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back to article Muslim clerics issue fatwa banning the devout from Mars One 'suicide' mission

A religious row has broken out over Mars One's plans to send volunteers to the Red Planet on a one-way mission that will be televised for the world's entertainment. In April the Dutch group Mars One announced plans to send four people to a Martian habitat by 2023, with more settlers arriving every two years. The estimated $6bn …

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Anonymous Coward

Protecting life...

Some Muslims need to read their book more.

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Anonymous Coward

Well... So do some christians, hindus and even buddists (on a bad day)

That is the general problem with all major religions.

Every single one of them has these principles - Do Not Kill, Suicide is sin, etc.

Their devout followers however do not _READ_ the holy book, they _STUDY_ it. In other words - they are fed a particular interpretation first by a cleric, So even if they read it (most do not), they glance over the bits that do not fit that interpretation.

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I wonder if the subject of Space Exploration has been covered in any of the religious books ?

Who knows, maybe there is a better Deity on the planet Mars....Now that would make for really interesting news....

You have to love the irony though:

Putting a death warrant on someone for potentially committing suicide..

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@Khaptain

And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. [2 Kings 2:11]

If that wasn't a bronze age alien abduction, I'd like to know what was!

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Alien

Spirts in the sky nut jobs and such

Depends on whether you consider Scientology a religion

the whole premise of L R Ron's Religion is based on sci fi

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@Khapitan

AFAIK a fatwa is just an instruction. The famous one regarding Salman Rusdie was an instruction for the faithful to kill him, but this one is apparently just an instruction not to go to Mars.

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Yes, I know that a Fatwa is not a death warrant as such but the media and some clerics have successfully managed to make it appear as though it was.

Religion is and should remain a private affair unfortunately the religion leaders and the media don't want to make it so.....

In any event is there much difference to fear between death and eternal damnation......

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Re: @Khaptain

More of an acid trip - or other hallucination.

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" .. but the media and some clerics have successfully managed .."

Then make fun of the media and clerics and don't call it an irony, because you just admitted the source itself is not to be blamed (at least it this case).

Also, religion is not a private affair but a collective conscience and is aimed at guiding the followers, good or bad.

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Re: @dorsetknob "the whole premise of L R Ron's Religion is based on sci fi"

No it isn't, it's based on making money. The Si-Fi twaddle is just how they fleece the gullible and prove that 'one is born every minute'.

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FAIL

"You have to love the irony though:

Putting a death warrant on someone for potentially committing suicide.."

well for all the potential faults, a Fatwa is *not* a death warrant. It's important to be accurate about these things when we need to criticise them. Otherwise you get shot down on detail as opposed to intent/effect.

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Naaa....

It was based on tax avoidance.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spirts in the sky nut jobs and such

"Depends on whether you consider Scientology a religion"

Much like Rob Hubbard turned a Science Fiction story into a religion, Mohammed copied much of early Christianity, spicing it up a bit to invent a new religion. It's quite amazing how gullible some people must be to believe this stuff....

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Anonymous Coward

It's really the Invisible Pink Unicorn that is telling the Muslims not to do this!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well... So do some christians, hindus and even buddists (on a bad day)

"Every single one of them has these principles - Do Not Kill"

Except the Jews. Life for a Life.

I guess they lost count a bit in Palestine.

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Re: Well... So do some christians, hindus and even buddists (on a bad day)

It's always been a mystery to me how religions go so quickly from "Love thy neighbour" to "Burn the heretic". Even the chilled ones like Buddhists aren't above setting each other alight if there's not enough monastery to go around.

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Anonymous Coward

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.

Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,

They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;

They sit no more at familiar tables of home;

They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;

They sleep beyond England's foam

Lest we forget: http://drawmuhammad.tumblr.com/

May 20th every year.

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I thought the Dark Ages and the Inquisition ended years ago.

Still it's not a surprise is it when it comes from people who believe women are worth less than men, where honour murders prevail and where education for women is frowned upon.

Thank goodness not all Muslims are the same and that many are more enlightened than this, but it will take a million years to change the mindset of the most hardened.

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Re: Spirts in the sky nut jobs and such

abrahamic religions were created as a tool to control and exploit society:

1. master religion - ripping off all basic ideas and templates from various older religions ranging from egyptian, babylonian, cimmerian, hittite, etc. later forked into two more religions

2. these two slave religions are then periodically pitted against each other, for power, control, resources, abuse, exploitation, brainwashing, mental slavery, ethnic cleansing, genocide, etc

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Facepalm

Re: Well... So do some christians, hindus and even buddists (on a bad day)

> I guess they lost count a bit in Palestine.

I would suggest that they have a lot of catching up to do with the millions of people "exterminated" on the original journey to the promised land. But then it was OK wasn't it? After all, God said so.

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Anonymous Coward

"Some Muslims need to read their book more."

Or maybe move on to some other works of fiction.

Mine's a cuppa from Russell's Teapot.....

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JLV
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Re: Spirts in the sky nut jobs and such

Every so often I read bit and parts of the Scientology backstory and it is hilarious. Planet Earth was settled as a prison planet trillions of years ago and the ghost of murdered prisoners haunt us yet... They've so far successfully managed to sue whoever puts up links to it, on the basis of non-disclosure and trade secrets.

Think about it - none of the other religions feel any shyness about promoting whatever wonderful and informative stories their holy books carry. Scientology feels it has no choice but to keep it secret.

I also read Battlefield Earth and it is a whopper. In years and years of reading SF, a fair bit of it not very good, I have never read something as gloriously, unbashedly, awful. It sucks. Having Jonny Goodboy be the name of the main protagonist? A high point in its literary achievements.

Whoever disses the movie with Travolta always seems to miss how bad the book was.

There is some rumor that, once upon a time, a trio of poor SF writers, Hubbard, Phillip K Dick and another, were debating how to make lots of $. Hubbard's supposed idea? Found a religion.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well... So do some christians, hindus and even buddists (on a bad day)

"I would suggest that they have a lot of catching up to do with the millions of people "exterminated" on the original journey to the promised land. But then it was OK wasn't it? After all, God said so."

The indigenous Arab population of Palestine had nothing to do with those events. Perhaps Israel should occupy Germany and Egypt and committing genocide against those populations too?

Oh, wait, they already killed all the Egyptian first born. Just Germany to go then....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spirts in the sky nut jobs and such

You have a read some books good, it's not exactly having gone through auditing or even doing the most basic courses offered to get people in the door. There is something in it, some things of value hidden in all that other stuff. Some of the things I learnt in a fleeting contact with the COS have been a positive help every day, the other stuff I've probably forgotten and most of my contact was through people who had left the main church but valued the good techniques for helping people.

I always think people who assume there is no value in Scientology are like those so frightened of their own sexuality they would stone gays, if you are sensible to start with you'll be able to make value judgements about the ideas. My family were seriously into sky is falling! - "Cult" talk if I were to even read a book but they don't consider the damage of passing years of depressive mental mechanisms, that's society's "normal", getting a bit of awareness that's "dangerous talk".

I won't say it took me from a normal nut case to an activated higher being but it helped me understand the dynamics of many situations and spot motivations good or bad.

In the workplace once some of the mystery is taken away spotting someone's tone level can save a lot of surprises. I know most people here "know how to spot wrong'un" but we are not born at 30 so being able to spot the actions of someone covert or out of control of their own space can be very valuable. I see people who are happy to steal from a company and the give away is basic level motivation and often accompanied by subtle withholds, if it looks like a duck listening for quacks can help form a better judgement. If someone does A then B there is a good chance that next move is C, if C happens to risk you or your job being able to spot the pattern may mean a lot.

I suffered anxiety as a kid and going through auditing helped me with that, there is no way I would be able to rub shoulders with comentards like your good selves without that (feel free to pretend that is humour).

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Re: Spirts in the sky nut jobs and such

"There is some rumor that, once upon a time, a trio of poor SF writers, Hubbard, Phillip K Dick and another, were debating how to make lots of $. Hubbard's supposed idea? Found a religion."

The third was Roger Zelazny and I read it in an interview with him years ago. Long enough ago that it was in print. I've been trying to remember who the other writer was (Dick) since the first post above bringing it up. Zelazny's story was that the three of them went on a binge in San Diego and after many hours of drinking and talking the topic of religion came up.

"Anyone can start a religion", says Hubbard, "based on anything at all, the more nonsensical the better"

"Bullshit" , say they other two

"Bet you $20", says Hubbard and next week had the first draft of Scientology.

I wish I could find that interview again, outside of this it was very funny.

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If one follows the logic of this fatwa, the Hajj is equally condemned, as one could easily die from the trip, the journey to Mecca, the return or the wide variety of diseases carried by other Hajj travelers.

A one way mission is not a suicide mission, that is what the idiots who proclaimed their fatwa missed.

There were plenty of one way missions throughout history. Indeed, the Americas and Australia come to mind for one way missions, though one was voluntary, one was not.

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Re: Spirts in the sky nut jobs and such

Much like Rob Hubbard turned a Science Fiction story into a religion, Mohammed copied much of early Christianity, spicing it up a bit to invent a new religion. It's quite amazing how gullible some people must be to believe this stuff....

You could quite easily say the same about Jesus.

That said, I don't think it's right to make fun of someone's religious beliefs. People can believe whatever they want, IMHO, unless they try to force those beliefs on me.

Or unless they are trying to scam people out of their hard earned money through a ridiculous cult (*cough* Scientology *cough*)

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Should that be less? A very big part of ALL the problems in the world, let alone a trip to Mars, is that Muslims (and other religious nutters) read "their" book too bloody much.

Medieval fairy tales, which have no basis in fact or logic should be consigned to history.

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Re: Well... So do some christians, hindus and even buddists (on a bad day)

"Except the Jews" - see commandment 6 of 10

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Re: Well... So do some christians, hindus and even buddists (on a bad day)

Christianity and Islam inheritated the same. But 'shalt not kill' is a mistranslation. It actually says 'you should not murder' or 'you shall not kill unlawfully.' It still allows for exceptions where the killing is authorised by appropriate law, and later sections of the texts describe many of those exceptions.

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Anonymous Coward

El *Rob* Hubbard?!

@ Anonymous Coward; "Much like Rob Hubbard turned a Science Fiction story into a religion"

My God- I never knew that! So not only did he write all those Commodore 64 soundtracks, but Rob Hubbard started a religion as well?!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spirts in the sky nut jobs and such

Sorry, but Rob Hubbard was the excellent 8-bit Music composer from the 80s

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Hubbard

I think you may be thinking of L Ron Hubbard, the creator of Scientology.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spirts in the sky nut jobs and such

@AC; "Sorry, but Rob Hubbard was the excellent 8-bit Music composer from the 80s"

Assuming that was aimed at me... thanks, but I know who *Rob* Hubbard was (and that he wasn't L Ron Hubbard), hence the reference to his Commodore 64 music and the "whoosh" as the joke went over your head. :-)

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Re: Well... So do some christians, hindus and even buddists (on a bad day)

"I would suggest that they have a lot of catching up to do with the millions of people "exterminated" on the original journey to the promised land."

Not to detract from your general point (which is that the Old Testament is filled with horrendous crimes and glorification of the invasion of other people's lands), but the evidence that modern Jewish people are any more descended from the ancient Israelites than most non-Jewish people is mixed. There was a large wave of conversions to Judaism prior to the Fourth Century. So some groups of Jewish people are barely related to other groups at all -- at least no more so statistically than any other group -- and evidence that the main body of Jewish people trace their ancestory back to exiles from Egypt is pretty much non-existent. Or rather they just as much can as any non-Jewish group in Europe (and several other parts). That area of the world churned out wave after wave of settlers to other parts in ancient days.

Not that it really matters. Race is pretty much irrelevant in intrinsic terms. Barring the odd thing more prevalent in one ethnic group than another such as diabetes or sickle cell anaemia, we're pretty much identical. It's culture that matters. But the racial connection (or rather lack of) is important to building a narrative about a "diaspora," of being driven out of Israel. A narrative which is very important to many Zionists who want to justify ownership of the area along ethnic lines. (N.b. to the simple minded, Zionist =/= Jewish. There are a very large number of Christian Zionists in the United States and a massive number of non-Zionist Jews all over the place).

Queue incoming protests about Y chromasomes on people called Cohen in 3..2..1...

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Hmmm ...

If a death warrant is issued, does that mean the assassin would take the next flight?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well... So do some christians, hindus and even buddists (on a bad day)

You do understand the Christian Crusades were in response to the Muslim Crusades which began almost 4 centuries earlier... But seeing ignorance of history is more the norm around here, I am not even going to give your comment any further thought...

I'll leave you with this, since you want to talk about death tolls...

Islam has killed about 270 million people: 120 million Africans*, 60 million Christians, 80 million Hindus, 10 million Buddhists, etc.

http://www.politicalislam.com/tears/pages/tears-of-jihad/

Next time try some research, you won't come off looking as clueless as Paris...

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Devil

Nut jobbery versus nut jobbery

Please don't export religion to a second planet.

One is bad enough.

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Re: Nut jobbery versus nut jobbery

RE: "Please don't export religion to a second planet"

That's exactly what they are trying to achieve - to NOT export religion to another planet. Your wish is granted.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nut jobbery versus nut jobbery

No, please DO export religion to another planet, all of it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nut jobbery versus nut jobbery

I for one welcome our religious alien overlords... Convert or die... Oh wait, that's already here and it is called Islam...

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This is rather sad

When you consider that Islam had a lot to do with keeping the knowledge of the ancients around during the Dark Ages when Rome was busy burning books.

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It is rather sad

that people persist in this silly anachronistic nonsense started by the 18th century propaganda, which chose Byzantium as a strawmen monarchy. There was no need to keep the "knowledge": up until 1453, the continuous tradition of Hellenistic education and scholarship was maintained in the Roman empire and its capital---Constantinople. There was almost at all times cultural exchange between the empire and Western Europe (sometimes, alas, in the form of Crusades).

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Re: It is rather sad

You are overestimating the level of science suriving in the Byzantium. What survived there was engineering, not science. On that one it was considerably more advanced than the rest of Europe - for example their construction technology is something Europe reached in the industrial age (if not later).

I am writing this on hols while right in the middle of the ruins a "small" Byzantian 5th century fort. Used to be an insignificant admin center in one of their provinces. Small == the size of 11th century London (if not bigger) with 16 century or so equivalent construction technology and 19th century equivalent sanitation evident throughout the ruins. So on that count they were 1000 years ahead of the rest of Europe. There a reason for even such minor cities showing such impressive walls - the hordes of Slavic tribes, Bulgarians, Hunns and other invaders from the East. Europe was anything but "trader friendly" and "culutral exchange friendly" from ~4th century all the way until the Italian cities started to reestablish trade during the Renessaince.

Back on the subject - the fundamental sciences however - mathematics, phylosophy, etc all festered and putrified in the Byzantium. Byzantium did not burn books and put scholars on a stake. It had more subtle Byzantean methods (but no less effective).

Do some historians like it or not the only reason we have the fundamental (not engineering) part of the Hellenic heritage are Arabs. They have also added advancements of their own. There is a reason why ALGEBRA is an arabic word you know. Geeks kept drawing diagrams, they never got to the point of abstract equations. In fact, in greece if a mathematical proof was not acceptable if it did not have a visual depiction.

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Re: This is rather sad

If they had let the Nestorian Christians be, instead of wiping them out and taking their manuscripts, they wouldn't have had to do the work of preserving the Greek classics themselves. Hence, I can't really give Islam much credit for preserving what it first placed in danger.

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Re: It is rather sad

Indeed, I seem to remember an episode of a BBC history of science series (I think it was James Burke's thought provoking 'The Day The Universe Changed') discussing the stagnation of science in middle-ages Europe.

While scientific study north of the Mediterranean got bogged down in religious dogma (the idea of a non-changing god in the christian church, therefore a static universe and static science) it was left to the peoples south of the Mediterranean and in Arabia to continue progress in what we today would call pure science.

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Re: It is rather sad

Not only is algebra an arabic word but so are the more IT related algorithm and alcohol.

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Re: It is rather sad

Algebra is an arabic word, but the mathematics it names come from India. As do our numbers. Arabs didn't invent these things (or the 0, before someone leaps in with that myth).

I'm getting very tired of all this cultural one-upmanship and willy waving going on these days. Mediaeval Europe wasn't a barbaric cesspit and the arabs weren't enlightened beings bringing science to the unwashed masses. Both sides advanced and retreated at different times and in different ways.

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Re: This is rather sad

If you know a bit of astronomy you'll also know that most of the major stars have Arabic names. All catalogued by Muslim scholars when most of Europe was throwing rocks at Romans.

Phil.

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Re: It is rather sad

I beg to differ. Fundamental Hellenistic heritage are not natural sciences, but humanities. And this was preserved through the entire history of the Roman empire and bootstrapped Renaissance. Homer and Plato were studied and commented all they way down (vide http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemistus_Pletho). And there was no need for Italian cities to re-establish trade: it was never broken. In fact up to 12 century, Naples, Amalfi, etc. were *part* of the empire, formally, politically and economically. Funny enough, Naples was even a staunch supporter of iconoclasm (if I still know my Gibbon).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This is rather sad

Unfortunately it hasn't moved on since those times and keeps its believers in a primitive lifestyle from the Middle Ages.

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