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I have to laugh whenever someone tries to talk me into religion. To think billions of people believe some supernatural being thought us into existence 6,000 years ago. It is so clear that the universe operates under certain natural laws. How those laws came into existence and what they truly are, THAT is a mystery. Everything in the universe changes state. From hydrogen atoms colliding within our Sun to form helium, to small imperceptible beneficial mutations in life-forms over billions of years that resulted in the human species.

To believe in a book (regardless of flavor) that was so clearly written by MEN to control people and to a greater extent, women, is nothing more than submission to oppression. Religion exists to fatten the wallets and the belly’s of the clergy. Nothing more.

I agree with the sentiments expressed in the following article and thought I should share it.

Homa Arjomand

September 18, 2007-09-17

Personal Freedom and Religion speech at University of Toronto, Mississauga

I need to begin my speech with this statement “the more one distance from religion the more one can gain personal freedom”.

Historically human needed to create religion to explain the unknown phenomenon such as existence of life, reasons for death in order to provide comfort for the fear of unknowns. Religion also provides very simple answers “Only God Knows” to many complicated and complex questions and doubts. Despite the progress and knowledge in history, civilization and science, religion remains as a heavy leash on the man’s neck. The more mankind was able to explain the unknowns and the relationships of him to the nature, the more he was able to distance himself from religions clarification for the same phenomenon.

I believe a religious individual has no personal freedom as he surrenders himself over to a force that has no boundaries, no regulation and grounds. Philosophically and practically, those individuals do not value their influences in changing the world and they do not think they have will power to do so.

One may ask then how millions of religious individuals are in fact making some actual changes in the environment? My answer to this question is clear. These people in reality are not effectively religious during their actions they take to change the world. These individuals no longer expect their God to provide them with food, clothing and shelter as they take their own destiny in their own hand, they do not blindly follow most of the unreasonable commands from their religious leader; but despite the above mentioned facts, these religious individuals do not intend to make an effective change in their environment. As the result they hand over the
control to their worldly Gods. In some cases because of their real life situation and their ambition to end the injustice that they experienced, these individuals are forced to act against their own religions rules and actually do enforce some reforms by pushing back their religious boundaries, by engaging against the current politically and socially.

Once more, I need to emphasize that despite the fact that the above question may always be a subject for the academicians, nowadays the same question arises in a much larger scale across the entire society. Not too long ago if someone would ask what is the relation between personal freedom and religion? The answer was very clear for almost everyone except for Fundamentalists and that was religion and personal freedom contradicts each other. It was in fact part of everyone’s knowledge as the above-mentioned question was answered during a long process of progress of science since the Reno sans. At that time people found no need to resolve these contradictions but today because the domain of religion globally has been grown substantially, the above contradictions need to be clarified once more, or even needs to be proven how religion limits the personal freedom, We also need to be reminded of struggle that humanity took part for centuries to free mankind from religions and religious dogmas. Due to growth of conservatism and their support to the religious groups for the past three decades, this already answered old questions need to be spelled out once again.

My personal approach is since the answer to the question is obvious; it is up to the religious groups to prove that the religions are not contradicting personal, civil, scientific and political freedom. And they are the ones who have to explain their aggression against human, women, children and civil rights for the thousands of years. It is time for them to apologize and condemn their act.

To make the philosophy discussion short, I must say religion has limited my personal freedom along with millions of other individuals. In fact I should say religion has destroyed many of individuals’ personal rights and mine too.

In countries, where religions run the state, the personal freedom has no meaning at all; the personal freedom of millions are scarified directly by religious rules and its horrific state system. On one hand the religious state denies the fundamental rights of woman as an equal citizen and recognizes women as a second-class citizen, practically women legally have become the men’s slaves in those countries. Before I explain how the personal freedom being undermined by religion we need to define the personal
freedom first. In this discussion, I would use Islam as the base of my debate, mainly because I am more familiar with this religion in theory and in practice and also because Islam has not been challenged in any aspects. In addition I believe that all other religions would have similar and common elements.

The first and the most essential point I would like to discuss are about “personal and civil freedom”. My attempt is to provide a general definition of these rights.

In my opinion personal freedom is the one that provides the individuals to grow and enhance his ability. It also allows him to be distinguished and the same time to understand its unity with the society. An individual can demonstrate his talent and it empowers him to shape his destiny, at the same time the personal freedom is relative and it depends upon the stages of progress in the society.

On other hand religion basically defines human as being created by super natural power, where its essence has been ordained by God, as the result human being has no control over his destiny and has no rights, therefore he is considered to be a being who is obliged to obey the law of God in order to gain and enjoy his prosperous in the after life. The above definition can be explained by the following instances:

. The first instance is the right to live and be immune of any violence against body and mind, while in Islam execution, dismember,
bloodshed and even assault on children are acceptable and allowed which is define as punishment of a crime in relate to blasphemy, rubbery and permitting marriage to children of 9 years old. As one can clearly see the right to live, Immunity of body and mind against any violation is simply being undermined in Islam

. The unconditional freedom of speech, expression and believes are the rights that have never been acknowledged in any religions, specifically in Islam. The only political party allowed is the party of God and that is Hezbollah. Any criticism to Islam or the holly book of Koran is considered heresy and punished by Islamists. Selman Rushdie and Danish caricaturist have not been forgotten. One does not need to remind you how Islamists treated Jews and Bahaeis and there is hardly any need to mention about the atheists. The Islamists ( the political Islam) saw the seeds of hatred against other groups. This is because in their view Islam is the last and the most complete religion in the world. And for the ones who do not intend to convert to Islam, the least punishment is to pay religious tax. All these violation can be multiplied when it comes to women and children’s rights in Islam. In Islam the rights to divorce for women has no meaning, men have the custody of the children. Women receive half of inheriting compare to men. The witness of two women is equivalent to one man. Beating women is permitted in Islam. Women will be stoned to dead if they have relationship out of marriage. In Islam men can have four wives, and abortion is heavily punished.

. In the instance of National sovereignty, Islam only recognizes one nation and that is the nation of Islam, therefore independency cannot be accepted.

. In Islam exploitation and slavery are not being condemned. All Imams and profits had slaves. Child abuse, child labour and child exploitation is permitted in Islam.

. When it comes to music and entertainment, there are many of restrictions or conditions apply, specifically where women are involved. Dancing is prohibited. Women involve in sports is strongly condemned in Islam.

. Where science and scientific advancement are concerned a huge conflict arises. The animosity of Islam with science cannot be exactly portrait, because within last centuries there were not many frontiers and scientists who brought new idea in science and advancement in order to see the reaction of Islamic leader. But this is the nature of all the religions and Islam not to accept any scientific theory. In this instance Christianity has darker history. Nobody, even the one who did not study the history knows
the fate of Jordano Bruno and Galilae and the burning of witches.

One can add pages to this list in such way that at the end we will not see any light to the end of tunnel, as it was in the dark ages.

But human being found his way to persuade and guaranty the individual, social and political freedom. French revolution was one of the greatest and goriest example for people to follow, even in twenty first century the citizens of many countries are enjoying the fruit of this revolution. Experience and aftermath of the revolution suggest that we need to have such a radical progressive movement in order to up root the religious from the education, justice system and state. This is our task, the task of civilization to regain personal freedom, peace and comfort. And this cannot be possible without challenging the religion industries. Freedom seeker and we as a secular have enormous responsibility to unite and motivate the whole society toward this goal.

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I have read a lot of horrible stories in my life on the despicable acts humans commit on animals and other people. The story I am reprinting below wins the award for reporting on the most inhumane act perpetrated on a child and their family.

It is extremely disturbing to note how Islam uses their religion to support these horrific murders as if it were ordained by God. Truthfully though, how shocking is this news when we know Islam does not value their children. Afterall, they are the ones recruiting young men and women to be Shahada’s (suicide bombers). And how shocking still that no one in the Muslim community, not even the parents of a Shahada denounce the practice. Instead, the parents of the boys and girls who have already died via suicide bombing have encouraged their other children to follow in their siblings footsteps. So a story about al-Qaeda murdering and then baking boys to psychologically manipulate the families, who oppose them, is really no surprise.

It would be nice if this information were coming from somewhere other than a Christian organization. It makes the entire story suspect. With Muslims being responsible for so much violence against their own people, let alone the rest of the world, it would seem Christian fundamentalists would have no need to conjure up such a bizarre story. But this story exists. And if it is true, then the whole world should know about it.

So if any secular sources can confirm this story please either post here or contact me via email.

I want to clarify; I am not supporting a Christian ideology over a Muslim one. Christianity has not been very different from what Islam is today. Just look at the 660 million dollar payout in Los Angeles alone, from the Catholic Church this past week to the children who were sexually abused by their priests.

An ideology that does not protect and cherish the life of a child has no business existing. What further proof does anyone need to denounce Islam? While all religion has been an abomination to humanity, Islam, in its current state, is public enemy number one.

Report: Al-Qaida bakes little boys
Iraqi official provides account of atrocity to embedded writer

Posted: July 13, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2007

A reporter embedded with the U.S. military in Iraq reports a government official has recounted a new atrocity by al-Qaida: several instances in which terrorists baked a young boy, then invited his family to lunch with the victim as the main course.

The report is from Michael Yon, a Special Forces soldier who returned to Iraq to report on the successes there, inspired, he told radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt, by a “news cycle that seems to pander toward the terrorists.”

Yon was in Baqubah listening to the statements of an Iraqi official who asked that his name not be reported. Yon said the Iraqi told him al-Qaida arrived in Baqubah and united a number of criminal gangs, leaving death and destruction behind.

“Speaking through an American interpreter, Lt. David Wallach, who is a native Arabic speaker, the Iraqi official related how al-Qaida united these gangs who then became absorbed into ‘al-Qaida.’ They recruited boys born during the years 1991, 92 and 93 who were each given weapons, including pistols, a bicycle and a phone (with phone cards paid) and a salary of $100 per month, all courtesy of al-Qaida. These boys were used for kidnapping, torturing and murdering people,” said Yon’s dispatch, “Bless the Beasts and Children.”

“At first, he said, they would only target Shia, but over time the new al-Qaida directed attacks against Sunni, and then anyone who thought differently. The official reported that on a couple of occasions in Baqubah, al-Qaida invited to lunch families they wanted to convert to their way of thinking. In each instance, the family had a boy, he said, who was about 11 years old,” Yon continued.

“As Lt. David Wallach interpreted the man’s words, I saw Wallach go blank and silent. He stopped interpreting for a moment. I asked Wallach, ‘What did he say?’ Wallach said that at these luncheons, the families were sat down to eat. And then their boy was brought in with his mouth stuffed. The boy had been baked. Al-Qaida served the boy to his family.”

‘Nobody lifted a finger’

In an exchange of e-mails with WND, since Yon was reporting this week from a region with no telephone signal, he confirmed his report.

He was in Buqubah for several reasons.

“One of those reasons was that AP had just reported a massacre as fact which turned out to be fallacy. Secondly, this mass murder I described in ‘Bless the Beasts and Children’ occurred only about 3.5 miles from where I am writing to you tonight. There were reporters here during that time, including from AP, and AP also had a stringer here. (Meaning they had two.) The ‘massacre’ that turned out to be a farce but was reported by AP happened just days before my report of a real massacre, but AP and others simply ignored despite having assets only minutes away,” he said.

“I gave the name of the village, grid coordinates, photos and posted video, and published names of Iraqi and American officials who were very easy to reach. Nobody lifted a finger. This upset a lot of people at home, and rightfully so. I was here with hard evidence – photos, video, grid coordinates and plenty of witnesses, yet flatline from MSM,” he told WND.

But he stayed in the area, asking questions.

“That’s when one Iraqi official mentioned the baking,” Yon said, a report he said later was confirmed for him by other Iraqi sources.

“Perhaps it’s urban legend. I have no idea. But my reporting was spot on. … I quoted someone and offered zero opinion,” Yon, whose work is financed directly by his readers, told WND.

He said while he did not witness this, there have been myriad other atrocities.

“I have not just heard about them, I have seen them,” he told WND.

Yon said in another dispatch he witnessed the excavation of the heads of decapitated children.

“There is no imaginary line of credulity that al-Qaida might cross should it go from beheading children to baking them,” he wrote.

He added: “Al-Qaida: the organization that gleefully bragged about murdering roughly 3,000 people by smashing jets full of civilians into buildings and earth. Al-Qaida in Iraq: who proudly broadcast their penchant for sawing off the heads of living breathing people, and in such a manner as to ensure lots of spurting blood and gurgles of final pain, in some cases with the added flourish of the executioner raising up the severed head and squealing excitedly.”

“People at home might find it incredible, improbable, even impossible. Yet here in combat with al-Qaida, the idea is no more improbable-sounding than someone saying ‘The chicken crossed the road.’ Maybe the chicken crossed the road. Maybe not. The veterans I’ve been talking with here have no difficulty imagining the chicken crossing the road, or al-Qaida roasting kids. Sickening, yes. Improbable, no,” he said.

“One clear indicator of just how bad a terrorist group is, is when battle-hardened soldiers – and writers like me who travel with them – don’t find it hard to believe a story which purports that al-Qaida had baked a child and set his roasted body out as the main course at a lunch for his parents,” he said.

A comment on Yon’s website from “James” suggested the description “barbarians” should apply.

“The moral equivalency argument needs to be crushed. We detain someone without due process and AQI bakes a child and feeds him to his family. Yet many people in the West are saying, ‘We’re no better.’”

‘Report wouldn’t surprise me’

A group with far more knowledge about torture and atrocities than it would prefer is Washington, D.C.-based International Christian Concern.

Policy analyst Jeremy Sewall told WND the report is “pretty extreme.”

But he also said with the documentation of various other tortures, “Your report wouldn’t surprise me.”

“I’m just thinking of a report about two Muslims who approached a Christian boy at work at a mechanic’s shop. They said, ‘Are you a Christian.’ He said, “Yes.’ And they beheaded him on the spot,” Sewall said.

He also cited the recently confirmed report from Turkey, where Muslims martyred three Christians in an attack described as “gruesome.”

In that case, “various body parts were chopped off,” he confirmed. “It was terrible.”

As WND reported, Tilman Geske, a German citizen, and two Turkish Christians were martyred – allegedly by five Muslims who met the three victims at a Christian publishing company for a Bible study, according to Voice of the Martyrs. Beheaded Turkish Victims

The report said Geske, 46, Pastor Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel were killed with hundreds of stab wounds, and “they were disemboweled and their intestines sliced up in front of their eyes.”