If you navigate to Anderson Cooper's 360 blog, he poses a question asking if Islam is compatible with free speech. I was born Islamic. I do not follow the religion closely, but I understand the basics of it. I was offended by Cooper's question.
Is Islam compatible with free speech? Well, there are an estimated 5 to 8 million people who claim Islam as their religion and are US citizens. As far as I know, this segment of the population isn't making noise about being against free speech. I would argue that its quite clear that the 5 to 8 million people who are muslims and can practice free speech as well establish an answer to Anderson's question. So then, why do Muslims in other countries react this way? Well, it's a complicated question but one that deserves much more attention than it has received. There's a remarkable article by Salmaan Rushdie which was run a few months after 9/11 that deals with this question. I recommend paying a few dollars to give it a read. Also, I think its significant that the majority of these riots are happening in theocratic countries. And fundamentalists wonder why liberals are so adament about the separation of church and state. Finally, I would like to say that this can't happen in Muslim countries. It's not acceptible. We live in the 20th century and we need to expect more of ourselves. If something offends us, we speak up. We don't riot. We don't vandalize. This has to change.
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