Afghanistan destroys books deemed insulting to Sunnis
“Books like these are more dangerous than Taliban bullets,”Â Gov. Ghulam Dastagir Azad told The Associated Press.
In the recent case, it was a load of pro-Shi’ite books from Iran that was destined for the bottom of the Helmand River. Ironically, the Afghan government has thus ignited sectarian strife by supposedly aiming to prevent it. And the question remains: are they concerned about Shi’ite Islam as a vehicle for Iranian influence, or simply because it is not Sunni Islam? Beyond that, there are several points of interest:
First, transparency is a prized attribute of a functional government, at least in the Western sense; it does not co-exist well with official corruption. But when a society and a government believes it is permissible to lie or equivocate in order to smooth things over or guard against non-believers (cf. Qur’an 3:28), there exists a disastrous precedent for how the government may do business when officials think no one is looking.
Second, the principle is expandable: What else will the government suppress in order not to “insult” this or that brand of Islam? Quite a bit, if the case ofÂ Syed Parwez KambakhshÂ is any indication. And that begs the question of what kind of government Western forces are spending untold amounts of blood and treasure to prop up.
Above all, however, the story belies the harmony that would supposedly break out under a pure Islamic state: To say nothing of unbelievers, there could be no harmony as long as everyone was not in agreement about the “purity” of said state, and its fidelity to and enforcement of Sharia law. Even without the sense of entitlement of the “true believers” to govern and the call for open-ended warfare against unbelievers, stories like this make quite a case for the separation of religion and state.
Pakistan: Jihadists attack historic church, burn Bibles, destroy altar and cross — police reluctant to investigate
“They are not investigating it as they would if the attack had been on a mosque.”