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Lack of understanding remains

Reader comment on item: How the Cartoon Protests Harm Muslims [by Leading to a Separation of Civilizations]

Submitted by Bader S (Saudi Arabia), Feb 15, 2006 at 09:36

It is unfortunate that a lack of understanding by the West of how Muslims feel about these cartoons still remain. The title of this article is "How the Cartoon Protests Harm Muslims". What most Westerners fail to understand is that the publishing of these cartoons has harmed Muslims deeper than any harm that trade, emigration, tourism, investment, etc can ever inflict.

For Muslims the cartoons have been an attack on the very foundation of their being. The only way that Western citizens can understand the extent of this harm is for them to compare it with how they feel about their freedom of speech. For the West, freedom of speech lies at the very center of their raison d'etre, and any suggestion of limiting this freedom of speech even a tiny bit to accommodate the feeling of other peoples is paramount to murder (for lack of a better word).

If you, the West, can understand how deeply you feel towards your freedom of speech then perhaps you will be one step closer to understanding how deeply the Muslims feel about their Prophet.

Violence that was perpetrated by the few against embassies and diplomatic missions cannot be condoned by anyone with half an ounce of common decency. Verbal violence, that was visible in one of the UK protests, by an even fewer people than the few that burned embassies is totally rejected by the vast majority of Moslems. But to accuse the entire Muslim world of being the same those few extremists is wrong. Because using the same logic the Muslims can accuse all Americans of being the same as those who perpetrated the Abu Ghraib crimes, and the Muslims can also accuse the entire UK population of being the same as those brutal thugs that attacked the defenseless Iraqi teenagers (as shown recently in the media). Then that chasm that has come about will suddenly appear even wider.

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