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Demonization of a Group - Religion of Peace

Reader comment on item: Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism

Submitted by vineeth (India), Feb 15, 2006 at 04:57

"Demonization of a Group". This is what we hear repeatedly most frequently from people criticizing the publication of the cartoons.

First of all, the original cartoons had nothing to do with demonization of muslims. They were cartoons in perfectly good taste. And thanks to the boldness of the cartoonists and publishers, The danger that threatens our civilization has come to a better light.

I agree not all muslims are extremists (I've known some muslims that are really, really good people). But then so are racists. Not all racists are extremists and not all of them like violence. I can be friend with a racist as well, even though i'm non-white. But we are cautious of racism, because it's a supremacist ideology that spreads intolerance and tends to justify violence, most of the time. And exactly because of this reason, we are allowed to demonize racists as a group, because a philosophy spreading inequality and intolerance is not really worthy to be defended.

I fail to understand why Islamism should be considered any less harmful than racism. Not only is it intolerant and supremacist, it also promotes terrible, supersilly superstitions. And a majority of Muslims are Islamists, by which I mean, they will justify and condone violence in the name of their religion. When a whole group tends to think a CARTOON is more wrong(worth more condemnation, threats and burning more embassies) than murdering a person (or murdering 2800), I think we should be careful of that whole group.

And not even 'moderate' muslims can't seem to understand why their religious superstions don't come above freedom of speech, even though they're only a small part of the population. Even the fact that freedom of speech supercedes even Christian religious senstivities doesn't help them understand it. Even with the stark contrast of the religious freedom Muslim communities enjoy in Western countries (actually, I think almost all countries, as only Muslim countries practice strong religious discrimination) compared to the subjugation of non-Muslim communities in Islamic countries, they don't appreciate the freedoms in Western countries.
We try to understand Muslims' overdeveloped religious sensibilities coming from theocratic Muslim societies. But that should never extend to a tolerance for intolerance and oppression, The world reaction to the fatwa on Salman Rushdie showed the rest of the world's tolerance for Islamic intolerance cutting across borders to Europe. That was a Western approval for Islamic censorship through intimidation. I'm glad now that at least a section of the press in Europe has found the courage to defy that.

Even when a 'moderate' Muslim speaks of condeming the cartoons, I can't help feeling threatened, "So you say offending 1.5 billion people is all right?" "1.5 billion, a fourth of humanity", why do you try to stress your strength? Seems like intimidation to me.

There's only one Muslim that I know who has unequivocally condemned the violent Muslim reactions. Ayaan Hirsi Ali. But most Muslims don't see her as a Muslim. She is hated by Muslims, just like anybody else who has criticized Islam trying to make it a more civilized religion. The only way to make Islam better is to encourage criticism and reform it.

And moderate Muslims claim they respect sentiments of other religious communities.
They do make an effort to respect Christianity and Judaism(even that without much success), but this is only because Islam is an offshoot of these religions.

Have Muslims ever shown any respect for non-semitic religions such as Hinduism or Buddism?
The way you're demanding freedom of speech be limited to ban depictions of the Prophet(pbuh),
If I ask you to stop preaching against idolatry to respect my pagan beliefs, will you do that?

Even Jamil (comment posted on Feb 12, 2006 at 05:39) feels like
"Finally, i'm convinced that whatever i say, it won't change your thoughts, and whatever you say it won't change mine, so lets just keep God, religions and prophets out of our problems, because this won't solve the problem, it will increase it."

"so lets just keep God, religions and prophets out of our problems,"
Every muslim believes he has the right to issue a fatwa to the rest of the world about what they should not do. No wonder we find even the most moderate ones lecturing us about where the boundaries of freedom of speech should be.

If you even dream of Islam as a religion of peace, first of all, the concept of "Infidel" and "infallibility" should be thrown away, and then open it up to reform the way other religions that are contributing to civilized and peaceful societies around the world have, instead of killing every person who criticizes your religion.

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