Monday, February 22, 2010

Sophistry and Islam

Now here is as fine a piece of sophistry as has come along in a while.

It seems this Muslim gentleman in Arizona took exception to his daughter becoming "too westernized" and ran her down with his vehicle, killing her in the process. He admitted it was an honour killing. He is being tried for first degree murder for which Arizona law prescribes the death penalty. His lawyer, however, is arguing that he should not be subjected to the death penalty less the public (especially the Muslim public) gets the idea that it is Christians who are putting Muslims to death.

The law is supposed to be neutral and even-handed and issues such as race, religion, ethnicity, etc., are irrelevant. The religion of the prosecutor and the judge ought to be irrelevant to the outcome.

What does this mean? Can only Muslim judges pass sentence on Muslim defendants?

What if the defendant were an atheist? Would one require an atheist judge so that religious folk are not seen to be killing non-believers?

What the defense lawyer is really arguing is that killing this defendant will stir up the Muslims and then watch out; the usual "let's not shake the wasps nest" fear argument that seems to hold much water in our society.

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