child armed with a match?
If this doesn’t convince you that there is simply no coexisting with these people, I’m not sure I can help you. Call me a racist. Call me a bigot. I really don’t care. But make no mistake: it’s their way or the grave, and Brother, there ain’t no in between.
Recall the incident several months ago when there was widespread rioting in Afghanistan over the inadvertent burning of some Korans by American troops. Rioting. Over the burning of a book. The State Department ultimately apologized for that, but that still didn’t prevent weeks of violent outrage, including the murders of several U.S. servicemen. Little Rimsha did even less than the American troops; she is not accused of mishandling even one copy of the holy book. We’re talking about a few pages from a schoolbook that reprinted some verses.
Stop telling me Islam is a religion of peace. Peaceful people don’t fly into a murderous rampage over a book, however holy it might be. Peaceful people don’t execute little girls over a scrap of paper.
Rusty, you paint with too broad a brush—this is a tragedy, but it’s just one incident.
Just last month a couple in Mali was stoned to death by an Islamist mob for having children out of wedlock. In May a young woman was stoned and beaten by a Muslim crowd in Morocco because she dressed immodestly, in their humble estimation. In 2008, on the orders of an Islamic court in Somalia, a 13 year old victim of a gang rape was stoned to death for her “adultery” in a stadium full of 1,000 men. Five minutes on the Internet and you will find more than your fill of horrifying video of stoning after stoning for any number of offenses against Islam. Even here in the U.S., in June a group of Christian missionaries was stoned and beaten by Muslims at a gathering in Dearborn, Michigan, because they didn’t like the Christians’ signs.
Still think murderous violence in the name of Islam and its tenets is confined to isolated incidents?
Are you familiar with the concept of “honor killings”? This is the almost exclusively Muslim phenomenon of men—usually fathers or brothers—killing their wives/sisters/daughters who have dishonored the family, typically for some form of indiscreet behavior or refusing an arranged marriage. In 2008 Yasir Said killed his 18 and 17 year old daughters in Texas because they were dating non-Muslim boys. In 2009 19 year old Noor Ameleki’s father ran her over with a car after she refused to leave Arizona for an arranged marriage in Iraq. In 2009 Mohammed Shafia, his wife, and his son, killed his three daughters and other wife in Canada over the daughters’ immodest clothing, Christian boyfriends, and use of condoms. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan estimated that in 2011 there were over 900 honor killings in Pakistan alone–exactly three (less than 1/3 of 1%) involved non-Muslims.
The fact is violent rampages and murder over infractions of their religious sensibilities—particularly against women and Christians—are not unusual behavior for the Islamists. These are the same people whose leaders issued fatwas in 1989 making it every Muslim’s solemn religious duty to kill Salman Rushdie over his novel The Satanic Verses, because it was an affront to Allah. The same people whose leaders similarly called for Muslims to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks in 2007 for his cartoons depicting Mohammed. The same people whose leaders have publicly called for the stoning to death of all homosexuals.
These are serious, dangerous, violent people. Everything is death, death, death, all in the name of their holy Allah. Death to America. Death to Israel. Death to you, you adulterous Infidel, you dishonored woman, you gay man. Death to you, novelist and cartoonist, for offending Allah, Mohammed, and Islam.
Death to you, little girl.
Peaceful and tolerant my ass.
Rusty, these are just the acts of some extremists; they don’t represent mainstream Islam.
We keep being told this. But here’s my question: if these madmen are only a small extremist minority, why hasn’t the peaceful majority put a stop to them? I’ve said this before: the so-called peaceful majority knows who and where these people are. If the majority is as peaceful as they claim, don’t you think at some point they’d be tired of being linked to these rabid animals? Don’t you think at some point they would feel compelled to be at the forefront of shutting these people down and shutting them up? Actions speak a hell of a lot louder than words, and tepid protests that Islam is a religion of peace and that the extremists are not representative of the whole ring very, very hollow in the absence of any meaningful move by the Muslim majority actually to root out and stop the religious-based violence that at least has the appearance of being the real face of Islam.
I’d like to be proven wrong on this. I’d like for the Muslim world to stand up and show me how peaceful and tolerant they really are by standing up to and stopping what they keep telling me is the radical fringe.
I only hope they do it in time for little Rimsha.
UPDATE 9/3/2012: It now appears that a Muslim cleric framed this little girl in an effort to rid the land of Christians. Now both are in prison on blasphemy charges, which I think still makes my point.