The late Fouzia Azeem, known by her showbusiness name as “Qandeel Baloch” or “The Kim Kardashian of Pakistan,” was murdered by two of her brothers as part of a honor killing done in the name of Islam. With all respect to everybody, there is a lot to digest here. Her brothers were certainly wrong in what they did. At the same time, Fouzia was a very poor example of public behavior and an embarassment to her family- after all, the fact that she would associate herself with Kim Kardashian suggests speaks volumes about her personal life, especially considering how Ms. Kardashian is a public model of vanity, fornication, greed, pride, and a host of other sins. Yet while this is a really messed up situation, it is also an insightful look at the mechanical workings of a Muslim society.
In a very interesting ruling, the Pakistani courts have forbidden the family of the deceased from forgiving her brothers who murdered her. According to the article, there is a stipulation in Pakistani law that allows a family to forgive the murderer, and by forgiving the murderer he can avoid prosecution:
Pakistani authorities have barred the family of a murdered social media celebrity from legally “forgiving” their son for strangling her, sources said, in a rare stand against the practice of so-called “honour killings”.
Muhammad Waseem drugged and strangled Qandeel Baloch on Friday in a murder that has shocked Pakistan, a deeply conservative nation where the 26-year-old both titillated and outraged with her risqué social media photos and videos.
Waseem told media he had “no regrets” about killing his sister as she violated the family’s honour with her social media pictures, including “selfie” photographs with prominent Muslim cleric Abdul Qavi. In a video post with Mr Qavi, she appears to sit on his lap.
A police source said the government of Punjab, the country’s largest province, has made it impossible for the family to forgive the son who murdered her – a common legal loophole that sees many honour killings go unpunished in Pakistan.
“It was done on the instructions of the government. But it happens rarely,” said the Punjab police official.
A senior government official in Islamabad confirmed the order came from the Punjab government. (source)
Here are two interesting dynamics – a declaration of forgiveness releases a person from all burden of punishment absolutely and without any further action, and that the government can dictate forgiveness. I’ll begin with the latter.
It is understood that in this case, the government is not allowing the family to forgive their son publicly because they want to, thankfully, prosecute him for this terrible crime. That said, the concept that the government -any government- can dictate to the religion who they can and cannot forgive is something very evil.
In Christendom, the Catholic Church specifies there are three estates – the Government, then the Church, then the people. The Church acts as a buffer between the Government and the people preventing either from exploiting the other. Each estate has their own important and unique roles to play in society, and evil happens traditionally when the Church becomes absolutely subjugated to either the government or the people as a weapon. It is natural and expected that the people and the government play a role in the Church, but the Church, just like the people and the government, all have separate roles which are defined by clear boundaries and must be respected, as it is through their distinct and unique but symbiotic union that they give harmony to a society.
This is not the case in Islam, and is where people make the incorrect claim that “Islam is not a religion but it is just a political system.” This is because in Islam the government of Islam is literally inseparable from the religion itself so much so that the two become virtually indistinguishable unless one has a firm grasp on what Islamic doctrine is versus the application of Islamic doctrine, and it naturally is not and should not be expected that most people are going to have the time or interest in figuring this out. In the case of Islam, what happens is a classic case of the union between government and religion being so strong that government coops the religion against the people in a society in the same way which when religion is bound so closely to the common people that it destroys the ability of a civil society to govern and causes chaos and tribalism, such as in the case of pagan religions in uncivilized parts of the world.
The second dynamic, and the more interesting one for me, is the former, and this is because this error is actually an error commonly found among Protestants.
If you ask a Protestant about sin, they will tell you that Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins- all good so far. But if you ask them to explain this in more detail, they will say something like this- “The Catholic Church says that you earn your way to heaven by good works, but Jesus came to forgive us of our sins because we cannot earn our way to heaven on our own.”
I’ll deal with the first part of this statement in a minute, but the latter part is what becomes so interesting, because if you press a Protestant to clarify what he means when he says Jesus forgave our sins, he will say that Jesus took the burden for all our sins so that we go straight to Heaven. However, if you ask the natural question that follows, which is “so what role do good works play,” some will say that no good works are necessary, some will say good works are proof that a man has truly converted, and some will say that you need to “just have faith” to understand.
The Catholic Church has always taught- for two millenia of history, that is- that Jesus’ died on the cross to take away the eternal punishment brought on account of our sins. This means that being a Christian- choosing to follow Christ- truly does save a man from hell. The Bible makes this very clear:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18)
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)
However, sin causes damage. What the Church then adds is that while the punishment is taken away, justice naturally demands that something be made in reparation for the evil actions.
Think of it like this. You throw a baseball through your neighbors window. You go to your neighbor and tell him that you are sorry for throwing the baseball through the window, and he forgives you. This is what Jesus did- he forgave us for our transgressions and took away the eternal punishment. However, the window is still broken and there is still a mess.
Now it is clear from scripture that God repairs the errors that man does – as some say today, God writes straight lines with crooked people. However, the fact remains that man must do his part in making reparations for his actions as an act of justice. In the example above, while you could not buy a new window, you help pay in part for a new window and help with cleaning up the glass on the floor. This is not “earning” your forgiveness – you have already been forgiven because you wanted to be forgiven. What you are doing is simply your just role in cleaning up the mess you created – it is not something “special” at all, but what is your obligation. God is not responsible for our sins, as His standard is for us to live in a way that is right and just. However, it is our responsibility to live rightly if we say we love God, for as Jesus himself said:
If you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15)
But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. (James 2:18-26)
This what the Catholic Church and Catholics in particular means when talking about being saved by “faith and works.” Remember, salvation is a gift. It is not an entitlement, and people who choose to live in sin and reject unrepentantly the truth can – and have – lost their salvation. One such famous example was the infamous Julian, sometimes known as Julian the Apostate. Born a Christian, he rejected the Faith and embraced paganism and tried to wipe out the Church.
I bring up the example of Julian the Apostate because people like him cause a problem for Protestants, because their apostasy does not fit with Protestant soterology. If a man believes in Jesus and is saved, then can he lose his salvation? This question, which would seem simple, can become difficult. Then there is the question of good works – if a Christian lives an evil life, can he still be saved on account of his beliefs without regard to his actions, even if they are clearly evil and unrepentant? Is it possible for a Christian to sin after he becomes a Christian? What about a Christian who dies with sin on his soul- since nothing unclean can enter into heaven, what becomes of him? If God takes away all sin from a Christian, does this absolve him from his obligation to act with justice towards what is right because he is already saved?
This is where the Catholic Faith answers. In the words of a personal friend and former Pentecostal pastor turned Catholic, he says:
We are saved by God’s grace through Faith
We are being saved by choosing to live a life of righteousness as God has commanded us
We pray that we will be saved by God because salvation is a gift and not something we are entitled to
But what about sins for which justice in this life has not been made that a Christian has, assuming he has lived in striving for righteousness? What becomes of him?
Well, the logical answer is that he will go to Heaven, justice would have to be made for these sins before he can enter into Heaven. In other words, he would have to be cleaned from all stains of sin, since:
…nothing unclean will enter Heaven (Revelations 21:27)
Catholics have a name for this process- it is called purgatory.
While Purgatory is a detailed topic, it is not hard to understand. It is basically God’s shower room for sins. Everybody in Purgatory is going to Heaven. They only stay in Purgatory as long as they need to get cleaned of sin, after which they will be released to Heaven.
Why have I spent so much time with all of this theology? It is because something which we have discussed at length here is the statement from the saints that Islam is a Christian heresy, and most importantly the most perfect form of Christian heresy. That is to say, all erroneous teachings, when allowed to blossom to their fullest extent, flower into Islam. As we have said before, the collusion between Protestants and Muslims throughout history is no accident, and that is because Protestantism is a heresy and therefore, and early stage of Islamization.
If we look closely at the Muslim understanding of how in this example the act of “forgiveness” resolves all punishment and justice from a person, the same soterological questions that Protestants ask themselves about salvation would naturally be raised by a faithful Muslim with good intentions looking to understand his religion further. This is because both are essentially committing the same error, which is emphasizing “mercy” to the abandonment of justice, which is in fact not mercy at all but merely the philosophical and if applied further, practical justification of license, which is a sin and leads to the same ends. The only difference is that Islam is a more advanced form of these theological errors.
This error also applies to the abolition of the separate three estates- Government, Church, and People- by combining them into one that is seen in Islam as well as Protestantism. In the Protestant case it is slightly different as it takes either the form of government absolutely co-oping the church, such as with the Church of England or the Lutheran Church in Germany, or through the people absolutely co-oping the church, such as is infamously so in America, where there is a multiplicity of “Christian churches” all teaching different doctrines (all of which have fundamentally different outcomes, and which one should be concerned about because it is a matter of truth versus falsehood) but one overarching government where the “secularism” is the law and as a result, a religion unto itself that ultimately will take the place of these sects after enough time, as is happening in our modern day. As with the forgiveness issue, the only difference between Protestantism and Islam is the degree of progression.
This is also the same reason why we write so much about homosexuality here at Shoebat.com. Yes, mercy towards people who seek forgiveness and amend their lives from homosexual actions is important, but the problem in the west today, referencing what I said above, is that there is no justice in society and so true mercy is discarded and the perverse, evil doctrine of license is established in its place, with the result being that men are sodomizing each other with impunity and people say that telling them their behavior is wrong, is damnable, and makes them (per the words of St. Paul) worthy of death is “unmerciful” when the reality is what these heretics are doing is the most unmerciful thing because they are encouraging this evil behavior that will destroy the sodomites forever unless they stop now.
Back to the Fouzia Azeem case, we see here in Islam two major differences from the Faith. The first is that Islam is a religion which gives the strong a club over which to bludgeon the head of the weak, second, that Islam’s concept of mercy itself is at best unclear and confused and if followed to its logical conclusions licentious, and third, is that the errors of Protestantism can be found here in Islam as well because they follow the same trajectory, albeit under different contexts.
For this reason is is very important to be thankful for God’s mercy, that unlike the god of Islam, the real God is as merciful as He is just, because he is Love itself (1 John 4:8), and to thank Him for His patience with us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and lead us to everlasting life. Amen.
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