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Abuse of Muslims in the West

Reader comment on item: [U.S. Intelligence: ]"Moslem States Represent a Potential Threat to World Peace"

Submitted by Ferdinand Gajewski, PhD (United States), Feb 13, 2006 at 17:20

It's frequently suggested these days that Muslims are culturally oblivious to free speech as it exists in Western democracies.

But don't we, even in the West, recognize--at least de facto--that there must be limits to freedom of expression, beyond those imposed by law, if we hope to live in a civilization? Not long ago Mayor Rudolf Giuliani of New York tried vigorously to have removed from the Brooklyn Museum a portrait of the Madonna which the artist had ornamented with cow dung and pornographic appliques, freedom of speech notwithstanding

Indelicate references to the Holocaust invariably meet with condemnation on all sides. B'nai Brith is watchful that certain lines are not crossed.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, too, is perpetually on guard.

At Harvard--where, alas, people should know better--the University community was forced, during the 1960s and in the name of freedom of speech, to tolerate distasteful parodies of the Nativity put on in the undergraduate houses during the Christmas season. I remember being part of a graduate-student delegation to then Dean of Students Archie Epps to protest. These Nativity enactments, gratuitously mocking Christians, were quickly terminated. The question of freedom of speech was never debated at Harvard in the aftermath.

Why, one wonders, is Islam expected to tolerate abuses which we Christians and Jews will not countenance in our own regard? Little wonder European Muslims are having hissy fits.

Ferdinand Gajewski, PhD
Submitting....

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