July 17, 2004

Intolerance Watch

Every so often I'm moved to say a few words about the difference between intolerance and disagreement. It isn't intolerant to tell someone, "I think your religious beliefs are untrue." Depending on how you say it, you might or might not be polite, and you might or might not be offensive--as if that were the end of the world. But it isn't intolerant.

No, intolerance looks like this: in Pakistan this past April, a Christian teenager was tortured to death by Islamic seminarians determined to convert him to Islam. The teenager, whose name was Javaid Anjum, resisted for five days of torment.

He was given electric shocks repeatedly to various parts of his body including his ears, which damaged his hearing. His right arm and fingers were fractured and his nails were pulled out. His feet were swollen from beating and he suffered contusions and lacerations all over his body. He received many internal injuries, and besides the two failed kidneys the doctorsí report notes that he passed blood or pus instead of urine. In many places his skin appeared blackened and oozed pus and he could barely move.

Eventually, the future imams took him to the police station and accused him of theft. He died in the hospital several days later. Meanwhile, the seminarians were not punished; the chief constable apparently thought that what had happened was God's will.

An aside to certain folks in the Middle East--this is what martyrs really look like.

Oh, and what did Javaid do to deserve this treatment? The seminarians found Javaid drinking water from a tap outside the school.

(Via CANN.)

Posted by Will Duquette at July 17, 2004 10:07 AM

The Gray Monk said:

Now that is true martyrdom. Even the God the Muslim clerics claim to worship will not tolerate that I fear.