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Danish Cartoons Depicting Muhammad Help Uncover the Gaps Between Muslims and the West

Reader comment on item: Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism

Submitted by Bob Jack (United States), Feb 13, 2006 at 19:27

There is an important message in these cartoons.

The cartoons depict the way hundreds of millions of people feel--- that Islamic extremists have hijacked the Muslim religion as a tool for terrorism. Muslims appear confused by the satire and the message, and that the West uses these very means to make its points on various social issues.

The cartoons depict images of Muhammad wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse, and another portraying him holding a sword, his eyes covered by a black rectangle.

An outcry from radical and non radical Muslims threatens free expression, as some newspapers in Europe who printed these cartoons fire editors, or apologize.

Muslims must adapt to the modern world if they expect to be part of it. Free expression,including satire is universal in free and progressive parts of the world. We should not and cannot have double standards--one for Muslims, and one for the rest of us. Muslim society must either adapt or it will remain in the darkness of alienation,stagnation and poverty .

Most of the real commotion over the cartoons is being stirred up by militant Islamic factions. Moderate Muslims, while not happy with the cartoons at all, are not the ones stirring up militant activities in the predominantly Muslim world.

One has to question whether the militants are really concerned with the cartoons, or instead using these cartoons as an opportunity to flare anti- West fervor. I think it is the latter. Militant terrorists in my opinion have little genuine concern for the Muslim religion, except to use it as a tool to achieve their ultimate political objectives--a world dominated by Islamic ideology--one without freedom of expression, women's rights, democratic rule and sanctity of the individual. They are modern day Hitlers and Marxist-Leninists.

Their ultimate domain is ruling the earth, not finding a personal relationship with Allah.

What I find particularly disconcerting is the way the US newspapers have been intimidated by the Muslim outrage, and will not reprint these cartoons. The LA Times is a good example.

While adopting a "free expression is good" policy, the L. A. Times Editorial was effectively an apologetic one, and is of the opinion,it says, that the cartoons are insensitive.It will not reprint them--the bottom line is that the mainstream American press is scared to reprint these articles.

It has been intimidated by the Muslim militant reaction. This is shameful behavior in a nation that is supposed to champion freedom of the press.

Europe's press is much further advanced than the US in this area, at least in this instance.

In my response to the LA Times Editorial on this matter I made these points:

"While addressing the freedom of expression principle nicely.

what I believe you missed are these core issues:

1. The cartoons contained the valuable message that the Islamic radicals misuse the Muslim religion to advance their terrorist campaign.
2 That if Muslims want to reap the fruits and be part of free and modern democratic societies, they must accept like the rest of us the freedom of expression. There cannot be a double standard--one for Muslims, one for the rest of us.
3. That these cartoons,even if judged insensitive by the Times, should be made available in the US press, including the Times.

This is the true acid test of your position on freedom of expression. Otherwise it appears that you are one of the apologetic governments in Europe you refer to in your Editorial"
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