Religious Sensibilities

by | March 7, 2014

It seems a photo caused quite a stir on the internet recently. Was it a drawing of the prophet Mohammed? That seems absurd enough for people to get riled up over. No? Was it images of holy books being defamed? No? What then?

It was this picture. The picture of a group of Malaysian men and women sitting together on benches. It looks peaceful so what’s offensive about this image? Well, the photo was touted as evidence that a bunch of Muslims were sitting in a (gasp!) church because (clutching pearls!) they had converted to Christianity.

This photo incited an uproar when it was positioned as Muslims in a church following conversion to Christianity.

This photo incited an uproar when it was positioned as Muslims in a church following conversion to Christianity.


BBC News reports that:

According to Yu Ren Chung, investigations have traced the misuse of the image to a single blogger whose post was picked up by other blogs in Indonesia. Authorities are now investigating the issue, The Malay Mail says.

However, the image was not of new Muslim apostates, but people attending a conference in the main hall of Kuala Lumpur’s International Islamic University.

Why would one Islamic group call the framing of this image a “despicable act” that caused “shame and distress” for those in the photo? You may think this is an over-reaction (like so many other Islamic over reactions) but it really isn’t. Why? Because, even though Malaysia has a secular constitution that guarantees freedom of religion, like many Islamic nations, apostates face harsh punishments.

These are people of The Book! If they were shown as atheists, can you imagine the uproar? After all, 13 countries execute atheists today. Talk about religion poisoning everything!


One thought on “Religious Sensibilities

  1. Bubba Kincaid

    Here’s a good report about indonesia’s Aceh Province’s (the only province to have institued sharia law, punk scene:

    “Indonesia’s punk scene is one of the world’s biggest and most vibrant. It’s a place where the country’s silenced youth can revolt against endemic corruption, social conventions and their strict families. But in the world’s largest Islamic nation, political authorities and religious fundamentalists persecute this rebellious youth movement. Nowhere is the anti-punk sentiment stronger than in Aceh, Indonesia’s only Sharia province, where 65 punks were arrested and detained at an Islamic moral training camp in which they had their heads shaved and clothes burnt. We travelled to North Sumatra to track down the last punks in Aceh, who still live under constant threat from the sharia police.”


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