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Violence is not a permissible response

Reader comment on item: Something Rotten in Denmark?

Submitted by Thomas (United States), Feb 3, 2006 at 15:14

To Muslims living in the West:

With respect to the recent furor over the cartoon showing Mohammad with a bomb in his turban, I could choose among many quotes, but here's one: "For Qatari columnist Abdulaziz al-Mahmoud, the 'simplistic' Western view was 'that these are only cartoons'. 'But Muslims are fed up with insults of Islam and the Muslim world has reached breaking point,' he said."

Fine, "reach a breaking point." Rant, rave, write, demonstrate, boycott if you want to. But do NOT kill anyone, kidnap anyone, burn any cars, trash any buildings. Because, in the West, you do not have the right to do any of these things just because you don't like someone's opinion, or because someone wrote or drew something that offends you or your religion. That is what "free speech" means.

I've seen many political cartoons which I've found extremely distasteful; I've seen or heard about numerous museum exhibitions which people have found offensive. That's the price of free speech and freedom of thought, and it is one well worth paying, because the alternative is an erosion of those freedoms, and we've seen where that can end in many versions of totalitarian societies. If anyone has the right to restrict free speech, than everyone does; therefore, the best course is that no one does.

If you want to live in the West, then you must accept Western values. It's those values which have led to the West having the economic standard of living that attracted you to live here in the first place. You can't expect to replace those values with "Islamic values" and still have the same standard of living for long. Look at what "Islamic values" has led to in the Islamic world; look at the long lines outside the visa windows of any Western embassy in the Islamic world as proof of a rejection of that result.

So, why would you, after successfully struggling to come to the West, then want to change it's values? The answer is because you want to have it both ways, you want desperately to believe you can have a better standard of living for yourself and your families, and yet still have "Islamic values" superimposed onto your adopted homeland. You can't, but some of you won't realize that until you've destroyed what you've come to gain.
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