I won't even pretend to know everything about the Danish cartoon issue or the Muslim faith. I will even admit that this 'current event' is not even very current anymore...though the outcry still continues. Furthermore, I admit that I have no real place evaluating another culture, another faith, or another country. But screw it...I am going to anyway!
If you have read any of my posts you know that I am a professing Christian. And if you know anything about various religions you know that my faith and that of a Muslim has some similar roots but its main branches are quite separate. I will not expound on my faith vs. their faith in this post or probably ever. But I do want to point out some observations that confuse me on this particular issue.
As I understand it a Danish newspaper published some cartoons of Mohammed in a disrespectful way. Specifically from one picture I saw, Mohammed had a bomb for a turban. So let the assessment begin:
- The Dutch opinion - I underline the word Danish because the first point of confusion for me comes from the fact that one country is trying to dictate what another country can and cannot publish? Why do Islamic people care what a European countries newspaper says?
- The Hypocrisy Factor - As an American I have seen multiple countries worldwide, make fun of us. In fact, there is a Muslim website that has cartoon animations showing Muslims fighting against Americans and how to kill them. I suppose I get a bit irritated that our country and its citizens are not respected more but you have to expect nations and groups to disagree with you and possibly make fun of you while doing so.
- Blasphemy - The inherent argument that I am hearing from the Muslim perspective is that Mohammed is a respected prophet and to besmirch his name is blasphemous. First of all blasphemy as I understand it can only be done with respect to a deity. But who knows...maybe Muslims believe Mohammed was a deity as Christians believe Jesus was. While it would concern me to have Jesus depicted in a similar manner, my concern would be more for those that blaspheme him. By making fun of Christ you do not change his character, his ministry, his impact, or his importance. Though I do not recommend it, I will not burn flags, protest, or make threats if you choose to waste time drawing cartoons of my Lord.
- The Real Irony - Perhaps the most ironic observation I have made is the actual reaction of the Muslim community. Now, I am very willing to consider these groups as extremists that do not really represent the majority. However, I lack the knowledge or understanding as to whether they are extremists or just the average. The Dutch papers cartoon Mohammed with a bomb for a turban in order to make a point that the Muslim faith is violent (whether this point is true or not). To react in a violent way only adds fuel to the fire and proves their point. So to protest angrily, to burn flags, and to make threats is to prove your enemies right. I find this very ironic and absurd. If the shoe was on the Christian foot, I am sure our extremists would do something stupid as well. When that happens I will be reading a Muslim blog about how dumb we are acting.
What are your thoughts about this issue? I would love to hear from you.