Very often people say that as a society we need to respect people’s religion as it does no harm. Why should I? Religion is the primary source of serious problems in the world. We can look at Islam in our time and see how harmful religion is. Why should I respect people that use their holy book to justify genocide and chopping off people’s heads? Why should I respect religion which leaders make death threats against anyone who dares to criticise it or make fun of it?
There is nothing to respect when you follow a collection of myths, folktales, etc. from 1400 years ago in the modern age. There is no evidence for existence of any god, but lot of evidence for the use of so-called holy books to justify all kinds of horrible violence. The Quran is filled with passages of hate filled messages and calls for killing of innocent people. Of course there are good parts but the Islam we mainly see today is not a peaceful religion but a religion of hate.
Christianity is not much better. Millions of people have been killed through the centuries in the name of Christianity. We have the crusades, Spanish Inquisition, countless wars and so on. While the Christian churches ruled Europe, it was really hell. As Christians started to ignore both parts of the Bible and the church leadership interpretation of it, Christianity became civilised. They were no longer able to stop the development of knowledge and rights. The worst want to take away the right of women to have control over their bodies but they are not killing people for insulting them. So Christians have moved beyond their religion and therefore I respect them but not their religion. After all why should I? Their holy book has for a large part all the crazy stuff as is in the Quran.
I will however start respecting religion when religious people stop wanting their religion to dictate what other people can and can’t do. When a cartoon writer can be sure that at worst he will be sued, when a woman can have an abortion without rules set to appease a religion, when religious people stop wanting to preach in schools or in other governmental or governmentally funded institution, when prayer sessions are not held to advance a political agenda or when religious organisations don’t get tax breaks then I will start to respect religion. As long as religious organisations want to force their view on reality on me or to limit our options then there is no need to respect them. For most part in the Western world this has been the case and we should be proud of how far Christians have moved from Christianity. We have freedoms our forefathers could only have dreamed of. We should not sacrifice them.
Muslims are and should be welcomed to the western countries but like whenever you move to another country then you have to follow the rules there. I can not act totally the same in Bulgaria as I do in Iceland. It is normal part of settling in another country. If you are not willing to accept the laws and norms in the country you move to then you should stay where you are.