posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 06:40 PM
As you will no doubt be aware, last week a Danish newspaper printed (rather foolishly, it turns out) a cartoon depicting the sacred Islamic prophet
Mohammed as a terrorist.
Now, according to Muslims, there are two things wrong with this- the first, something we can all understand, is that Mohammed was shown as someone who
would carry out atrocities such as 9/11 and 7/7. Obviously, very offensive.
Secondly, and this is news to me, apparently the pictorial representation of the prophet is offensive. I didn't know this. I'm not sure whether
the newspaper which originally published the cartoon were aware of it or not. Either way, it was either deliberately offensive or very, very foolish
of them to publish such an item.
An apology is required.
But, no matter how offensive to Muslim people this cartoon was, the way some of them reacted was completely over-the-top. Destroying the Danish
Embassy and marching through Europe's capital cities with outrageously threatening placards is no way to show that you have been offended by having
one of your most sacred religious figureheads shown as having violent tendencies. Threatening to 'Behead all who offend Islam' and putting a
'Jihad on those who disrespect Islam' is merely emphasizing the violence that these protesters were so offended by in the first place.
Muslim leaders are constantly on TV (particularly after 9/11 and 7/7) telling us what a peaceful religion Islam is. Then, the next thing we see are
these threats of violence against people who, using their right of free speech, point out the parts of the Islamic faith they have disagreements with,
or having failings.
That is not to say that the Holy Books of Judaism and Christianity (and probably most other religions) don?t denounce others. Of course they do. But
it's been a damn long time since the other religions followed things like that quite so closely to the letter. So why do Muslims follow it so
closely? And why do they appear to totally over-react in their quest for retribution, threatening beheadings, violent attacks and 'Holy Wars' on
people who don't toe the line as far as the Islamic teachings are concerned?
And how are we non-Muslims supposed to see Islam as a peaceful religion when all we see of Muslim people on TV is them burning flags, detonating bombs
and flying aeroplanes into skyscrapers?
Of course, these people are again, the minorities. The vast majority of Muslims are dealing with their offence by this cartoon in a dignified way.
This is the same majority that denounced the terrorist attacks on New York, Madrid and London with such ferocity. The majority are decent people who
quietly go on their way, sticking to their faith and practising it, yet are accepting of the rest of the world and their faiths and so forth.
But yet again, as happens so often in the Muslim world for some reason, the minority seem to the rest of us, to be representative of Muslim views and
actions. That is why Muslims are often looked upon as extremists- because a vocal minority truly are.
And it's a real shame. The silent majority of Muslims should redress the balance and address the situation. They should not be letting these
minorities (who seem to ruin every chance the Islamic World have of showing the rest of us what a peaceful and respectable lot they truly are) speak
on their behalf, or on behalf of their religion. Enough is enough.
Sure, the image was offensive. It was distasteful and (whether intentionally or not), blasphemous. But instead of flag-burning, banner-waving and
razing buildings to the ground, the situation should have been handled with a dignified calm and a sophisticated response. Sadly for Islam once
again, the minorities ruined it.
I was reading in one of the Sunday newspapers, erm, on Sunday, that certain Muslim Scholars have called for an 'International Day of Anger' against
this cartoon. What an international day of anger is, I'm not sure- but I believe my girlfriend has one once a month. A certain correspondent to
this newspaper asked, quite intelligently in my opinion, where were the demands for this 'Day of Anger' after the atrocities of 9/11 were carried
out in the name of Islam? Or were the many, many innocent lives so atrociously taken far less important than a cartoon which appeared in a newspaper