Tolerance or Stupidity?
An Essay by Sabri Bebawi, PhD


In Quebec, Canada, Mohammad Shafia, his wife, Tooba, and his son, Hamed, were, fortunately, found guilty of the "Honor (Religious/Cultural) Killing" murders of Shafia's three daughters and first wife. Some call it "Honor Killing;"some call it other names, but Islamic governments fancy the term "Stoning to Death." Some downplay the phenomenon, ignore the pre-meditation element in the crime and call it "Domestic Violence." Whatever it is called, it is a "MURDER."
This form of "MURDER" is sadly being debated as to whether it is cultural or religious as though it would make a difference and make the "MURDER" less horrific. On a recent CNN interview with Solidad O'Brian, Irshad Manji, Director of the Moral Courage Project, in NY, and author of "Allah, Liberty and Love," in her effort to protect faith, made a failed attempt to ensure viewers that it is a cultural not a religious phenomenon, as though it mattered.
Whether the villain is a Moslem, Jew, Christian, Buddhist, atheist or whatever, murder is murder be it for cultural or religious reasons. Strangely enough, this, and the frequent murder of girls and women, happens habitually in Islamic cultures. Murder can neither be tolerated nor accepted even if an invisible mighty god orders it.
It was demoralizing and daunting to hear the self-proclaimed intellectual Saudi Ambassador to London, Ghazi Al-Qusaibi, say that "...Stoning may seem irrational to the western mind, but it is at the core of the Islamic faith." A semi-educated earthling, the Saudi ambassador to England asserted that stoning adulterers to death is a legitimate punishment for society. He also said that Westerners should respect Muslim culture on this matter. Here is the dilemma; are we, in the democratic West, to tolerate and respect the intolerable and disrespectable?
Certainly, we could tolerate and respect people's beliefs; however, what if, not in this writer's views, but in consideration of basic humanity and human decency, such beliefs are criminal in nature, uncivilized in foundation, and immoral at the core? Should we tolerate and respect Mormons' practice of marrying underage girls, and marry many of them? Should we tolerate and respect the KKK practice of burning blacks at the cross? Should we tolerate and respect insane Christians who burn abortion clinics killing doctors and nurses? Should we tolerate and respect Christians who want to wipe out Muslims? Should we tolerate and respect Muslims eager to wipe out all infidels, non-believers in Islam? Should we have tolerated and respected Hitler? Mr. Saudi Ambassador, why not?
Many are up in arms defending religion, testifying and swearing that religion does not say this or that or insisting religion is innocent. They claim it is culture. Whether culture or religion, should we tolerate and respect such behavior in the name of tolerance? Will accepting and respecting such