And even more offensive is the belligerent response.Originally Posted by xpcommon
Two of the strongest obvious bonds that holds secular societies together is the rule of law, and the freedom of speech. Religion is just one type of structure that societies and the governments that represent those communities must deal with. It is NOT the only method of personal principle, and there are many in the world who can be civilised and take responsiblity for themselves and their fellow human beings without having to resort to a 'higher' being. Like it or not, religion, a man made structure, and not to be confused with belief, is by historical fact more responsible for the death of innocents than any other reason.
The cartoons are tacky and tasteless, and that's just my opinion.
And the fact i can have an opinion is a direct result of the pain of growth in history that has bought civilised human beings to this point. Every response i've seen, either in Media or on the web, from those whose belief is Islam has been threatening, with little or no regard for the rule of law. Every European in those comments has been guilty, according to Muslims, of compliance in some perceived persecution of a faith that has told the planet they cannot disagree with Islam's basic tenet, fundamentalism. There is proof for this too, in the deafening silence from the alleged moderates in Islam towards those who continue to kill other human beings in the name of their religion. With poor intelligence, and a reluctance on the part of the Muslim community to report those who incite others to violence, you show the world that Islam is, in your opinion, above the rule of law, particularly in secular countries. That may acceptable to you, but it's most certainly not for the rest of us who CAN live in a civilised way in communities and countries of mixed faith, culture, and race.
And let's take this further. When a country or community indulges in murder on behalf of their faith, and the members of that faith mumble distaste quietly in case their fellow religous members disapprove of them, or worse, use the 'actions' of other governments to justify that murder, then don't be surprised if the rest of the planet perceives the followers of that faith as extremist, and untrustworthy with the lives of their fellow human beings.
It's the same with the gross land theft in the West Bank, or the funds that support that illegal and immoral activity in the name of fundamentalism.
Every religion, again, a man made structure, thinks it is right. I've read the Koran to understand what Muslims use as a foundation of principle, the same as i've read the 'holy' books of other faiths. I do so as an atheist who objectively formed a method of principle in my behaviour towards others who have religion as the cornerstone of their life.
Islam is in the frame at the moment, and in the large, you have yourselves to blame. Jihad or Fatwa may be an effective tool of persuasion in Islam, but it's murder to the rest of civilised humanity. We don't like the actions of governments who commit crimes in our name, look after their own business interests and cruelly stamp on others with weapons, imposing their lifestyle on others no matter how willing or unwilling they may be. And because we have freedom of speech, we get to talk about it, and protest. Try that in Iran, or Syria, or Egypt, or Indonesia, etc. The application of Sharia law, an interpretation of Islam that benefits those in charge, and reduces others to misery or torture, specifically prohibits questions from the masses. I remember the student protests in Iran when the young tried to ask for more freedoms and openness in their lives. They were murdered, tortured, and brutally supressed by the religious police who, as the images of the time showed, thoroughly enjoyed inflicting the maximum pain on innocents, because they had the 'power' to do so.
And i've also heard and read from 'leading muslims' that Islam respects other religions, and doesn't mock those religions or their deities.
A lot of rubbish.
Try reading a newspaper or website based in Syria, or Saudi Arabia, and there are many derisory cartoons and illustrations condemning christianity and their God, Judaism and their God, Hindu, Buddhism, etc.
The only dispute that continues in the cartoon saga, is Fundamentalist Islam's determination to make the rest of us shut up, and not question what is, by fact, an oppressive system that has little to do with freedom and tolerance and everything to do control.
This dispute will end when followers of all religions deal with the extremists in their midsts, and develop a clear understanding that we don't all believe the same things you do, and your god is no more relevant to some of us than the price of eggs in the local supermarket.
I think the cartoons are tacky, as i said, but i also think those organisations in many countries in the EU and the Middle East who showed these cartoons and follow on illustrations should NOT apologise, or move one centimetre from the established secular principal of freedom of speech, and rejection of any type of religious censorship in any way shape or form.
Now, do your worst, trundling out all the usual excuses why i'm a defiler, and should be fatwa'd or jihaded, or worse. The catholics did the same in the dark days of European history, and the Judaic shamans (priests) did the same in roman times when anyone they perceived as a troublemaker looked like daring to defy them, so Islam won't be the first.
I don't care, because i'm thoroughly sick of the followers of any religion, including Islam, trying to introduce censorship (read influence) into government or the laws of secular countries. I will defend your right to disagree with me, and voice your opinion, however strongly. In a free and open society, we're allowed to do that.
atheist, and thoroughly civilised human being.
'I may not like what you say, but i will defend to the death your right to say it.'