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We partly agree

Reader comment on item: Finding Allah in Unlikely Places
in response to reader comment: Negative view of Muslims

Submitted by Abu Nudnik (Canada), Sep 21, 2006 at 22:03

We agree that absolute freedom is impossible but I already said that: "My right to throw a punch ends at your nose." I also said that we make a distinction between an insult and an assault. Adult human beings are expected to be grown up enough to deal with an insult without resorting to violence. Violence is never excused by insults because half of an insult is in the head of the person who feels insulted. About assaults, no such division can be made. An assault is a fact that destroys the peace of communities and no insult ever justifies assault.

Nike lives under the state and national laws where it is based, and if it wanted to actually put the name of Allah on its sneakers, it would have every right to do so. What its reason would be is hard to fathom: it would just scare away Muslim shoppers. So I'm glad you agree it didn't happen. Why then do so many insist that it absolutely did happen and that it was a purposeful insult? Well, I offered the suggestion that such people were paranoiac. Paranoiacs are narcissistic. Certainly not all Muslims are narcissists: I meant only those who can't control their passions and lash out violently over perceived slights.

As for the issue of sovereignty, we will have to agree to disagree. Canada's laws are made in Parliament by the peoples' representatives. Foreigners may not impose by force any law upon Canada's sovereign statehood. If Muslims are offended by sneakers, cartoons or whatever, they may seek a solution in civil courts. Mr. Levant, for instance, is on trial for reprinting the Mohammed cartoons, a case he cannot lose but which is nevertheless a drain on his resources.

In the final analysis, Canada and the free world will (hopefully) always err on the side of freedom of speech viz a viz bruised feelings. That is because, in nations where people make their own laws through their representatives, a full and open debate on all issues is vital. Censorship would limit the honesty and comprehensiveness of such debates. I am perfectly justified in calling people childish if they can't take a little criticism. I do regret that I implied all Muslims are of the same stripe and, for that, I apologize.

On a personal note, I can understand how a person such as yourself, who is decent and doesn't intend harm to others, and naturally identifies and empathizes with those of his own group, would find the tone in some of these posts offensive and difficult. I find many of them crude myself, and I apologize again for the tone, if I added to it, but not the content. It your world gives peoples' feelings primacy over freedom, I congratulate you. If I were you, I'd enjoy it and celebrate it instead of trying to force others to conform to it. Perhaps, if what you say is really true, you are the superior culture. Consideration is, I will admit, sadly lacking in many Western cities. In any case, God bless you, Sir. Take care.

Submitting....

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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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