Monday, February 06, 2006

Infidels and Their Drawings

We have been told that Islam is a peaceful religion. We have all heard the soundbytes that fundamentalists and radicals have corrupted a faith that praises charity, prayer, and study. That true Muslims preach religious tolerance and racial harmony.

I pray that's the case. I pray that the world's second largest religion is truly a source of uplift and redemption. But, saying something doesn't make it so.

Is it a coincidence that those seeking to frame the debate in politically correct terms are, often, American? If there is an authentic Muslim voice coming from a Muslim land condemning radical Islam as a perversion of the doctrine, I've not yet heard it. Is that because the growing fundamentalist movement is actually a legitimate reading of holy scripture?

Maybe the moderate Muslim voices in this country are the "radicals." Maybe the fundamentalists cries from the Middle East are the inevitable result of a tension between 11th century teachings and 21st century realities.

The constant outrage billowing from Muslim lands turned their hostile gaze away from the United States this week. From Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan to Somalia to Iran, devout followers of Allah and Muhammad have again found a cause for which to spill blood. But, this time, it was over a cartoon published in European newspapers.

A cartoon.

Now, context is everything. I don't deny that the following drawing is offensive. It depicts Muhammad (and, by proxy, his faithful) as explosively violent.

So, it is not without irony, that thousands have taken to the streets and become explosively violent. The hypocrisy is also quite astounding. It is commonplace for Arabic news to skewer figures of Jesus and Moses in their own right. But, when the infidels desecrate the image of their prophet, it is Round 23453 of the Holy War.

If Islam were truly a peaceful religion, would the voice of reason need to come from Kofi Annan? Or, would it come from within?

Salam Aleichem.


At 4:34 PM, Blogger averageme said...

I think your right on point here. It seems very interesting that we hear from all kinds of "knowledgeable" Americans that Islam is a peaceful religion but we see very few actions to support that. Since terrorism and radical Islam has been linked I sure have seen very few non-radical Islamist trying to break that chain. Makes me wonder how crazy these people who talk of Holy war truly are..

At 1:02 AM, Blogger bobgirrl said...

In one sentence you call this cartoon offensive in the next you say it's ironice that thousands have taken to the street and become explosively violent. Where's the irony? Irony - an expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning. Nothing ironic here in my opinion.

At 1:11 AM, Blogger SLS2L(@YLS) said...

The irony is this.

The cartoon depicts Muslims as explosively violent. So, to protest the defamatory cartoon as an offensive affront to their "peaceful" beliefs, they've become explosively violent.

The irony is not in the cartoon, but in the response. If you scroll down a bit on the page you just brought up, you'll notice that "irony" also means a "circumstance notable for such incongruity." I'd argue that restless natives challenging the basis for a cartoon that depicts Muslims as violent by protesting with violence is ironic.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Jet said...

What would you expect from someone you insult his mother or father? If you respect somebody you will show him respect. If he is offended, you will be angered. It is not ironic at all to get angry when someone angered you!

When was Jesus and Moses, Peace be Upon Them, offended on Arabic news? Give us some evidence. Islam prohibits depicting God's Prophets in statues or in drawings because of their holiness. And if that happened, it would have been breaking news in the Arabic media and would have stirred protests!


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