Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday Sermon

(Photo - AP)
The moment you say that any idea system is sacred, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible. We must win the right to criticize the religion without fear of retribution. Criticism, free speech, is the foundation of an open society. We need to criticise and use reason to solve our problems. No belief, rational or irrational, scientific or divinely inspired, should be exempt from critical examination. If a belief is sound it will stand on its own merits. If it is not it deserves to fail. No religion should seek immunity from the examination of its claims, or seek freedom from moral criticism of its practices.

In the West, the Enlightenment brought about defence of individual freedom and civil liberties. The battle against the Church and backward culture caused a deep change in society's horizon and values and advanced the society. Western society shook off backward and religious thoughts and beliefs. Most of our contemporary ideas about freedom of speech and civil liberties come from the Enlightenment.

We the atheist and freethinkers need to fight the battle for enlightenment in the East. We need to push Islam back to where it rightfully belongs. We should fight for unconditional freedom of speech including freedom to criticise Islam. We atheists have to challenge religious authority. For every vilified and oppressed atheist, two more, ten more, a thousand more will spring up. No matter how brutal inquisitions and slaughter, atheists and freethinkers will spring up because people's minds and needs cannot be imprisoned forever. Today our society under political Islam is being held prisoner by Islamic captors, who fight to dominate this world.


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