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issues with cartoons

Reader comment on item: Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism

Submitted by john b.f. (United States), Feb 20, 2006 at 17:00

It seems to me that the underlying focus here is all about tolerance.

In america things are different than in europe and the middle east. It took us over 200 years to become the model of democracy. We can't expect europe or the middle east to get to this stage overnight. It will take time and, tolerance. This is where the impass occurs. A democracy guarantees certain freedoms, one of them is freedom of speech or expression. Along with enjoying these freedoms we must be tolerant when we feel slighted, we must accept the fact that although we disagree, we must fight to save the right of the offender,because that's what the freedom is about. It's about the right to offend and the right to disagree.

The boundary of which we can offend is endless, particularly the right to openly disagree and poke fun at the government that protects us and this freedom. In such a way nothing to the press or to a publisher is sacred. The government, religion, ideals, morals, all are fair game. A democratic government by it's nature is ignorant of feelings, it does not worship, it provides laws and gauruntees these laws. It does not provide religion or gives us religous laws. It has no beliefs.It protects the right to worship and safegaurds this right , but religion and state are seperate.

This is a big stumbling block for the muslim word. They cannot seperate democratic law from islamic law. To them islamic law is the last word and democracy takes a back seat. Well, there you have it. The muslim world so desperately wants to be recognized as a formidable force, what better chance than now, to show some tolerance . They are dealing with a faceless institution not a religous group or an army.

The way they are acting now, burning christian churches, bombing embassies, is certainly offensive to the rest of the world, just as the cartoons are to them, this is not how you protest ! Gahndi, Mandella, and the person who stood in front of the tank in china, these are protests and all recieved a posative result. Their actions and behavior are simply unacceptable to gain a positive result. It will only bring further exclusion from the civilized world.Islam is not the answer here, tolerance is.They must accept the fact that it is not their government but a foreign government, one in which cannot be swayed to favor one group from another, but is empowered to protect one group from another.

Christians were offended by an artist using a cross and urine, Jews are offended from jokes and character portrayals in plays, but niether of these religions declare bounties on people, issue death warrants, or teach their children to accept suicide when they are ofended. they simply accept the fact that people are entitled to express their opinions, gauranteed to agree or disagree.It is up to the leaders of the muslim world to in turn teach their people that although they might not agree with democracies they must accept the fact that democracies have a right to exist, and if they do that , then that's their first step to tolerance.
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