Religious overkill?

This is a discussion on Religious overkill? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Yes, I know this is a touchy subject generally but I'd like some opinions on this particular case I just ...

  1. #1
    Meow Pendragon's Avatar
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    Religious overkill?

    Yes, I know this is a touchy subject generally but I'd like some opinions on this particular case I just read about on the BBC News website.

    It seems to have caused a bit of a kerfuffle.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7112929.stm

  2. #2
    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    Absolutely ridiculous...
    Since when is it a crime to name a bear after Muhammad, and even if it's against the religion to picture the man, it doesn't apply to other religions, anyway. And what happened to the basic democracy? I don't know how it is in UK, but being able to freely name something is a right.

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    They're ruled by religious law, what would one expect?

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    Meow Pendragon's Avatar
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    From what I can gather... which is not an in-depth knowledge of Islam I might add... is that it is okay to honour a person with the name of the prophet but not to give that name to objects or creatures as it is seen as an insult by some.

    We have democracy (at the basic level but I won't go into the state of British politics right now) but this teacher was not in the UK, she was in the Sudan.

    The reason I highlight this is that as Britons living in the British Isles (I'm not sure how this translates to other countries), we are expected to embrace and almost to yield to cultural differences and diversity within our country yet it seems that this policy does not appear to be valid elsewhere. This is where this case has come from. She is a British citizen teaching in the Sudan, and, although she should indeed have some knowledge of the culture of the children she teaches, she should not have to have an in-depth knowledge of the intimate and intricate 'laws' surrounding it. She didn't steal anything, she didn't kill anyone, she didn't incite hatred (the children named the bear in honour of the prophet) and I'm sure the prophet Mohammed will recover from the embarrassment of being a bear for a week. It's something that's completely alien to me and, evidently, to a lot of other people. Surely, compassion and education for those who are different would be more productive than the proposed fourty lashes?

    It seems to be a matter of interpretation. Many Muslims have commented on this story citing pretty much what I have outlined here.
    Last edited by Pendragon; 11-30-2007 at 06:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon View Post
    She is a British citizen teaching in the Sudan, and, although she should indeed have some knowledge of the culture of the children she teaches, she should not have to have an in-depth knowledge of the intimate and intricate 'laws' surrounding it.
    On the other hand, ignorance of the law is not a valid defence in the UK courts.

    And I don't think Sudan ranks very highly on the "openess and freedom of religion charts" [although I'm not overly familiar with Sudan and their cultural system].

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    Meow Pendragon's Avatar
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    On the other hand, ignorance of the law is not a valid defence in the UK courts.
    I'm aware of that... but Britain is a democracy with a very diverse set of cultures.

    Picture this situation in say, Chipping Norton? It would not happen in this country because there would be an outcry from every man (and woman) and his (her) dog and the labour party would be rapidly evicted from Westminster by the people who have the power. Us. We have the power to a limited degree to change legislation. I doubt the Sudanese have that liberty.

    And I don't think Sudan ranks very highly on the "openess and freedom of religion charts"
    This is precisely the point of this thread... to discuss this fact.
    Last edited by Pendragon; 11-30-2007 at 06:54 AM.

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    Sure, UK is much more "non-religious" - in fact, I think that England [or UK] was one of the first places after what would become the USA to introduce "Freedom of religion" in law. Other countries doesn't necessarily have this, or at least not as thoroughly.

    Of course, a few hundred years back, someone in the UK could be prosecuted in court for Heresy, with, I believe, a death penalty as one possible punishment. So, whilst it's freedom now, it hasn't always been that way.

    Some places aren't nice to people of other religions, and Sudan is one of those.

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    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    What else can I say - totalitarianism.
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    Meow Pendragon's Avatar
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    Can you think of why though? (to matsp) I have an urge to try and understand things that completely flummox me (like my current C# issue but that's another story) and, if I don't know, I will speculate on the most likely reason.
    Last edited by Pendragon; 11-30-2007 at 07:18 AM.

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    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    Well, some of the most important things in totalitarianism are restricting freedom of speech, only one allowed ideal of life, abusing basic human rights, secret security organizations (like KGB). Is Sudan in the UN?

    Edit: Oh right. Almost every country in the world is in the UN. It doesn't seem to me that the UN is capable of resolving such problems...
    Last edited by maxorator; 11-30-2007 at 07:26 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by matsp View Post
    Sure, UK is much more "non-religious" - in fact, I think that England [or UK] was one of the first places after what would become the USA to introduce "Freedom of religion" in law. Other countries doesn't necessarily have this, or at least not as thoroughly.

    Of course, a few hundred years back, someone in the UK could be prosecuted in court for Heresy, with, I believe, a death penalty as one possible punishment. So, whilst it's freedom now, it hasn't always been that way.

    Some places aren't nice to people of other religions, and Sudan is one of those.

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    But do the british still not pay taxes to the catholic church? Those free of religion or not?

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    I'm not saying I understand it - I'm just saying that it's not always been "freedom of speech" in the UK either.

    One thing about it is of course power - lack of freedom in general is about control of the population in the country. Laws based on religion is another form of "power" to the religion itself.

    That's not an attempt to make sense of the situation as such, I just think it's very easy to say "In Country X it's this way, I can't see why it's not so in Country Y". Different countries have different laws, different main religions, and different cultural "values". We can of course say "they shouldn't", but that's how it is.

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    I dont get this.. these people make a big issue out of such a small thing. They should be concentrating on improving living conditions and eradicating hunger from Sudan, and they are more concerned about someone naming a cute teddy bear mohammed.. I dont know much about islam, and i dont know whether it is a crime to name someone mohammed, but if it is a crime, i must say it is a very stupid law.
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    Quote Originally Posted by indigo0086 View Post
    But do the british still not pay taxes to the catholic church? Those free of religion or not?
    Certainly not t the Catholic church. That's would be the Irish [if we're discussing the British Isles at least]. The "Church of England" is a protestant form of Christianity. And I honestly don't know how much, if any, of the tax goes to C of E or any other religious group(s).

    But freedom of religion is more to the point of "You are allowed to excercise whatever religion you like in this country" [this applies within reason - you still can't kill virgins as sacrifice, even if that's part of your religion in some other country, for example. I don't think even animals can be sacrificed].

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    Meow Pendragon's Avatar
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    But do the british still not pay taxes to the catholic church? Those free of religion or not?
    I think the relationship between the Church and the government is more a relic of Britain's past though, don't you?

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