Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Enough is Enough

So there is yet again another uproar over a picture depicting the prophet Mohammed. This time a Swedish artist drew the head of Mohammed on the body of a dog. Conservative Muslims (is there a such thing as liberal Muslims? And if so, could they please become more vocal?) believe that dogs are unclean animals and Islam forbids any depiction of the prophet. When the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published cartoons of Mohammed back in September of 2005, the Muslim world reacted with hysterical furor. Death threats were issued and protests were chock-full of signs which portrayed not only the irony of the situation of the very real intolerance and obedience expected from many Muslims across the globe. The rest of the world reacted cowardly and shamefully and refused to stand up for the artists' and the newspaper's freedom of speech, a right that we supposedly hold very dear here in the U.S. of A. While this Swedish artist was being purposely provocative, the reaction from the Muslim community, which has become increasingly typical, is nonetheless unacceptable. Enough is enough. It's all well and good if Islam teaches that it is a sin to depict the prophet, but not everybody is Muslim! Believe any of the crazy things that you want to but leave the rest of us out of it. While we keep hearing over and over again that "Islam is a religion of peace that has been hijacked by extremists," it is simply not the case. From the Salman Rushdie incident to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the reaction from the Muslim world has been the same. Enough is enough. The rest of the world needs to stop acquiescing every time there is Muslim outrage. We hold our rights to freedom of speech and press as dearly as they hold their religious beliefs. Don't make the same cowardly mistake we made during the Danish cartoon incident. Stand up for this man's right to free speech. No one deserves death threats for drawing a picture, certainly not from a "religion of peace."

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