The absurdity and cruelty of religion 7

report in the Pakistani newspaper The Express Tribune describes how a child in Pakistan was beaten and expelled from school for making a spelling error in writing about a poem that praises Muhammad:

Faryal Bhatti, a student at the Sir Syed Girls High School in Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) colony Havelian, erroneously misspelt a word in an Urdu exam while answering a question on a poem written in praise of the Holy Prophet .. The word in question was ‘laanat’ instead of ‘naat’ – an easy error for a child to make, as the written versions of the words are similar.

According to the school administration and religious leaders who took great exception to the hapless student’s mistake, the error is ‘serious’ enough to fall within the realm of blasphemy.

Faryal’s Urdu teacher was collecting the answer sheets from her students when she noticed the apparently offensive word on her pupil’s sheet. The teacher, Fareeda Bibi, reportedly summoned the Christian girl, scolded her and beat her. Her punishment, however, did not end here. When Faryal’s class fellows learnt of the alleged blasphemy, the teacher brought the principal’s notice to the matter, who further informed the school management.

In the meanwhile, the news spread throughout the colony. The next day, male students of the POF colony school as well as certain religious elements took out a rally, demanding the registration of a criminal case against the eighth-grader and her expulsion from the area.

Prayer leaders within the community also condemned the incident in their Friday sermons, asking the colony’s administration to not only take action against Faryal but her entire family. In the wake of the increasing tensions, Managing Director POF Colony Havelian Asif Siddiki called a meeting of colony-based ulemas and school teachers to discuss the situation. The girl and her mother were asked to appear before the meeting, where they explained that it was a mere error, caused by a resemblance between the two words. The two immediately apologised, adding that Faryal had no malicious intentions.

In a move that was apparently meant to pacify the religious elements clamouring for action against the teenage ‘blasphemer’, the POF administration expelled her from the school … Faryal was not the only one who got in trouble for her spelling error, however, as her mother, Sarafeen Bhatti, who was a staff nurse at the POF Hospital Havelian for several years, was immediately transferred to POF Wah Cantonment Hospital.

The reporter asked the opinion of some grand panjandrum who said that although he was unclear about the intentions of the girl, the word she had used was sacrilegious.

It would be true to form if they put the word on trial, and condemned it to some dire punishment, such as total extinction from the language.

All religions are absurd; some are more cruel than others. Since Christianity stopped burning people at the stake, has Islam any rival as the cruellest?

  • George

    A call for action :

    (1)  Let your friends , relatives, associates and accquaintances know that youn are indeed a secular freethinker and that you have no intent of attacking anyone or unconverting anyone who happens to embrace a particular religious belief. Let people recognize that they have a moral and ethical obligation to respect your right to believe as you wish as you respect their RIGHT to believe their beliefs ( as long as those beliefs are not harmful , threatening or subjugative  toward anyone ).  Do not do anything that may jeopardize your career or job position or be harmful toward your family.

    (2) Write letters to the editor in newpapers , magazines and post on various websites on the  subject of secularism/religion.

    (3) Call radio talk shows and voice your position as a secular rational freethinker.

    (4)  Attend public meetings , city , county and others and let your political views be known and let people know that you are a secular freethinker and there are many of us out here and we also VOTE   !!!!!!!!

    (5)    Don’t be ashamed or affraid to say that your views as a  secular freethinking Rationalist have a right to be heard and respected .

    (6)   Support fellow freethinkers who come out of the closet and go public.

    (7)   Become more and more publicly vocal and help organize a secular group in your area  if none exists.

           It’s up to us to pass the “torch” for our future generations. It won’t happen by merely chit-chatting among one another and nothing else as far as action or activity is concerned. This does not mean that one should become an activist or wear your atheism on your sleeve but simply to be proud of who you are and publicly say so when the situation merits such. Our future depends on us. 

  • George

    I agree with both Frank and Cheongyei.    This situation will speed up regarding secular freethought the more that secular freethinkers come out of the  closet and let their/our voices be heard publicly.   Speaking out publicly as a rational thinking secular freethinker should be as normal as anything else. The problem in America is that the fundies have taken over  ( the society, the media , the politics and academia )  .    The more that we as freethinkers speak out and stand up publicly and proudly , the more that our rational beliefs will be recognized as a positive and accepted voice in America.

  • Anonymous

    The whole concept of ‘blasphemy’ in fundamentalist religions is actually blasphemy against thinking people everywhere.
    This goes back for moohammed, before christ, and probably pre-dates the jews.  It is the hallmark of shamans for millenia to try to control the sheeple with such nonsensical claims.
    Once people adopt reason rather than faith as their way of understanding the world, the world then will have a chance to heal.

  • Frank

    What else would you expect from Muslims? Ignorant and delusional is a dangerous combination.

    • George

      The real scary and horrible part Frank is that so many in the  West are letting this cruelty and horror go on unstopped.  Here we are the most powerful nation in the world with the most powerfull military and weaponry known to mankind and yet we let 7th century throwbacks overpower us , use propaganda tactics and infiltrate our nation via a “fifth column”   and we wonder why we are still in this mess.   This could be ended and resolved if men today would grow a set of balls and stop this “political correctness ” bullcrap.   We had better stand up and fight back or be anihilated .   These people are  DEADLY serious  and we are the targets. I am so ashamed at the weakness of today’s male. Men today have lost their pride, dignity, valor and fighting strength.   Where is the survival instinct and the fighting “spirit” ? Where is the will to survive ?   We have all this mighty military and advanced weaposn and yet we’re not using them. Why ?  What the   %$#@   is the matter with the men of today ?  I’ve said it before a million times and that is the women today have more gut’s than today’s men. It’s sickening and pathetic.   The politicians and our military leaders are all corrupt and weak.   People in America had better put their petty differences and grievances aside  and let our commonalities bond us or we’re finished and our enemies know it .  How much more are people going to take before they  wake up  ? If we don’t take a stand and fight back —were  doomed !   What’s the answer Frank ?  Tell me ? I’m all ears !!!

      • George

        In continuation to above post :
                                  What acts of terror are atheists , agnostics, secular humanists ,  freethinkers or rationalists committing anywhere ?  The answer —-   NONE !   Yet people hate , despise , abhor, detest , vilify, malign, bash, make ad hominem attacks upon, mock, and denigrate atheists to the highest degree.  Why ?  Because we don’t embrace a belief  in some imaginary Daddy In The  Sky ?  If this continues at the rate it’s going we may not have any civilization left  anywhere in the world .  If the terror rate increases tremendously , it could very happen in  OUR   lifetime . Don’t be fooled. Go ahead and make mockery of me , those who think I’m just spewing out nonsense .  This situation is real and it’s getting worse.   We need to do more than just chit chat to one another. We need to speak out publicly while we still have a chance and we end up silenced forever. We need to make demands from our politicians and military leaders that they protect and defend  America and it’s citizens and protect our allies .  Our rights need to be protected  and preserved.  We already had a 9/11 . What’s next ? What else has to happen before people wake up ?  What ?

        • Anonymous

          The good news: fewer and fewer people report a religious faith or life withing a religion. 
          The bad news, the insane fundamentalists of all stripes make life for normal people challenging and sad.