By Diana Hsieh
This news is horrifying, but not surprising:
A Saudi man working with the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice recently killed his daughter for converting to Christianity.The coercion of religious belief -- such as by blocking contrary views and punishing apostasy -- might seem like a show of power: it's the crushing of the thinking mind by sheer brute force.
According to sources close to the victim, the religious police member had cut the tongue of the girl and burned her to death following a heated debate on religion.
Saudi religious scholars have frequently warned against the dangers of Christian internet websites and satellite TV channels which attract Muslim youngsters to change their religion.
They decreed that watching these channels or browsing these websites which call for conversion to Christianity by various means is against the teachings of Islam.
Yet the attempt to coerce belief in some religion or squash criticism of its tenets is the ultimate confession of weakness. It says, loud and clear: "These beliefs cannot withstand rational scrutiny. They are not based in fact and logic. I'm so afraid that they will wither and die in the light of reason that we must cover them with the dark shroud of brute force."
However, such weakness can be dangerous -- just as this man's killing of his own daughter shows.