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View Diary: My Hero Jihad (271 comments)

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  •  Middle ground (4.00)
    As a Muslim-American, I am caught between two poles: how do you simultaneously respect both the right to free speech and the need to respect religions?

    The fact is that images of Muhammad (or, for that matter, any prophet) are prohibited in Islam. There are pretty much no exceptions to this. [When making movies about Muhammad's life, he is neither shown on screen, nor heard.] Depicting him is considered taboo; caricaturing him is off the scales in that respect.

    Do I think the response was appropriate? No. Things have gone too far overboard--innocent people have been injured and killed in this debacle. However, should nothing have been said at all? No, because the cartoon was blatantly and intentionally offensive, and that really isn't right, either.

    The cartoonist, not being Muslim, has the right to draw whatever he wants. We have the right to think what he's doing (and the manner in which he's done it) is wrong. The response should be for Muslims to do everything within the constraints of the law and religion, but no further. [That means no killing, no violence, no bloodshed.]

    But why the ferocity of the response, you might also ask? Part of the problem is that the ruling elite in the Muslim world by and large is more concerned about the propagation of their personal power than solving the problems of their people. That means distracting them from complaining about local issues by finding other lightning rods, and this is about as shiny a rod as you can find these days. [The irony is that Islamic and Christian fundamentalism have far more in common than they'd like to admit.]

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