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Sunday, July 1, 2012

[mukto-mona] Let us not criticize religions, criticize religion-peddling

Indeed, I believe most of us in this forum are opposed to religion-peddling, as Ms. Majid wrote. As I wrote before, there is no point in opening up religious books for criticism, even when that might look scholarly.
I am opposed to the use, misuse and abuse of religions, all of which have caused a lot of division, hatred and injustice in the world. While I do not follow any religion, I am not unwilling to do something just because if was found in a religious book. In other words, I am perfectly OK to implement in my life anything that is good in the Koran, for example.
To me, all religious books are part of my history. None of them are "my religion" or "someone else's religion." I am open to follow anything good in any book. I have no animosity toward any religion. For me, no religion needs to have cadres of defenders.
However, I am certainly for discarding anything bad in any book. And I am unwilling to dig for contexts by which a seemingly bad teaching can be interpreted to be OK or good. Nor do I have time for overly-brainwashed 'scholars', who try to sustain and promote nonsense in what they think are 'their religion'.
The bottom line is, we should fight division, hatred and injustice that are promoted via use, misuse and abuse or religions.
Sukhamaya Bain
From: subimal chakrabarty <>
To: "" <>
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2012 7:35 PM
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] Voice of the People
There is a gray area between religion itself and the way it is used by vested interest groups. In a God fearing society it is unproductive and sometimes catastrophic to bluntly criticize a religion. It antagonizes common people and the reactionary forces get an excuse to pull them on their own side. But can a society really progress without pointing out the weaknesses in a religion? Obviously, No. But if we do so, religious feelings of the believers cannot but be hurt. It is a dilemma indeed. When Dipa Mehta shows in her film "Water" the quote from Gandhi and Manusanhita side by side, the Hindutvabadis do not like it. But we come to know that Gandhi did not endorse all of sage Manu's sacred pronouncements.
From: Farida Majid <>
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2012 8:55 AM
Subject: RE: [mukto-mona] Voice of the People
                  Do we all agree, on this one point, that we are all opposed to religion-peddling? I fervently hope that the answer is: YES.                 If so, then it is our solemn duty to understand the matter of 'religion-peddling'.                          In this business of religion -peddling it is the 'peddling' part that should command our attention.  And that requires certain in-depth and close attention to politics. Religion is a very powerful cultural artifice, and since both politics and religion deal with a community of people, there has been a mix of the two from time immemorial.  But we are constantly talking about religion-related  social symptoms, and mis-diagnosing them as 'religion'.  Why? There are several reasons.  One, mental laziness.  It takes a lot more patience and astute observation to do a political analysis. It needs historical information.              Throughout the 16th century in Europe, for instance, the Catholic Church was fighting an intense political battle with the breaking up of the Church.  The execution of the Nolan Magus and poet, Giordano Bruno, who was not a scientist or mathematician like Nicholas Copernicus, and the persecution of astronomer Galileo, a couple of decades later are indicative of the Church's political authority under severe pressure.  It is silly to cite this as the paradigmatic 'science v. religion' struggle.  It is a singular historical event within the context of Europe.               Both Dawkins and Hitchens are being totally dishonest in their discussions against religion. Dawkins is addressing the Creationists exclusively, and Hitchens's arguments apply to the Jehadists only.  Neither has the courage and intelligence of Karen Armstrong who discards the construction of the binary opposition of 'science v. religion' and refuses any hierarchical positioning of the two branches of knowledge.               Two, critiquing religion is a mask for communalism.  More on that later.                               Farida Majid


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"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
               -Beatrice Hall [pseudonym: S.G. Tallentyre], 190

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