The Qu'Ran does speak about respecting "people of the Book" (Jews and
Christians). But it also talks about killing infidels (all
non-muslims) or forcefully converting them (see Tai Fu's comments later
in this thread). Muslims are selective readers: peaceful Muslims
choose the first verses and violent Muslim radicals choose the second.
The current news stories (and 9/11, Cole, suicide bombers, anti-Jewish
violence) about Muslm fanatics burning flags and embassies and calling
for killing blasphemers (and they get to define blasphemy) clearly
shows which group is most prominent.
I have no problem with Muslims being upset either, but violence
destroys freedom. To imply as you do that violence is a legitimate
expression of the wrath of these people is just plain wrong. These
Muslims are not just upset; they are trying to force everyone else to
agree with their religious understandings, and that I will not do.
Muhammad was a human being and ridiculing a human being is not, by
definition, blasphemy. To make his turban into the shape of a lit bomb
as the cartoonist did was right because it showed how violence is being
used and promoted by some Muslims. And the irony of these protestors
is that they chose to protest using exactly the same violent methods
the cartoon they are objecting to demonstrates. So was the cartoon
You also say "It only becomes politically correct to ridicule a group
if that group allows it." That is false. Political correctness does
not result from the reaction of a ridiculed group. Remember the
"artist" whose "art" product was a crucifx of Jesus upside down in a
jar of urine? That was blasphemy because Christians do consider Jesus
to be divine. Sure Christians protested, but they didn't burn down art
galleries and issue religious edicts calling for the killing of the
"artist." On your view Christians seem to deserve to be be
marginalized because they did not use violence to attempt to prevent
Then you write "Respecting another's beliefs doesn't mean you agree
with them." This shows a fundamental misunderstanding because from the
point of view of radical Muslims to respect Islam is to agree with it.
That's the end purpose of these violent protests; to violently force us
all to agree that saying anything negative (whether it's true or not)
about Islam, Muhammad, or the Qu'ran is blasphemy punishible by death.
Never underestimate the ends they are willing to go to in order to
re-make the world with Islam in total control. It's not Bush, the
Patriot Act, domestic surveilance, etc. that should be our first
concern. Those are issues worth discussing later, but our first
concern ought to be that we prevent the Islamic radicals from re-making
the world as they want it. And because they use violence to promote
their view, the only way to resist them is to use violence in return.
That's called self-defense, and I believe our freedoms, limited or not,
are worth defending.
Larry Lobdell Jr.