against witchcraft, too. So it makes perfect sense.
When I think of "close allies" I think of England, France, NATO countries, Japan, etc. And even those countries have done things we find objectionable from time to time.
I don't think we want to determine who we deal with based on their internal affairs too much or we would not be able to have allies at all. Do you think it would be better if the US had no allies in the Middle East at all?
I would think it unwise and counterproductive to expect those of other culture to conform to US standards of law or morality or lose us as a friend and business partner. This is tantamount to extortion which is against our laws. Once you've broken with someone, you've lost the ability to work to change them. Arm twisting until someones cries "uncle" is not a civilized solution, IMO.
Often cited is, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" Exodus 22:18. I don't know how this translates to the Muslim world.
"Although it could, in theory, be applied to beneficial as well as harmful ends"
The gist of Exodus, from One who has an overview 'on steroids', is that it's always harmful, so he warns us away. ["us" = ReligiousFanaticsWhoBelieveWhatTheBibleSays ]
Another example of 'God says it's bad but I say it's good' is Gen 3:4-6. If you throw out Genesis, you don't need Proteus Library; you can make it up as you go along. A more polite name for this is Situation Ethics. Our modern world is in this camp.
I could be wrong. We could be just the tiniest evolutionary step away from perfection.
How's things in Kenya and Darfur, BTW? Witchcraft- "black" and "white"- is common over there, and the CIA says Sudan is Muslim and Kenya is Christian. Overwhelmingly. They've got it all, so they should be in better shape than the rest of us.
"how this translates to the Muslim world."
Generally, if something is in the Torah it's in Islam. (Think pork.)
1) "Witchcraft is bogus. That is, there are no people with occult powers. It's a fake."
2) "Witches exist with occult powers to be used for good or ill. Use them at your own risk.".
3) "Witches exist with occult powers. Don't use them; it will always turn out bad for you in the end."
#3 is Exodus.
BTW the execution was part of the capital-L Law code. Christians wait for Jehovah to take care of it all at the end. Sometimes it's hard to wait. Hab 1:1-3; 2:3.
that you'd need to consult a witch to give their side of the story. Suddenly the name Joseph Heller has come to mind. Now wiccans don't count. They aren't the same witches that were drummed up in the minds of the superstitious. They aren't even universal in their own practices. It's more a "make it up as you go" set of practices as I see it but they have taken the myth and tried to create some reality out of it....my thinking anyway.
Now I'm not so sure what your trying to connect about religion and faith. I could surely think any person who does not profess a religious belief could still possess and show expressions of faith...faith being more of a mental presence than a physical one. But I see religion as faith in the more extreme sense in that it needs to be with you constantly. It's also quite goal oriented as it seeks to eventually prove itself as worth having.
when one breaks the components away from that which makes up a system. But I would think even an atheist could consider the existence of an unseen "force" that could cause harm. They just wouldn't try to explain it as being attributable to an named entity.
I'm not sure your example of gravity and faith is the best one. We have an understanding of gravity. Otherwise, a "belief system" might come up with the notion that, as long as we are in good stead with the gods of the underground, they will continue to hold us by the ankles.
this has been discussed before here in SE*:
Wiccans Win Military Grave Battle
All those Wiccans in the military can breathe easy, because the Pentagon has reached a deal whereby Wiccan soldiers killed in battle can now be buried with the symbol of their religion: a five-pointed star. Why all the brouhaha? It seems the military, though it recognized Wiccans as a religion, had refused to allow the symbol on adherents' VA graves.
from one of many sources.
any person who has served knows the military does not move easily in more ways than one
*SE = Speakeasy