Monday, February 06, 2006

Knock Some Sense into These People

This is not a gay-related post, but please bear with me.

I have become increasingly angry while reading reports in recent days about some Muslims' response to cartoons that include caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Some Muslims are insulted by the cartoons and find they mock their beliefs and religion. This is a description of one of the cartoons that has touched off violence in the Muslim community around the world:
One depicted the prophet wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse.

For a world community and culture known for terrorism, it strikes me as ironic and predictable that this would be their response to a cartoon. Imagine what would happen if every Hollywood actor went on a rampage after reading something unglamorous about themselves in US Weekly? Even the radical Christian-right in the United States knows that the appropriate response is not violence when they see depictions of things that they believe mock their culture or beliefs.

One thing is clear from the news about the reactions to the cartoons, and that is that these people that are reacting violently are not ready for a democracy. Not only are they not ready, but they are probably not even capable of building a democracy.

Democracy can only flourish when you can afford everyone freedom of speech and thought, and when you can tolerate and even accept being offended. At the very least, democracy cannot flourish when violence is the response to offense. The only thing it seems like these people believe in is their own unrealistic moral superiority and the right to free violence.

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