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Saturday, October 4, 2008

There Is No Morality Without Religion

posted by on October 4 at 10:25 AM

I’m thinking the last thing two grieving parents need after the tragic death of a child is a mob of angry religious nuts threatening to boycott their businesses—or firebomb them—because the grieving parents didn’t dispose of their son’s remains in a manner that pleases the religious nuts.

Shafayet Reja’s mother is Hindu, his father is Muslim, and his parents brought him up in both faiths. When Shafayet died, his parents had him cremated, the Hindu tradition, and not buried in a shroud, which is the Muslim tradition. An angry crowd confronted the parents at their son’s funeral. And bomb threats followed.

To some Muslims, the fact that Shafayet Reja prayed and attended mosques trumps his family’s wishes.

“It was the community’s business because the community knew he was a Muslim,” said Junnun Choudhury, [a leader of] one of several mosques around the city whose worshipers came to the funeral to plead with the family. “It is our job to bury him in the Muslim way.”

Oh, and this happened in New York, not Afghanistan.

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Too bad the son wasn't a serviceman. Then the God-Hates-Fags people could've showed up and we would have had the ultimate religious cluster fuck.

Posted by sockpuppet | October 4, 2008 11:32 AM

@1: Part of me wishes that you could have the ultimate religious battle royale like that. Then it would just be a matter of cleaning up the survivors...

Posted by demo kid | October 4, 2008 11:51 AM

What are they hoping to accomplish here? Reconstitute his ashes and bury him in a shroud? Spilt milk, people. Move on.

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 4, 2008 12:13 PM

Nothing to kill or die forrrrr
And nooooooo religion tuuuuuuuuuuu
Imagine all the peeeeeeee


Posted by John Bailo | October 4, 2008 12:30 PM

I know I'm supposed to write something all funny and clever, but I guess I'm just too frickin' earnest for that.

And here would be the obvious response: With all the other crap that's going on* why oh why do people continue to contribute more hatred and violence to the human experience, in the name of religion?!! I am just so tired of this.

[*The other crap would be: the financial crisis, climate change (to put it way too mildly), corporate decimation of our media, etc.]

Posted by a tired atheist | October 4, 2008 12:50 PM

Yes, it is tiring listening to the constant cruelty and ignorance that is religion. But when you consider that mankind has come some way overcoming millenia of this, it is worth taking a deep breath and fighting on. Keep promoting education. Keep pushing for freedom. Keep pulling your weight so the children have a better future. Otherwise, religion will drag mankind back to the chaos known as the dark ages.

Posted by Vince | October 4, 2008 1:30 PM

I don't think that would have happened anywhere in Arizona. A large crowd of brown foreigners would have attracted the notice of Sheriff Joe who would have promptly rounded them up and handed them over to ICE. By now they would be on a plane to Gitmo as Jihadi terrorists.

The anti-immigrant vitriol on the news would have been especially poisonous since these are Muslim brown foreigners. Speaking of ignorance and intolerance.

Posted by yucca flower | October 4, 2008 1:31 PM

Dan, when you were done reading the story, you were, obviously, on page 2 of 2. Which means if you use the URL in your address bar, you're linking to the second page of the story and everyone has to go back one page to start reading, wondering "What is Dan smoking today?"

The NYT makes it foolproof if you click on Share > Permalink and use the URL in the popup window. Especially since the URL in your browser has junk in it and could change. They could break their "permalink" but then that's on them, not you.

The story itself: tl;dr.

Posted by elenchos | October 4, 2008 3:37 PM

@7 Good point Yucca. And so it goes on and on and on.........

Posted by a still tired atheist | October 4, 2008 3:39 PM

Hmmm are our values better becuase they're ours....or becuase they're better?

Posted by PC | October 4, 2008 5:43 PM

They are the Fred Phelps of Islam.

Posted by yucca flower | October 4, 2008 5:52 PM

@5 Tired Atheist - great handle, BTW, as an atheist I've been called demonic (huh? that would require me to BELIEVE IN something, duh), immoral, damned, crazy, blah, blah, blah. Yet, I've not tortured grieving parents who simply want to bury their dead son, I've not killed in the name of a non-tangible unseen force. I'm crazy? See Religulous - Maher really puts things all-together in an a funny, smart, coherent way. Let's hang in there, though, they can't win.

Posted by libsechumanist | October 6, 2008 8:10 AM

After his mother died a friend of mine had her cremated as she had asked. Their old family priest told him that he had destroyed her chances of going to Heaven because cremation is against Catholic tenets. Nice. Islam means peace and Jesus saves.

Posted by inkweary | October 6, 2008 12:11 PM

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