Religion and violence

This post “I Don’t Respect Your Religion” by Cenk Uygur from The Young Turks is right on the money.

Here’s an excerpt:

Read the Bible, the Torah and the Koran. They are all full of violent, bloody fantasies that teach you over and over to kill your enemies. Christians love to think they are the exception to this rule. They’ll say the Old Testament doesn’t really apply anymore because the New Testament overruled all the gory, masochistic violence of the earlier book. So, then I guess Genesis isn’t true either since that’s in the Old Testament? Oops.

Then, you’ll get the excuse that Jesus was the Prince of Peace. Yeah, I know, that’s why in Matthew 10:34 he says, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Sounds down right Christian of him.

But even if you can make up pathetic excuses for this obvious blood-lust and call to violence, it doesn’t matter. Because in the end Jesus murders almost all of us anyway. Jesus doesn’t just kill the “liars” and the “sexually immoral” and the eight other categories of people who get thrown in “fiery lake of burning sulfur.” He kills all of the “unbelieving” folks as well. If you don’t believe in Jesus, you get the lake of fire! What a swell guy.

Personally, though, I’m not convinced that Bhutto’s assassination had anything to do with religious fundamentalism. It seems to me to be a clean hit. I am amazed, though, at this video of her interview with Sir David Frost in early November, where, around the 6 minute mark, she clearly says that Osama Bin Laden was murdered, names his murderer, and Frost doesn’t even ask her to clarify the statement. She mentions it almost in passing. But then, according to Wikipedia, a week later, when she was placed under house arrest, she asked one of the policeman “Shouldn’t you be looking for Osama bin Laden?”

I’ve also been reading about the list of corruption charges again her and her husband on Wikipedia. Were they trumped up? Why did Musharraf drop the charges upon her recent return to the country? I would love to get some decent analysis of the situation.

Al-qaida has supposedly claimed responsibility for the assassination but it still isn’t clear to me WHO is behind Al-qaida. We know for a fact that the Afghani mujahideen were armed, trained and funded by the USA in the 80s. Hell, evenRambo liked them. It isn’t clear to me if or when the USA actually stopped funding them. And if it isn’t the USA, then what is the involvement of the USA’s ally, Pakistan and the Pakistani Taliban?

The only thing I know is that when I read simplistic descriptions of her assassination thrown about in the media with the propaganda words “terrorism” and “al-qaida” I am drawn into looking deeper. Superficial explanations don’t seem to do her or her legacy justice.

UPDATE 31 December, 2007: There are now reports that the BBC edited out Bhutto’s comments about Bin Laden’s murder. What I don’t understand though is where the original video, the one where Bhutto names the murderer, comes from if the BBC edited it out before broadcast?

4 thoughts on “Religion and violence

  1. The Frost Over The World programme actually comes from Al Jazeera TV:

    “Frost Over the World is one of the flagship current-affairs programs on Al Jazeera English broadcasting for one hour at 6pm GMT every Friday from London”

    If you go to the Al Jazeera page for Frost Over The World here:

    You will see that their link to the Benazir Bhutto interview goes direct to the YouTube piece which you also linked to Cam. This implies that Al Jazeera put that up directly on YouTube.

    The BBC has certainly edited out Bhutto’s quote naming Omar Sheikh as the murderer ot Osama Bin Laden. It’s missing fromt he BBC version of the interview, at around the 5:05 minute mark which can be reached from the BBC World site’s link to the interview here:

    Cam, I don’t see how these are not big stories in the mainstream press. Firstly that Bhutto said it. Secondly that Frost did not question her further about it, nor has any other journalist that we know of. Thirdly that the BBC would edit out one of the most contentious things she said in the November 2 interviews.

  2. Ah thanks for clarifying that Bob. Makes a lot more sense now. Frost’s show is on Al Jazeera? WTF??? I’m still confused though about why Bhutto, who was obviously not an idiot, would say Bin Laden was dead and then, a week later, talk about having him arrested. If it was a mistake, why didn’t Frost pick her up on it and what gives the BBC the right (or motivation) to edit her comment out?

    I’m looking forward to getting some clarity on it.

  3. Some commentators on other blogs have suggested that Bhutto misspoke when she said that Omar Sheikh murdered Osama Bin Laden, and that she meant to say that Omar Sheikh had murdered Daniel Pearl.

    Indeed, Omar Sheikh was arrested in Pakistan on February 12, 2002, and has been in Pakistani custody ever since, and has been sentenced to death for Pearl’s murder.

    Since the time Omar Sheikh has been in custody, 3 tapes of Osama Bin Laden have surfaced, one in 2004 and two in 2006 – lending credence to the fact that he was NOT murdered by Omar Sheikh.

    Again, I fully agree with you that Frost – and perhaps other journalists – should have questioned Bhutto further about her statement and clarified what she meant. And also that the BBC had no right to edit out the comment, unless perhaps Bhutto did make a clarifying statement of which we are unaware.

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