Peace through victory - the American way.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Misdirected Rage In The Mohammed Islam Cartoon Fuss.

These are the caricatures of Mohammed (here) that have caused all the violent outrage among Moslems and sparked a debate about the parameters of free speech.

It's true that publishers need to be responsible when they exercise their right to free expression. Some have taken the Danish publisher to task for needlessly inflaming moderate Moslems, who we need on our side in the war against Islamist terrorists. (See here.) But the cartoons that sparked the outrage are fairly typical political cartoons and well within the mainstream of political discourse. The Danish newspaper was not irresponsible to publish them.

If these cartoons are enough to elicit the kind of rage we've seen among Moslems then we've got a serious problem with co-existence. Moslem-majority countries are free to limit the right of free expression within their borders in a way that prevents people from depicting Muhammed, either critically or positively. They aren't free to dictate the scope of freedoms enjoyed by people living in Moslem-minority countries.

If Moslems are going to live in countries where they aren't a majority, they are going to have to get used to living with a little sacrilege now and then and learn the techniques of peaceful protest: writing letters, organizing boycotts, peaceful demonstrations; arson, trespass, shooting guns into the air, threats of beheadings, and the rest are not acceptable. Grow a skin. Fortunately, American Moslems apparently have done just that. Many European Moslems apparently haven't.

Frankly, it's hard to understand just what the rage is all about. The cartoons are pretty mild and not all of them are critical of Islam or Mohammed.

Two cartoons are most often mentioned as offensive: one depicts Mohammed's turban as a bomb and the other shows Mohammed in heaven telling a line of suicide bombers to stop because heaven has run out of virgins. There is no doubt that these two cartoons are offensive to Moslems. But both cartoons are based on a real public perception of Islam.

Who has not heard that suicide bombers are greeted in heaven by 72 virgins? The virgins cartoon is a pointed mockery of that belief. It's not a mockery of Islam, it's a mockery of a truly ridiculous notion apparently held in all seriousness by people who blow up themselves and innocent civilians. As for the bomb turban cartoon, Moslem terrorist bombers today justify their violence as a religious duty to fight a holy war. They have made the bomb synonymous with Islam. They are the ones who have symbolically turned Mohammed's turban into a bomb. The cartoon simply reflects what Islamist terrorists have done to the image of Islam in the world.

Moslem apologists will often tell the rest of us that Islam is a religion of peace and that jihad is a personal struggle not holy war. They are talking to the wrong people. They should be talking to their fellow Moslems who pervert their religion and tar it with a violent image. As long as terrorists commit barbaric acts of violence in the name of Mohammed and Islam, no amount of public relations is going to convince others that jihad is not the Arab word for holy war or that Islam is not a religion of war.

Think about it, when non-Moslems think of Islam today are they likely to think of peace and of people struggling within themselves to do the right thing? Of course not. Tragically, the images likely to come to mind when thinking of Islam today are suicide bombers, thugs yelling "Allah is great" while beheading helpless civilians, planes crashing into buildings, and other acts of terrorism in the modern world.

Unfortunately, the image of contemporary Islam has been dirtied by terrorists who commit barbaric acts of violence in the name of Islam and of Mohammed. The offensive cartoons bluntly depict that reality.

If rank and file Moslems are offended by the depictions in these cartoons, it's time for them to alter the image of contemporary Islam. It's time for them to direct their rage at terrorists who act in the name of Islam. It's time for them to tell the terrorists that jihad doesn't mean holy war. It's time for them to tell the terrorists that Islam is not a religion of war. It's time for them to take back their religion so that cartoonists will have no basis for drawing cartoons that associate Islam and Mohammed with terrorist violence.





Blogger Muslim said...

I really was upset about the cartoons. Why make such cartoons when they are infactual and false?

If people really read about the prophet peace be upon him they would realise he was a mercy to mankind.

Moreover, as Muslims we aren't allowed to draw pictures of Prophets, furthermore, we aren't meant to disrespect someone elses religion. We respect all prophets, Moses, Abraham, Jesus, so why not respect our dear Prophet?

2:18 AM


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home