More Joel Richardson Nonsense

More dimness from apocalyptic anti-Muslim Christian Joel Richardson:

Islamic Scholars Wrestle With Death-For-Apostasy Issue

If they decide in Death for Apostasy, there will no longer be a debate among liberals as to whether or not Islam conflicts with basic human rights. However, if they go the other way, it will open the door for further whitewashing of the reality on the ground in much of the Muslim world.

In other words, Muslim scholars can be divided into those who admit they want the infidels to be killed, and those who pretend they don’t. Presumably there can’t be a strand of serious Muslim discussion which is truly moderate and seeks an accommodation with civil society, because that would upset the “Muslim anti-Christ” fantasy which Richardson reads into the Bible and which is a central tenet of his militarised Christian fundamentalism.

Amusingly, this comes just days after WorldNetDaily, which has published and heavily promoted Richardson’s book on ex-Muslims, ran a column which argues that the biblical Book of Deuteronomy is “the key to saving of America”; Deuteronomy, of course, has no concept of religious freedom and it demands sanguinary penalties for those whose conduct (particularly in sexual matters) is deemed unacceptable.

This enthusiasm for the laws and penalties of Deuteronomy is shared by Christian Reconstructionists and by the Jewish far-right in Israel, but most believers would reject such extremism; mainstream Judaism and Christianity derive ethical guidance from other parts of the Bible using a great variety of interpretative methods, and the religions can adapt to – and help to develop – more humane perspectives on personal freedom and human rights. There is no reason to suppose that a religion as complex and diverse as Islam does not contain similar potential, or that Muslims are of necessity insensible to the advantages offered by a free society. Certain trends in Islamic thought have rejected “death for apostasy” for a long time; the scholars now discussing the issue will hopefully lend support for this view and so improve “the reality on the ground”. On the other hand, they may not, which will indeed be a blow for freedom and civil society in the Muslim world – but it would hardly prove that tolerant Islam does not exist.

Once again, Richardson offers up a conspiracy theory rather than a considered evaluation, calculated to whip up fear and apocalyptic fatalism. But I suppose that’s what the churches which invite him to speak want to hear.