I can't...I don't even know what to do in the face of stories like this. It comes at such an awkward time, since at the U of L right now there is a HUGE campaign for awareness and education on Islam.
On one hand, I want to respond so strongly. This type of LEGISLATION, (not even belief) is so unbelievably evil and corrupt in every sense of the word. I feel so bad, so unimaginably horrible for the women and men who face these persecutions. I just want to lash out. How could anyone - and why SHOULD anyone - possibly want to give a religion that espouses this more than a passing glance, when it motivates such bigoted crimes against humanity!
But on the other hand, I know that in large part this is a corrupt Government leveraging the uneducated, hyper-religious population's beliefs for their own agenda. So in that sense, I cannot fault the religion itself.It puts me in an uncomfortable situation. I know so many good religious people for whom a belief in a god is a positive affirming force that has carried them through terrible times. I'm sympathetic to religion, and I want to believe that faith can be a good thing if used properly. But the disuse of it is becoming so horrifically common, and the results so powerfully, IMPOSSIBLY sadistic, that I can't help but wish the Gods would all just go away...
The problem for me is not faith (in this case islam) but when faith meets politics. I think faith can be an amazing tool to create good in the world as long as that faith is based on intelligent and questioning analysis (blind faith has killed more people than all the plagues of the world (forgive the hyperbole but i couldn't think of a better comparison since war is so often faith based). In many ways the two have been intertwined in a clusterfuck for so long by those in power that for a long time two were indistinguishable.
The great promise of America was in many ways the tearing of these two institutions apart (or at least asking them to take a break from seeing each other for a while). Politicians are like sex addicts they can't resist using religion to gain power. Rather than presenting real ideas and solutions for people they resort to fear-mongering and scapegoating of minorities to gain support. You can see that every day in what is going on with the republicans down in the states.
How do we beat them? We have to support those who are being oppressed (please visit here and donate to help Iraq LGBT community) fight the lies that are spread by those who seek to gain power by turning us into victims and provide real ideas and solutions to provide an alternative for worshippers of the giant flying spaghetti monsters of the world. Ideas, determination and truth i think will save our asses from the evils of religion.