Nothing “Pseudo” About It

Following hard on the heels of the murder of Salman Taseer comes the murder of Shabaz Bhatti.

I see that the Archbishop of Canterbury is reported as condemning the murder of Bhatti, and quite right too. But I did find one statement of his slightly jarring. He is reported as saying that there was a faction in Pakistan:

“wholly uninterested in justice and due process of law, concerned only with promoting an inhuman pseudo-religious tyranny.”

Er, excuse me, but what’s that word “pseudo” doing in that sentence? The sentence is just as true without it. I suspect that the good Dr. Williams just cannot face up to, or is not willing to state in public, the simple fact that there’s nothing pseudo about religious tyranny, and that Bhatti’s murderers sincerely believe that they were doing the right thing.

On a related note, it’s worthwhile reading Eric MacDonald’s piece today. The key quote:

It is simply foolish and foolhardy to dismiss these extremists as merely extreme, as marginal expressions of their respective believing communities. What they stand for is always at the centre of the religious systems they espouse. Most people, with lives to live, and other goals to pursue, pay little attention to the intrinsically extremist language of their faith communities. But the language is always there. That’s why there are faith communities, because religions are essentially tribal and divisive.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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