Intolerant Islam
If anyone holds the rather naïve notion that all beliefs are more or less the same, the
January 8, 2001, AP wire out of Kabul, Afghanistan, ought to shock that person into
reality.  The Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, stated on Taliban-run
radio Shariat that any non-Muslim found trying to win converts will be killed as well as
any Afghan citizen who converts from Islam to another religion.  Also, in the name of
Islam, all women are barred from working, and there is no education for girls beyond age
eight.  If that were not sufficiently incredible, a five-year prison term awaited anyone
who distributed material which in any way was critical of Islam or taught about other
religions.  By making these intolerant statements, the Taliban was only following what
they believed to be the traditional teaching of Islam.
What is most interesting about this Islamic dictatorship in Afghanistan was the total
silence emanating out of other Islamic countries regarding this outrage.  Furthermore, you
won’t hear any criticism of this fundamental application of Islam.  Although most Islamic
nations are not as extreme as was Afghanistan under the Taliban, there is persecution and
discrimination against persons of other religions in every Muslim country simply because
that is the nature of Islam.  Non-Muslims are by definition “infidels,” and therefore are
not worthy of the same deference or respect due to a Muslim.  In Saudi Arabia, for
example, the very center of Islam, it is against the law to practice any religion other than
Islam – even in your own home!  There is no such thing as equal rights – only rights for
Muslims.  This is religious and political intolerance to the extreme.
When Muslim folks in the US and other Western nations demand their religious and
political rights, it is the height of hypocrisy since Islamic nations deny those rights to
others.  When it is the nature of a religion to be intolerant when it is in control, how can
followers of that religion in good conscience demand tolerance from other countries in
which they live?
Although Christians and Jews are infidels to Muslims, it is precisely nations in which
there is a Judeo-Christian heritage where Islam and other religions are freely practiced –
and even legally protected.
No, all beliefs are definitely not more or less then same.