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response to lubna el syed

Reader comment on item: Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism
in response to reader comment: Impertinent Cartoons.

Submitted by Sidda (United States), Feb 23, 2006 at 11:58

lubna, from what you write, you sound like you are a peaceful, non aggressive person. However, I would like to ask you a few questions:

1) do you believe that Islam should cover the world and all non Muslims should be converted, subjugated or killed
2) do you agree that Sharia law should be imposed on non-Muslims
3)do you believe that Muslims are superior to "infidels"
4) do you believe that people are free to choose their own religion (or lack thereof) with no negative consequences
4) do you believe that apostates from Islam should face a death penalty?

I do believe that there are many good, decent and peaceful Muslims in the world. Unfortunately, due to the influx of petrodollars into oil rich Gulf states, Wahhabism is being spread throughout the Islamic world. Most mosques and madrassas throughout the U.S. and the world are now Wahhabi (or Salafist) funded. Eighty percent of the mosques in the U.S. are funded by the Wahhabis. There is nothing peaceful or tolerant about the Wahhabi ideology. It is very intolerant and separatist; they do not even consider non-Wahhabi Muslims to be true Muslims. The Islamic extremists follow the Wahabbi brand of Islam and they have now become the face of Islam.

It is fine for you to try to talk to non Muslims and convince them that Islam is a peaceful religion. Unfortunately, this is not what we are seeing around the world. I would offer as a suggestion that you go onto some Islamist websites and try to convince those people that the Quran and hadiths do not command them to kill or subjugate non Muslims. They are the ones who need convincing more than we do here. Once you convince them that Islam does not call for violence against non Muslims, then Islam will become peaceful and we will not need to be convinced here any longer.

As for the subject of the cartoons, this is our position: in the West, we do not have any prohibitions against satire of religion. I know that it is not permitted in Islam and I believe that you have the right to hold Muslims to that prohibition, but you do not have the right to impose it on non-Muslims. All the time in the West religious beliefs are criticized or satirized in cartoons, artwork, movies, or literature. There's one about to come out now, "The Divinci Code" which really paints the Catholic church in a bad light. We have the right to peacefully protest or boycott the paper or artist if we are offended, but we do not have the right to threaten the artists, cartoonists, writers, or film makers. I do get upset sometimes when my Christian faith is ridiculed or defamed. As a Catholic I was very offended by the Serrano exhibit where the artist put an upside down cross in a jar of urine. People did speak up against it, but there was no violence. My personal feeling is that my faith is strong enough to endure whatever insults it is subjected to. God will be the judge of those who offend Him; it is not my place to exact revenge.

The last thing I will say, it is true that clerics in the Middle East and in other Muslim countries routinely insult and defame Christians and Jews in the Friday sermons. We are called monkeys and pigs and worse. They call for violence against us. It's not just a couple of rogue Imams, either. There are terrible things said about us in your news media too, and defamatory cartoons also. I believe the Elders of Zion was very popular in the Middle East. That was a terrible book against Jews. Yet, you don't see any of us riot and burn down buildings and threaten to kill the cartoonists or writers. There is no death sentence on the heads of the clerics who defame us (although I think we will start deporting them if they incite violence inside our countries now--long overdue).

Best regards

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