Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Palestinian man held as "blasphemous" anonymous blogger on West Bank

The New York Times is reporting on p A5 Tuesday Nov. 16 about Palestinian man Waleed Hasayin, from the West Bank town of Qalqilya, for supposedly maintaining a blog or website said to be stirring up everyone with “secular” values that question Islamic religious values (to say the least) and to some people bringing up the notion of aiding the “enemy” (“Israel”). Actually, the blogger called himself pseudonymously Waleed al-Husseini, and Hasayin has been held by Palestinian authorities who maintain he is that blogger.   Anonymity, however valued as a right, did not work. There is fear that his case could turn into one like the Jyllands-Posten Cartoon controversy or even Salman Rushdie. The link  (story is "A blogger's irreverence infuriates West Bank Muslims", by Isabel Kershner) is here.

This blogger post “Why I Left Islam” seems to be his. The writer says that he does not consider Christianity or Judaism “better” than Islam, but he calls Islam an “authoritarian religion”.  The blog has the headband "Proud Atheist: Rational critics of religion" Note the word "rational"; pure logic can lead us into unending mazes.

It's interesting to ponder why many religious or somewhat tribal communities cannot tolerate dissent. On the other hand, it's true that Palestinians have indeed had land and homes expropriated from them by force by Israel (for "settlements" that supposedly support "security"), and it's understandable how this would be a source of shame, the most unacceptable of all emotions.

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