A man is going to be put to death because he chooses to follow a different path to God. They give him a few chances to repent, to renounce his religion, but for the past 3 years the Pastor has steadfastly declined and said that he could not go back, will not go back, cannot go back. His Christian faith is intrinsic to him just as theirs is to them. The only difference is that Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani doesn't plan to kill any of them for practicing or not practicing their own Islamic faith. Just like Pastor Yousef, there thousands of other believers around the world who face a similar fate. Many blame religion and God for the mess. But is it really that or is it the people who force their version of God and religion on others around? Are we living in the 7th century or is this the 21st where disturbing things of this nature are still occurring?
Much brouhaha occurred over ‘draw mohd day’. Just a threat of Koran burning brought out a vehement reaction from the Muslim world joined in chorus by sane people all over the world. Now here we have a seriously disturbing situation in Iran. Ahmadinejad, President of the Iranian theocracy is presiding over plans to put Pastor Yousef to death for apostasy. To that has been added crimes of Zionism and espionage for good measure. This man of Iran comes to the UN in New York every year and denounces America, its ways, its people and ironically gets rewarded for that. He gets invited for lunch to some Ivy League Colleges where he impresses upon impressionable minds the sensibility of intolerance, bigotry, and America's evil ways. Perhaps in passing he also mentions the anathema of all religions except his own. But of course, he’s not put to death for that. To date, nobody has entertained the idea of throwing his behind in jail for a few years and then maybe beheading him for his despicable views and fatal plans for Jews, Christians, Women, Gays, and everyone who is not like him.
Rogues like Ahmadinejad come to the United Nations, get further emboldened in the company and power of similar twisted thinking, go back home, and happily persecute minority groups or people who may not agree with them; some who may just want a taste of freedom (that Ahmadinejad and others enjoy), people who want to be left in peace with their ways. Well it just doesn't happen that way. Minorities like Christians, Buddhists, Ahmadiyas, Sufis continue to live in abject fear just because they foolishly and maybe bravely continue to defy the apostasy law. They would rather die (alone) than give up something that sustains them. Thousands continue to be persecuted, arrested, tortured, and left to rot in Iranian jails each year. Some pay with their lives while others go underground; still others flee their homeland never to see it again.
This is not just about a brave man Yousef Nadarkhani who is standing up for his faith; this about all people who have to live in fear every day of their lives just because their belief system is different; who have chosen to renounce a religion which seems cumbersome and violent and continues to preach death and destruction to all infidels. Well, many may protest this is not true but to them I say, speak loud and clear, louder and clearer than the ones preaching hatred and intolerance. I was just as disturbed about the destruction of the centuries old - the towering Bamiyan Buddhist Statues in Afghanistan and the 16th century Babri Masjid in India. Religious fanatics razed both to the ground. These were not just structures but icons of faiths and part of our collective history. Fanatics may have deprived us from relishing these edifices but certainly not from solidifying them in resolve of some kind. This systematic putting to death of people who are not interested in following Islam, in Iran and other parts of the world - must stop.