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Cartoon protests backfiring

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

Submitted by Eric (United States), Feb 15, 2006 at 11:16

As a religious person, I can appreciate, in principle, that many Muslims feel recent Danish newspaper cartoons depicting Mohammed is an affront to their beliefs.

Christians themselves are pretty regularly offended by the arts and entertainment media degrading, belittling, misrepresenting or otherwise sliming Jesus, their faith and values, in the name of free expression, and sometimes with public funds. In secular societies these days, a segment of the population seems to compete in violating moral codes, debunking beliefs, and desacralizing the sacred.

On the other hand, the Muslim precept that no image of Mohammed should ever be made, in order to avoid idolatry, may be binding on Muslims but has no force for non-Muslims. The real issue is how images are used. If depictions were to ridicule Mohammed, Jesus, Moses, Buddha or other religious figures, they may be protected in the West as free speech but would certainly be offensive and invite protest.

Ironically, when Muslim protesters burn embassies, attack Danes, and threaten death to the cartoonists—not to speak of all the Islamic terrorism that's already going on, they play into the hands of cartoonists who showed Mohammed with a bomb in his turban.

Even some Muslims realize this. "The protests in the Middle East have proven that the cartoonist was right…," Tarek Fatah, a director of the Muslim Canadian Congress, told the Canadian Press. "It's falling straight into the trap of being depicted as a violent people and proving the point that, yes, we are."



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