"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Emotionally Fragile Muslims Cannot Tolerate Criticism

Mr Siddique was arrested soon after handing himself into police
His comments in the US elicited a furious response from Muslim groups in Bangladesh
A senior Bangladeshi politician who criticised the annual Hajj pilgrimage made by Muslims to Mecca has been arrested in Dhaka.

Abdul Latif Siddique was denied bail and sent to jail on charges of insulting Islam.

Mr Siddique returned from India on Sunday after a long trip abroad.

Calls for his arrest came after he told a gathering in New York in September that he was "dead against the Hajj". He was subsequently sacked as a minister.

His comments triggered an angry reaction among hard line Islamist parties, who staged protests.

They and other opposition political parties demanded the former telecommunication minister's immediate arrest.

'An apostate'
Television footage from the US showed Mr Siddique telling a Bangladeshi expatriate audience in New York that he opposed the Hajj, and that the Prophet Mohammed had established it partly for commercial reasons.

Members of an Islamic political group pray in front of the Bangladesh national
mosque in Dhaka during a protest against comments made by Abdul Latif Siddique
I wonder what they are praying about? I doubt that it's for Allah to reveal the truth
"Two million people have gone to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj. [It] is a waste of manpower. Those who perform Hajj do not have any productivity," he said.

"They [Hajj pilgrims] deduct from the economy [and] spend a lot of money abroad."

After Mr Siddique's remarks were broadcast, hard line Islamist group Hefajat-e-Islam declared him "an apostate".

More than 20 cases were filed against him on charges of hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims. A court also issued several warrants for his arrest, prompting Mr Siddique to prolong his stay in the US and India.

Islamist groups issued a 24-hour deadline for the government to arrest him soon after his return to Bangladesh. Some have even called for him to be executed.

I'm so grateful that I'm a Christian and that I can question different doctrines of the faith. I believe that it's not possible to really know God without working through difficult questions to the truth of Who God is. 

That's not possible in Islam, for to question Islamic doctrine will result in prison or death. Consequently, the difficult questions are never answered and so the doctrine can never be refined. This is necessary in Islam because if the truth were ever revealed, Islam would crumble and fall.

He has yet to be charged since handing himself in to police.

Annual Hajj at Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Thank God I'm not a Muslim!
In an interview with the BBC in India in October, Mr Siddique said that his comments were made in an informal briefing and not in front of a large audience. He expressed regret that he had "embarrassed" his leader.

Mr Siddique, 77, fought for Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan in 1971. He was a trusted aide to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has voiced her displeasure over his comments.

Feminist writer Taslima Nasreen was also accused of "hurting the emotions of Muslims" in her writings of the early 1990s. She had to flee the country following a public outcry and now lives in India.