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Free Speech + Expression + Some unanswered Questions

Reader comment on item: Bibliography – My Writings on the Danish Cartoon Controversy and the Rushdie Rules

Submitted by jihan (United States), Feb 13, 2006 at 09:00

One of the advantages of living in the West is the freedom of speech and expression - it is also one of the disadvantages. I totally support freedom of speech and expression - including mocking religion - ANY religion and ANY aspect of any religion - including MY OWN. If I disagree with what has been said or expressed via a work of art (or even a cartoon) I express my dismay via a letter to the editor, to the artist, to the advertisers supporting the person/artist, etc....but under no circumstances are violence and destruction of property /person permissible.

If those from non-Western traditions do not understand this, they need to either resettle in a country where they will not be insulted (Iran, Saudia Arabia) due to the long-fought for Western Tradition of Free Speech and Artistic Expression or learn to live and let live in the West.

The idea of "I believe in free speech, but not when it comes to disrespect for Islam or the Prophet. One must respect Islam and the Prophet!" Sorry - that is NOT free speech - that is censored speech - and that was the exact reason the Danish newspaper published the Muhammed cartoons - to see whether or not there was self-censorship due to Islam. Golly gee - that is exactly what the Danes discovered! Free speech is fine EXCEPT for when a Muslim's feelings are hurt.

Many of the Muslim demonstrators in London and throughout the world held up signs saying "Behead those who insult the Prophet/Islam" and other such violent, hatefilled placards. Where are all of the people - Muslims and non-Muslims - who are insulted/had their feelings hurt by such hate-filled speech threatening to burn the embassies of Jordan, Lebanon, etc.?

My feelings are hurt when I read about/see videos of beheadings, honor killing, child marriage, but I do not take to the streets burning Pakistani, Saudi, etc flags, or torching their embassies!

I have several questions I wish would be addressed:

1. why didn't the publication of the exact same cartoons during Ramadan (October 2005) in an Egyptian newspaper result in violence towards the Egyptian newspaper's offices and editors?

2. if such demonstrations were spontaneous where did all of those Danish and Norwegian flags come from? How common are such flags in people's homes? Due to the "zionist" plots having US and Israeli flags at home areof course understandable...but Danish and Norwegian?

3. why were three additional cartoons shown when these three were not in the original twelve? Where did these additional cartoons come from? Whose idea was it to add these to the original cartoons? And these additional three were worse than any of the original twelve!

4. if depicting Mohammed is against Islam, why are there so many depictions of Mohammed by Muslim artists - see examples listed below - in existence? Why were such paintings allowed then, but not now? The examples listed below are in Western Museums today. Would they be destroyed if in Iran, Saudi Arabia today?

Miniature of Mohammed re-dedicating the Black Stone at the Kaaba. From Jami Al-Tawarikh ("The Universal History" written by Rashid Al-Din), a manuscript in the Library of the University of Edinburgh; illustrated in Tabriz, Persia, c. 1315.

The Night Journey of Muhammad on His Steed, Buraq; leaf from a copy of the Bustan of Sacdi, dated 1514. From Bukhara, Uzbekistan. In The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Muhammad's Call to Prophecy and the First Revelation; leaf from a copy of the Majmac al-tawarikh (Compendium of Histories), ca. 1425; Timurid. From Herat, Afghanistan. In The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Journey of the Prophet Muhammad; leaf from a copy of the Majmac al-tawarikh (Compendium of Histories), ca. 1425; Timurid. Herat, Afghanistan. In The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

5. In the EU there are laws against hate speech - why aren't these demonstrators in the EU with placards saying "Behead those who insult Islam" arrested for inciting violence against non-Muslims?

Any insight from anyone out there?
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (34) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
More Saudi Students? [67 words]David S. LevineApr 7, 2006 13:5542633
In Lamb's Clothing [130 words]Howard E. CookMar 10, 2006 10:4739626
When I sent a comment to the english Aljazeera.net site... [492 words]Tom CampbellFeb 22, 2006 15:5437099
U.S. Government Supports CAIR Campaign [14 words]A. SharmaFeb 20, 2006 22:1336640
England will suffer more casualities... It's just a matter of time... [35 words]sAug 22, 2008 12:1636640
Ideas for Holocaust Cartoons [231 words]SlavaFeb 20, 2006 20:4736629
TERROR CONFERENCE AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY [1134 words]FERN SIDMANFeb 19, 2006 17:3736398
2Free Speech + Expression + Some unanswered Questions [657 words]jihanFeb 13, 2006 09:0035354
1muslim men.. [119 words]Danish/AmericanFeb 16, 2006 15:5435354
To Danish/American, [75 words]Dinesh PatelFeb 28, 2006 06:3635354
6Mafia and Islam - more in common than anyone could imagine. [294 words]rickMar 21, 2006 13:0635354
1Earth Belongs to Muhammad and Allah [143 words]InfidelAug 1, 2006 14:3835354
WHY SO MUCH KILLING IN THE NAME OF RELIGION [356 words]Marge KeanAug 12, 2006 04:2235354
WHY SO MUCH KILLING IN THE NAME OF RELIGION [10 words]CarolingOct 31, 2008 09:1035354
WHO DOESN'T HAVE A MAFIA IN AMERICA? [291 words]Tamer IbrahimOct 19, 2009 23:0635354
Tamer... [6 words]Kendal GergisApr 14, 2011 03:2835354
Islam-Mafia [139 words]Sandro CasagrandeOct 17, 2014 11:5435354
Supporting free speech [146 words]Curtis StoneFeb 12, 2006 07:2835043
Why we don't "hear" CAIR's condenmnations... [269 words]AlitaFeb 9, 2006 22:2234727
Islam is evil [93 words]mikeSep 27, 2006 12:2834727
Mohammad (PBUH) an Ultimate Leader of Islam [490 words]Alamdar khanFeb 9, 2006 08:4834596
Get back in line [168 words]PCMadnessFeb 15, 2006 05:0534596
I disagree [253 words]Chris BarrigarFeb 9, 2006 04:5334575
danish caricatures [180 words]jakobFeb 8, 2006 11:5434383
Danish Cartoons and the Western Way of Life [131 words]William ZameFeb 7, 2006 14:2434128
Reaction to Cartoons [193 words]FERN SIDMANFeb 7, 2006 01:4434009
ON CARTOONS [130 words]DONVANFeb 6, 2006 10:3533933
1Truth about Prophet Mohammed [471 words]noha yousriFeb 6, 2006 06:0733913
Is there an Arab expression for "sticks and stones may break my bones, but WORDS will never hurt me"? [101 words]SamFeb 6, 2006 15:5933913
Nora Yusri's truth about the prophet [200 words]John BastileApr 25, 2006 12:1633913
Inability of Forces Representing Freedom to Team Up [271 words]Shivkumar SinghFeb 5, 2006 18:1633866
This is not freedom of Expression [124 words]UnnikrishnanFeb 12, 2006 23:3933866
Quran and Islam Abuse Freedom of Expression [34 words]Shivkumar SinghMay 13, 2006 10:3033866
Caving in so craven [107 words]Peter HerzFeb 5, 2006 17:5833860

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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