I’m sorry but I can’t be outraged by the manipulated outrage over the cartoons of Muhammad. It has not been well referenced by the mainstream media that this whole thing has been skilfully used by radical Muslims in an attempt to threaten and intimidate those that support democratic principles. They are trying to use democractic values of tolerance of diversity to further Muslim intolerance. What religion wouldn’t like to not be criticized or questioned? But when they threaten to kill you if you question what they believe then people should be outraged.
Stanley Fish has an interesting commentary on the counterproductive reaction of liberals to strong and diverse opinion in today’s NY Times
Part of this staged outrage being used against democracy happened because Islamic supporters in Denmark went to the Middle East complaining about the Danish cartoons published in the paper in Denmark and included some rabid hatemail depictions that were never published. Those wishing to inflame anger against non-Muslims used this hate mail to further their anti-Western anti-European agenda.
Fanatic Islamic radicals who have taken over the public voice of Islam in the Middle East found these phony “cartoons” as a blessing to manipulate the faithful. It’s no surprise. These radical Islamics see no contradiction on issuing a fatwa on Salmam Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses and their religion. They express outrage that a Danish newspaper publishes some cartoons of Muhammad but accept car bombings and assassinations and beheadings.
Emran Qureshi decries what has happened in an article in today’s New York Times entitled “The Islam the Riots Drowned Out”
Remember the popularity of the “What would Jesus do? ” campaign?
One should ask this same question but substitute Muhammad.
What kind of car would Muhammad use as a car bomb?
What weapon would Muhammad use to behead people he kidnapped?
The absurdity is that the radicals would condone violence in the name of Muhammad and people see this is the voice of Islam. I don’t see Muhammad as condoning car bombs and beheadings as a way to further Islam.
Before we think the radical wing of Islam is an anomality in world history and culture we must remember the history of Christianity. Seems to me that things like the Inquisition and nonbelievers being burned at the stake and all the Kings and Queens and common folk killed in Britain in the fight between Catholicism and Protestantism show that Christianity is no paragon of tolerance of different beliefs and has seen its own share of fanatic violence in the name of its God.
Seems people in glass house should think twice before passing judgment on Islamic violence as something unique in world history.
The challenge of all religions and cultures is one of how to live together despite our diversity and different religious beliefs. The modern world is really not modern when it comes to religion and war and killing nonbelievers. It’s remains just more of the same.
History says we should not be fooled by those who believe that there is only one true religion and are willing to kill to prove it to be so. Only when people are free to choose their religion will the world be truly modern. Christians, Jews, Muslims and all other believers of faith are not true believers if one is forced to accept their religion or die. Bombing and killing people to further a religious faith is not religion but is using dogma and coercion and fear and death to enforce the rule of totalitarianism.