We have the right to criticize religions

After attacking Salman Rushdie, it’s good to remember certain truths.

story to stop spreading lies.

After all, we’re supposed to be fighting misinformation, right?

A religion is an ideology

First, a religion is not a race.

We are born black. Asian. Or white.

But we are not born Muslims. Or catholic. Or Buddhist.

There are no Muslim (or Catholic or Buddhist) children. There are children whose parents have adopted the Muslim (or Catholic or Buddhist) faith and who want to pass this faith on to their children.

Our religion is not written in our DNA. It is not given to us at birth.

Second: A religion is an idea. Which we have the choice to join or not.

As Yuval Noah Harari demonstrated so well in his international bestseller, sapiens : A religion is an ideology. A series of stories that man invented to make sense of the world.

In this sense there is no difference between Buddhism and capitalism, Judaism and socialism, or Islam and communism.

They are all collections of ideas that give legitimacy to human norms and rules.

Religion, ideology – it’s all the same, says Harari.

Just as one can change ideology (as I did, move from left to right, or act within a sovereignist party and then join a federalist party, as Caroline St-Hilaire and Bernard Drainville did), one can change one’s religion. Or stop believing.

It is our right.

And nobody can stop us.

We have the right to criticize religions

Third principle, which follows from the other two: If all ideas can be criticized, even mocked, and if religions are ideas, then all religions can be criticized, even mocked.

All. Without exception.

Do you have the right to criticize communism, nationalism or capitalism?

So you have the right to criticize Judaism, Catholicism or Islam.

And not just the “radical” fringes of these religions: the religions themselves.

Even in its most moderate forms.

When Salman Rushdie was the subject of a fatwa, i.e. a death sentence, the writer John Le Carré had the gall to say that the author of the satanic verses had sought him through criticism of Islam.

Le Carré spent his life criticizing communism in his spy novels.

Did he deserve to be sentenced to death by the Russian or Chinese authorities?

Of course not ! Freedom of expression protects the right to criticize ideologies.

It should be the same with religion.

The right to criticize religions is a fundamental and non-negotiable right.

Rushdie, a criminal?

In Canada, however, on March 23, 2017, a motion was passed whereby criticism of Islam would be considered a racist act.

Can you imagine a motion that bans criticism of capitalism?

If this motion became law, Salman Rushdie would be considered a criminal in Canada…

This is Justin Trudeau’s Canada too!

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