Blasphemy in Pakistan and the USA

Sarah Palin has more in common with Islamic fundamentalism than with Christianity

It’s hard to avoid drawing parallels between the recent shootings in Arizona and Pakistan.

There seems little doubt that Jared Lee Loughner, the shooter in the Arizona attack, is batshit crazy, but who could doubt that Sarah Palin is also quite insane?

Palin published this map on her Facebook page, identifying the locations of 20 House Democrats who voted for healthcare reforms.  The districts were identified with crosshairs of a rifle scope.  She then followed up with a tweet saying

Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” Pls see my Facebook page.

The map included the name of Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. Jared Lee Loughner shot Gabrielle Giffords in the face, as well as 17 others.  He killed six people, including a judge and a young child in the shooting.

Giffords committed a crime of blasphemy in the eyes of Palin’s redneck followers: the crime of supporting better health care for the poor and the weak.  And in her fundamentalist Christian zeal, Palin has blended two potent symbols: the gun and the cross, elevating one to a quasi-religious symbol, and reducing the other to a weapon.  The liberal is Satan in Palin’s demented world.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab was shot by his own security guard, because he opposed Pakistan’s blasphemy law.  Taseer was sympathetic to the plight of Asia Bibi, an illiterate Christian woman sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the Prophet.  The accusation was made by local villagers after an argument, no corroborating evidence was produced, and there are strong suspicions that the villagers were simply settling an old score.

A radical Islamic cleric has offered a reward for anyone willing to kill Asia Bibi.

Taseer’s only real crime, it seems was being a liberal, just like Giffords. Both ran foul of illiterate ignoramuses spurred on by insane demagogues. Both were shot.

So what’s the difference between Sarah Palin and a crazy fundamentalist Islamic cleric?


21 thoughts on “Blasphemy in Pakistan and the USA

  1. The scariest thing to me is that if any non-national US citizen were found with a similar map, they’d find themselves shipped off to a political prisoner camp and subjected to gruelling interrogation. At home, in Government, it’s perfectly acceptable for Americans to practice hate crime and intimidation.

  2. It`s called freedom of speech Nay, they have the freedom you get to listen to the speech whether you like it or not.

    Based on the principle of mind over matter—– they don`t really mind—– and if you don`t agree with them—— you don`t really matter.

  3. You have freedom of speech in U$A as long as its in line with the mainstream fed agenda – Fox / CNN / CNBC / ABC ./ MSNBC etc etc.

    Otherwise if you :

    Oppose the War – get called a Traitor..
    Oppose the Bailout – get called un-american.
    Oppose Torture – get called un-patriotic.
    Oppose Offical 9/11 story – get called a Consiracy Theorist.
    Oppose the Patriot Act – get called a Terrorist.
    Oppose Israeli actions – Get called a Jew Hater and an Anti-Semitic.

    Another thing, what is it with all these shooters with 3 names?

    “Serial killers only have two names. Ever notice that? But lone assassins always have three. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Mark David Chapman…”
    — Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory

    Strange eh?

  4. It’s also [perhaps not so ]strange that all the gunslinging nut-cases get inspired by the right-wing nut-cases through right-wing media.

  5. But didn’t the nutcase in Arizona also express enthusiasm for leftwing martyr Che Guevara? Support for health availability to low-income Americans was called ‘blasphemy’ by Sarah Palin’s wilder followers? Maybe, but support for blasphemy in Islamic Pakistan was courting wild reactions in an antidemocratic state, some of whose citizens including members of the intelligence services have more than a sneaking regard for the Taliban. That nutcase in Arizona might just as well have planned a campus shootout. School and campus maniacs are generally schizophrenic, period. They don’t need rightwing rhetoric to trigger off their manic shooting sprees. There have been anarchist bomb campaigns in 1920s America, and Patty Hearst (daughter of the Hearst media dynasty) got involved with the gunslinging dotty leftwing Symbionese Liberation Army about 40 years ago. She married a cop after serving her sentence. Two cheers for lawnorder.

  6. Here’s some further data on the crazy mixed-up kiddo from an AP report: “On his YouTube page, he listed among his favorite books “Animal Farm” and “Brave New World” — two novels about how authorities control the masses. Other books in the wide-ranging list included “Mein Kampf,” “The Communist Manifesto,” “Peter Pan” and Aesop’s Fables.”
    This makes him a right- and left-winger and somebody like Peter Pan who never grew up. The same report says he drank alcohol until he poisoned himself, and he and his mates smoked marijuana together sometimes when attending high school.

    Attempts to portray him as a rightist looney influenced by Tea Party hyperbolic rhetoric are overlooking his tendency to be attracted by leftist role models and rhetoric too. The guy was a middle class nut waiting to get a gun and shoot out his sad fantasies. Sarah Palin had nothing to do with it. I don’t support Sarah or the GOP. One thing that can be said in Palin’s favour is that, often unknowingly, she exudes a sense of humour. The Pakistani assassins were humourless murdering bastards.

  7. Sarah Palin is bats, unfortunately she has a ton of support. It’s fascinating and horrifying

  8. I wouldn’t say she’s insane at all, just a highly ambitious lady willing to say anything to get power. If this episode doesn’t spell the end of her political career then america is in even worse shape than I thought.

  9. Her base will spin it as the liberal media attaching blame to Palin making her a victim of what she calls the “lamestream media”.

  10. Is there something amiss with the fundamentals of Islam? Maybe if your ‘crazy clerics’ adhered more closely to those fundamentals there would be less lazy labelling of millions of people who believe sincerely in those fundamentals. There have been many deviant strands in Islam over the past 1400 years but traditional Islam has always survived. There is a vast Islamic jurisprudence which has continuously assessed and interpreted the Koran, and the Sunna and Hadith of Mohammad, to make it relevant to more modern societies. Successful religions have always been exploited by political groups. Islam is not alone in this. Compared with the exotic head bangers of the Islamic world Sarah Palin is no more than a plain rash and should be treated accordingly. Fundamentalism as a word seems to have become as toxic a term as terrorism and treated accordingly. Much the same of course could be said about ‘Assassins’ and Hashhishin and that other noble deviant Islamic tradition.

  11. Even though it’s a delusion like all other religions, I don’t think anyone here has blamed Islam for the Pakistan attacks.

  12. So I will. The Deobandis who rule the schools in the ” Madrassa Belt ” in Pakistan aren’t cynical manipulators of an essentially peaceful religion. They believe in their innate superiority and when thwarted sit and seeth. For every Pakistani ISI officer who could be said to be ” using” Islam/Islamism for political ends there are twenty more who believe in the fundamentalism being preached. Sufism isn’t going to be the next big thing in Pakistan anytime soon.

  13. Denis Diderot the French philosopher away back in the 17th centuary said these true words. Mankind will never be free, not until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

  14. No, FME… not “just like Catholicism then ” More Wee Frees if anything, but nothing can do justice to the Islamic sense of superiority.

  15. Ah I won’t split hairs with you over which religion has the most sense of superiority Lapsed.
    I remember being taught however, that only those who believed in Jesus and were baptised would get into heaven. That’s a pretty superior belief in my opinion.

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