Friday, February 03, 2006

A Cultural Collision: Thoughts on the Mohammed Caricatures


Days of violent protests across the Muslim world stirred up my curiosity. I finally decided that I should view these cartoons in order to see what all the fuss was about. Perhaps I would learn something abou the Muslim world. If it were not for such a violent global reaction, I couldn't have feigned interest in this issue if my access to heaven depended on it.

Finding these pictures on the internet was not easy. It took me about 20 minutes of googling. I am not aware of a single U.S. newspaper willing to publish these caricatures. Most publications and websites seem to have pulled the content out of fear. Even the U.S. Government has sided with the Muslims to curry favor, which to me seems very disingenuous. For a country that talks about exporting its "values," apparently freedom of expression is not one of them.

I mean no disrespect to the Muslim world. Yet, I make no appologies that I am fighting to live in a world where ideas, even bad ones, can be shared and discussed and "outed" without the fear being killed.

Only in a world where ideas can be expressed freely will you and I be free to practice the religeon we are called to.

I wish you could come to know Jesus, yet I will not slay you, will not chant "death to you," will not cut off your hand, stone you, nor turn you into a pillar of salt if you do not come to know Him. If you want to talk about Jesus, I will talk with you. If you want to take a crucifix and plunge it into a decanter of urine, I will not stop you and I will still talk to you. I may speak out against your actions, but you must be free to reveal who you are through your words and actions. Beyond our differences we may become friends, or pleasant acquintances.

I will therefore do what no U.S. newspaper has dared to do. Here are the caricatures of Mohammed. Make up your own mind about these pictures. I think they're silly, and I can certainly see how a Muslim may be offended. If it were Jesus, I would be offended (such as the Jesus depicted on TV in the 'Book of Daniel.') You'll find the Mohammed images at http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/698

3 comments:

cathepsut said...

Thanks for the link to the cartoons. I hadn't seen them before. Honestly, after the hype, I expected worse. They are insensitive - but in the end they are caricatures and we get the same for other religions as well, including the Chrisitian one. I do not have a solution for all this hate.

Shaun said...

I appreciate your comments on my thoughts concerning the same subject. The violence that ensues from differences of opinion or for causes of religion is deeply troubling for me. The greatest comfort I derive is based on the assumption that mainstream Islam, or even any religion, does not take the side of violence as an appropriate reaction to any affront. I still believe that the majority of people do not believe in violence with such haste. The problem is that it is easy to intimidate with it. If such is true, then the best weapon against such a senseless "enemy" is knowledge and understanding. If we are ever to make any real headway it will be the duty of every individual to be responsible for themselves and to make an active effort every day to bridge gaps and address disharmony.

chico-towner said...

Thanks 4 the feedback. I'm glad we all agree the more bigotry will only harm the situation further. Like a friend told me: with Free-Speach comes a big responsiblity.