Can Stanley Fish, on the top of his head, answer this "illiterate" atheist's questions about religion?
As you can see by my answers, though I am not a believer I understand not only the facts about these religions, but the thoughts behind them. And that's my real rebuke to Fish: not that I can rattle off more trivia than he can, but that I learned all of these ideas from people, not from books. Because I took the time to get to know believers. Who practice their religion.
Religion is human, not divine, in origin; I know about religion because I want to know about human beings. Were religion really all about God, I wouldn't give two shakes about it.
There's no excuse for this. (Or this.)
Why should any woman be subject to hijabs, arranged marriages, beatings, and murder simply because of the coincidence of being born in a fundamentalist Muslim family? And why can't she change her mind about her religion?
Don't women have rights? Don't children? Do their rights depend upon some random circumstance of birth? Was this woman a British subject, or her father's chattel? Doesn't Britain's Constitution apply to her, or is the Queen too busy riding her horse? Tony Blair, still think than religious schools teaching contradictory "facts" is a good idea?
What does a nation's laws mean when a foreign law can be imposed upon a woman and the police ignore her pleas? Is that supposed to be tolerance? Give me a break. I'm the one who learned about Islam on my own when I was fourteen (after the Iran Hostage crisis); I'm the one who learned some Arabic and Somali; I'm the one who has supported peace between the Palestinians and Israelis since I was a child (and opposed the U.S. ever funding Saddam Hussein); I'm the one who wrote letters to the editor against racial and religious hatred aimed at Muslims after September 11.
Americans, would you still rather not vote for an atheist for public office? Because I don't know what "fighting them over there so that we don't have to fight them over here" means, then. Who are we fighting in Iraq - atheists? Who committed the atrocities of September 11? Atheists?
Considering that two of this poor woman's so-called relatives have fled Great Britain, the time has come for the U.S., Great Britain, and Europe to shake off their confusion and become an example by banning any and all practices of sharia within our boundaries. Cracking down on this will get rid of all of those fundamentalist Islamists who are already "over here." This should not be a controversial idea to anyone.