Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Friday, August 05, 2005

Does Islam Recognize Freedom of Religion? Freedom of Choice?

I wrote earlier about the Sky Kingdom, a religious sect in Malaysia that was begun by a former Muslim and which had come under attack. The sect was working through the courts to defend itself, or so it thought. Then the police and workers arrived and destroyed its base, including its teapot structure [thanks to MA for the pointer].
The followers were taken by surprise when the 40 council workers entered the commune with four excavators and five lorries at 2.30pm. About 50 policemen and officers from the state Islamic Affairs department accompanied them.

Early last month, Ayah Pin obtained an injunction to stop any attempt to demolish any structure at his commune.

State Islam Hadhari Development committee chairman Wan Mohamad Wan Hassan had said on July 5 that any effort to shut down the village would depend on the outcome of the hearing.

Even if the state Islamic affairs department won the case, Ayah Pin was expected to make an appeal.

This type of religious intolerance makes me very wary of Islam in general, of Muslim states in particular, and especially those dominated by Wahabism. I was distressed when the Taliban destroyed the Buddist statues in Afghanistan, and this is further evidence that at least the more fundamentalist Muslim states do not tolerate religious differences. I hope that these states reflect only some versions of Islam, such as Wahabism, but I am both concerned and skeptical.

Update: For more, on how many lawyers in Malaysia are reluctant to defend the Sky Kingdom members, see here. Also see this.

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