Pew Poll Finds Overwhelming Support For Executing People For Apostasy In Afghanistan and Other Muslim Nations

stoningA new poll by the Pew Research Center offers an disturbing insight into the views of the majority of Muslims in some countries on the subject of apostasy. With blasphemy, apostasy remains one of the greatest threats to human rights and free speech in the world with people continuing to be arrested for rejecting Islam. Some 78 percent of Afghan Muslims support putting former Muslims to death for rejecting Islam. Our Afghan “allies” actually had the highest support for this basic denial of human rights — a system that we prop up with American lives and treasure. In Egypt and Pakistan, 64 percent support executing for apostasy.

Pew polled Muslims in 38 countries from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East and found overwhelming support for Sharia law — at least when applied to Muslims. Notably, there were exceptions with less support in Bangladesh, Tunisia and Lebanon.

We continue to treat our Muslim allies as enlightened governments when many still embrace this denial of a basic human right (as with common denial of other rights of woman and religious minorities). These countries cannot by definition be considered part of the “free world” when they mandate the execution of people for exercising this fundamental right to choose the religion (or the lack of religion) of their choice. Viewed from this perspective, we are spending billions on governments oppressing their citizens while our leaders continue to espouse the centrality of faith in their public lives.

Civil libertarians do not view such rights as a “western” or “American” view. Many often try to defend these oppressive nations by saying that we have no right to judge others. When it comes to our government, there is certainly a basis for charging hypocrisy on issues like torture and the denial of due process after 9-11. However, the right to choose your faith and the right to free speech is a human right not an American right. Support for punishing apostasy is a “red line” that separates a person from the free world. It is the most vile form of majoritarian tyranny and oppression.

Source: Washington Post

33 thoughts on “Pew Poll Finds Overwhelming Support For Executing People For Apostasy In Afghanistan and Other Muslim Nations”

  1. Oil and valuable mineral deposits….. To support the afghani folks…. To protect our defense industry….. Pay off to lobbyist…..take your pick raff…..

  2. Nick, RWL, and everybody else.

    I like the phrase “target rich environment.” This blog and the regular commenters are equal opportunity critics when it comes to religious bigotry.

    As I have mentioned before, my first documented “illegal immigrant” ancestor to set foot on these shores in 1629 was a Huguenot who got out of France only one jump ahead of the hangman. Many thousands of his fellow protestants were burned at the stake or hanged in order to “save their souls.”

    He was so angry with the domination of the French government by Cardinal Richelieu and the church, that his first action was to change his name from Benois Brasseur to the anglicized Benjamin Brashear. He was a Christian, but not the right variety of Christian to be allowed to live, according to those holding power over the French government.

    As I have pointed out before, every one of the world’s 21 documented major religions seem to have splinter groups, each convinced they alone know what is true and right. In some religions, tolerance for the viewpoint or freedom of others is a foreign concept.

  3. The US hypocracy in denying democracy to others is similar to the hypocracy of catholic priests who preach in public, but molest children in private!

  4. The US cannot leave Iraq now, the corporate investments will be overthrown by the Iraqi people if it does.
    Apparently the US is denying the Iraqi people democratic choice simply in order to maintain their own interests, again a Fascist Tactic!
    The Iraqis don’t want the US there, they had an 87% literacy rate at the time of the invasion and the state of Louisiana has a 37% literacy rate, Iraq was doing just fine, and obviously are morally outraged at the theft that they are being subjected too!

  5. Just watched Michael Moores documentary on Capitalism. Interresting that the US Constitution mentions nothing about a free market economy or capitalism, it is after all a document about democracy. The US and Britain have effectively equated the two through brainwashing, and have gone on using terrorist tactics, coercion, and military force to push foreword capitalist agendas, and undermine and overthrow democratically elected governments throughout the world.
    The one percent that is in controle fears democracy. People united with clear well developed ideas that opposes the current system is their greatest fear, and so unions are naturally a prime target of their propaganda.
    If the will and understanding, and morale of the people to organize to protect their interests is confounded, then the status quo has nothing to fear!

  6. That should be Afghanistan!! Where is auto correct when you need it?

  7. The American brand of capitalism is the least democratic system in the world. With corporations aligned with government establishing the dictatorship, and suppressing real democracy by confounding and distracting and undermining the nations ability to organize in a coherent fashion. The indoctrination of citizens into the mental mold,through the media, and education, and propaganda makes the church of the dark ages look ingenuous.
    Grease the machine!

    1. Because Bush and high ranking US officials were positioned in companies like Halibuton, and given the contracts for reconstruction before the invasion. Effectively, this gave US Corps controle over Iraquis OIl. It is war profiteering at the expense of the US taxpayer, Fascism at its finest!

  8. The United States has failed to take action to mitigate climate change thanks in part to the large number of religious Americans who believe the world has a set expiration date.

    Research by David C. Barker of the University of Pittsburgh and David H. Bearce of the University of Colorado uncovered that belief in the biblical end-times was a motivating factor behind resistance to curbing climate change.” (RawStory). Failure to fix the problem will be very deadly.

    There are some strange intersecting lines among religions and some areas of science, like the proverbial broken clock that is correct twice a day.

    Both religion and science agree about a pending destruction of the Earth, but when and why are areas for disagreement.

  9. “The Inquisition (Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis; Inquiry on Heretical Perversity) was a group of institutions within the judicial system of the Roman Catholic Church whose aim was to “fight against heretics”. It started in 12th-century France to combat the spread of heresy and error, and was later expanded to other European countries,[1] as well as throughout the Spanish and Portuguese empires in the Americas, Asia and Africa.[2]

    Historical phases of the Inquisition include: the Medieval Inquisition (1184–16th century); the Spanish Inquisition (1478–1834); the Portuguese Inquisition (1536–1821); and the Roman Inquisition (1542 – c. 1860).”

    The greatest argument for Separation of Church and State comes from history and our Founding Fathers well knew it. I use the history of the Roman Catholic Church from above as an illustration. However, the need to eliminate “non-believers” has been the historic norm in all religions that have gained approval and power from those that govern their countries, or those like Islam who spread their faith by the sword.

    From its’ beginnings of Islam, as Mohammed’s message took hold, his new faith became intertwined with internecine local clan politics and once in power the urge to spread this new faith via arms took hold. Conquered peoples were given the choice to accept Islam or die and the fact that most did then accept it was a matter of survival. However, the people conquered in the Mid East represented some of the oldest and most sophisticated of human cultures. The strictures necessary to maintain the “converts” faith required harsh punishments be meted out to all who would question it and so a norm was begun that has lasted for 1,400 years. The reason that some Islamic countries continue this tradition is that fact that they are ruled predominately by oligarchies in one form or another, that have used religion to maintain their power.

    Christianity (Hinduism, etc.) also show the same history of intolerance. However, with monarchs like Henry VIII leading the way the trend in Europe was to throw off the chains of central religious rule interfering with their prerogatives. Unfortunately, hundreds of years after the concept of a more secular government was established in the West and the “New World”, we find that religious zealots are again longing for power in the U.S. by denying this country’s Constitutional separation. I have no doubt that if the Christian Fundamentalists were to succeed, they would begin to punish people for non-belief with just as much Draconian penalties.

    Fundamentalist interpreters of faiths, such as what we see today in parts of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc., require unthinking loyalty and no questions asked. Their greatest enemy is reality and our of their sense of self survival they must stamp out all who would threaten to deal in reality. It is a sad human story dating all the way back to the beginnings of human civilization.

  10. The wholesale slaughter of a million Iraquis during the Shock and Awe invasion was an otrocity on a grand scale, so don’t you dare quibble about minor issues of social justice in order the relieve your conscience, you indeed may not even have one!

  11. What is the psychological term for people who have to look down on others to elevate themselves?

    Current radical Islam a poser like current radical Mithraism posing as Christianity.

  12. Nick,

    You missed my point: when we look at other countries’ problems or issues, we start down playing or becoming thankful that our issues aren’t that bad when comes to another country. This eventually leads us into the mindset of becoming nonchalant in doing anything to resolve our own issues? We start making the statement: well, it could be a whole lot worse? Or ‘thank God, we aren’t like some of those middle eastern countries’? We forget that we helped contribute to some of those countries’ issues or problems.

  13. nick – so right you are. Its not the brand that is the problem its the mindset that some invisible sky wizard has give YOU specific instructions for EXACTLY what is permitted. Add to that the power of control and you have the recipe for this insanity.

    BTW – if you lived in one of those countries where you might be injured or killed for not believing the ‘right’ things and someone from some outfit you never heard of suddenly asks you if you believe the ‘right’ thing how stupid would you have to be to say “No, despite the fact that it could get me killed I will publicly say that is wrong!”

  14. I agree that there are universal human rights that are being abused on a daily basis around the world. This is a subject that you rarely hear about. Thank you for writing about it.

  15. RWL, There are posts here often about the insanity of some Christians. However, Islam is a Hall of Shame and a target rich enviroment.

  16. I forgot to add: maybe the US is ‘pointing the finger’ somewhere else so that we can continue to cover up or ‘sugar coat’ what we are doing here at home and abroad?

  17. AY,

    100% Right! Why does this blog continues to go after Islam, and not our so called ‘In God We Trust’ Nation? The US has been murdering people for centuries, not including what we are currently doing in parts of central & southern African, the middle east (and now there are plans to ‘help out’ the people of Syria-another 2k US soldiers lined up and ready to be slaughtered), and Latin America. The US is #1 in manufacturing & selling weapons to every country on Earth. We are the murderers. Let’s talk about what we can do to make us a better nation.

  18. The Red Line…. Huh….. I think the Blue Line here is fairly heavy….. You don’t do what you’re told….. Well…. You can be arrested for Resisting and Obstructing…… It’s a pick of the poising of the wells…..

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