I was very deeply moved when reading this speech. The writer has good reason to be bitter and condemn all religion, but proceeds to make some important decision. Her comparison of the current state of Islam with the Christian Inquisition is at the heart of the matter, as is her analysis that the basic elements of religion have not changed that much, just its political power. The unstated concern here is that any religion can revert to its totalitarian practices if they manage to acquire political power.
This has always been the heart of my concern over the religious right in North America and its clamor for political power. We tend to believe that the nature of religious belief has changed since the Inquisition. I don’t think that it takes much inspection of the American political and religious scene to conclude that this is far from true. There are still strongly repressive elements in fundamentalist Christianity, as I mentioned in a previous post. It would not be hard to regress to a Christian form of Sharia Law.
Read the speech. It makes quite a few very intelligent and insightful points.