Insults reserved for Islam

Category: World Affairs Topics: Racism, Western World Views: 4714
4714

Recently, when a Danish newspaper published cartoons offensive to Muslims, Muslim protests met claims that our Western democracies had to uphold the sacred principle of free speech. Under no circumstances could we Westerners be expected to give up that important right simply because others objected to being criticized or insulted.

But wait a moment. Don't our Western democracies ban racial criticisms and insults? What happens to our sacred principles and rights then?

Indeed, even as the debate over the Danish cartoons was under way, an anti-Western Muslim in Britain was sentenced inter alia to 21 months imprisonment for allegedly inciting racial hatred against us Westerners.

And now in the United States and Australia, even speech favoring alleged Islamic enemies can be punished. So what are we to conclude -- that it is OK to disparage people for their religion, but not for their politics or race?

One wonders how educated Muslims view this contorted logic, particularly since it is contradicted by the brutally racist conduct of U.S. and British soldiers in Iraq.

As for the limp-wristed apologies for that conduct coming out of London and Washington, we all know that, if not for the incriminating videos and photos, those atrocities would have remained unpunished. Indeed, it is quite likely they would still be continuing.

In Vietnam, even worse atrocities continued happily for 10 years without any of our governments or media getting very disturbed. Racial contempt for occupied peoples is buried deep in the psyche of the Western soldier.

But getting back to the elevated world of what we in the West say rather than what we do -- the reason we oppose, at least in principle, racial insults is that race is an important part of our identity. We have a long history of racial brutalities, hatreds, discriminations toward each other. So today we have no choice but to try to put a lid on remarks that try to inflame or justify them.

Now turn to Muslim societies. For them religion rather than race is more important for identity. One reason is that they have a powerful religion -- Islam -- that provides a seemingly coherent code of both spiritual and temporal conduct. The global spread of Islam is one result. True, there are factional differences -- Shiite versus Sunni, for example. Even so, all Muslims accept that there is one source of ultimate truth (Mecca) -- something that cannot be said of our fractious Western religions.

The remarkable way Muslims manage to sublimate racial differences for the sake of religion is one result. The sight of millions of Muslims from all nations, rich and poor, all clad in identical white robes, all living and praying together for days on end to complete their Hajj obligations at Mecca, is proof. Could any of our Western religions claim to overcome racial differences as easily?

In short, while we in the West, and Japan, still cling to the tribalistic concept of race as the basis for identity, and are sensitive to any criticisms in this area, the Muslim peoples have moved on to the concept of religion as the basis of identity and are equally, if not more, sensitive to criticisms in this area.

At the very least, to ridicule Muslims for their sensitivity to religious insults while we busily jail people in our own societies for racial insults is not a very impressive example of our allegedly superior Western values in action. But the chances of this penetrating the closed, ethnocentric minds of our anti-Muslim pundits is close to zero, I am afraid.

The same biases pollute our media. Islamic militants fighting to rid their country of Western occupation armies are automatically denounced as "terrorists" (even if not too many years ago they were embraced as "freedom fighters" when they opposed Soviet occupying forces). Those willing to sacrifice their lives in the process are denigrated as deranged, cowardly, fanatical.

Nazi Germany in its efforts to suppress guerrilla and resistance forces in occupied territories would have used such vocabulary proudly.

True, the U.S. says it wants democracy for the Muslim peoples, yet it imposes bans whenever fair elections return or threaten to return Islamic movements it does not like -- Algeria, Iran and now Palestine. Meanwhile it retains close links with regimes that it likes but which refuse elections. It is like American industrialist Henry Ford saying his customers could have any color car they wanted, provided it was black.

The Islamic peoples are not fools. How much longer do we expect them to put up with this kind of self-serving nonsense?

Following the Hamas victory in the recent Palestine elections, we were treated to endless media warnings about the victory of a terrorist organization calling for the destruction of the Israeli state. The allegedly impartial BBC was as guilty as most. Soon afterward, though, the same BBC did give us an impartial documentary that made it clear that Hamas was the only political force offering concerned and non-corrupt government for the Palestinian people, and that its anti-Israel attitude owed much to Israeli defiance of U.N. resolutions condemning takeovers of Palestinian territory and the expulsions of Palestinian people.

More than anything else, it is this inability to realize cause and effect -- that if people lose their rights and their territory by force then they have no alternative but to retaliate with force -- that underlies Muslim anger against the West.

If I were to exercise my right of free speech and suggest that maybe use of force is justified in freedom-loving Australia, I would be jailed, to the applause of the very people who demand the right to insult and use force against Muslims. How hypocritical can you get?

Gregory Clark is vice president of Akita International University, Japan.


  Category: World Affairs
  Topics: Racism, Western World
Views: 4714

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Older Comments:
MD. ASIF IQBAL FROM BANGLADESH said:
Well written article. Thanks for speaking up the harsh truths.
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HADID FROM DANMARK said:
The Dane are aginst the Islamic pepole,they treing make some standard Islam to misuse and take advanteg of moslems.
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HUDD FROM CANADA said:
Brother Adam Ibrahim Muhammad, thank you for your comment. I feel the same about you and I follow your comments as well. Anyway, I don't think the neocons would ever consider me for a columnist job. For obvious reasons,lol!

Doubting Thomas! Although your comments are well planned in bashing Islam and you are pre-destined or let's say programed to just deliver your spurious message like an insisting Jehova's witness. Yeah, no reasoning only saying your piece and close your mind to rationale out of fear of somehow perceiving the truth. Truth that would be diametrically oposed to your claimed believes. Unless you were a psychiatric patient, I can't believe that you actually dig the crap that is coming out of your mouth. I'll try to answer to your cherry picking(comment#:36268):

1) Muhammad,pbuh, was a worrior? Please, when you mention prophet Muhammad,pbuh, mention him as a prophet. Otherwise I don't know what Muhammad you were talking about. Maybe you think that Muhammad II or "The Conqueror" of the Ottomans was the prophet? Because Prophet Muhammad,pbuh, was a million other things before being a worrior. In his time,Islam spread as much as Hijaz. If he would have been the worrior you claim, Muslims would have followed their prophet to Rome,Paris,London and name it. Prophet Muhammad was a pacifist(In Arabic pacifist is translated as Muslim). Anyway intristing philosophy we have here Mr. Thomas! A worrior is not far off of a terrorist! Couldn't agree more! As a Pacifist(Muslim in Arabic) I am against war! According to your philosophy: worrior=terrorist, the whole Judeo-Christian civilization is a congregation of terrorists. Again, I couldn't agree more. Look at European and American history. They didn't spare their own faith or national brothers in their pursuit for power and wealth! Now that's terrorism at its highest point. Watch out for what is coming out of your mouth, Thomas boy, your words work for me too, you know, words are two edged swords, dude!
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N.HABIB FROM CANADA said:
There exist people like Mr. Gregory Clark!
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ADAM IBRAHIM MUHAMMAD FROM NIGERIA said:
Well said Hudd. I love every bit of ur reply to Thomas..(doubting tom?)

The comments of Thomas are the same brainwashing instrument the west used on not only the American muslims but also the entire American public in order that the think the way of the neo-cons. But there will always be people to counter those rhetorics and misguided utterences, like Hudd. I pray u have urself a job as a columnist in one of those neocons media Hudd.

Peace.
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D. THOMAS said:
Slow down Hudd, I don't have time to respond to all you allegations and comments, so allow me to cherry pick my favorites.

1) To say that all Muslims are terrorists if in a cartoon, Mohammed is portrayed as a terrorists. That is the joke right, ok I get it! Anyway to put it as positively as possible Mohammed was a warrior, so it isn't so far off.

2) I know that all Muslims are not Arab, heck my girlfriend is an ex-Muslim and she is not Arab. When people are against Islam and say it is racism, that can't be any more wrong.

3) Qubecois culture is part of Western culture, so your example is not week it is wrong. Have you ever heard the Islamic phrase "Whoever imitates a people, he is one of them." That is just one of many, well way to many to mention here to show the incompatibility of these two very different cultures. In my readings I see a hate of Islam towards other cultures. Actually Islam is definded by being different from other cultures just for the sake of being different. One more example a funny one. "contradict the idolaters, trim the moustache and grow the beard." Wow Muslims are suppose to have beards and moustaches because the idolaters don't. These examples are to show that Muslims in non-Muslim countries are not suppose to integrate and become part of the larger community. To have final proof read the document by Dr. Nasr Al-Aql called "Imitation of the Kuffar" on the site of Calgary Islamic.

4) You said "Usually secular westerners are closer to Muslims than fundamentalist Christians and Zionist Jews." I agree, if those Muslims don't follow the teachings of the Koran and had'dith. I don't have anything good to say about fundamentalist Christians, so you can see I'm an equal opportunity skeptic. I can prove it to you if I wanted but I won't, check it out for yourself but if Christianity has been distorted with time so has Islam! Unless of course you believe it is perfect and unchanged.
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HUDD FROM CANADA said:
Thomas I continue. The example of shariah in Ontario? You must be kidding me. Let me inform you what was all about. The Ontario Muslims asked the government to allow them to have alternative religious courts that would be optional for the Muslim population. For those Muslims that would choose that their domestic dispute to be dealt with in the precincts of their faith. It was a voluntarily endeavour,not a compalsory order. The Muslims came with this idea here in the West after seeing the model of Christian & Jewish courts of this kind. The greatest imbecility in this progress was when the very Christians and Jews that were running these by-law courts gathered all enamies of Islam and went on a rally in the heart of the city 9of Toronto. Guess what. The government of Ontario accepted the plea of these antagonists to the sharia and gave the verdict:"Under the Constitution/charter of rights all ethnic groups living in Canada have the same rights and freedoms(if different it would be apartheid, fascism or Zionism),as such, the government of Ontario grants the wish to the protesting parties and dissolves all existing by-law courts: Christian,Jewish,Amish,Mormon,etc. All I can say to this is:Long live Canada and the province of Ontario! Justice has been done! No other religion has blasphemy laws? Why not? Did they ask for? The Jews have anti-Semitism laws. Do you want those dissolved as well? Let me tell you what,Thomas, under the charter of rights,every ethnicity in Canada has the right to a decent representation free from racism or any other national or religious denegration.If Islam is not to be protected then nobody including the notorious Jews that can raise the foulest stink ever if anybody would mention Jew in an unfavourable light.I could give you hundreds of examples of important people that lost their jobs for saying something about the Jews that wasn't kosher and thus unpalatable for the extremely pampered Jewdom of Canada.I live in the best country dude!
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HUDD FROM CANADA said:
Thomas. Define Arab. Every Muslim is an 'Arab' because of the Arab heritage. In the Merriam Webster's Dictionary Arab is defined as:"1.a: a member of the Semitic people of the Arabian peninsula. b: a member of an Arabic speaking people." How would all these apply to a Canadian? I am not from Arabia and I do not speak Arabic. I know Arabic but so I know Greek, Latin and Hebrew as well, aside of other languages. Language knowledge is part for my quest for the truth,enables me to detect planned mistranslations for political purposes. Unless you have another definition of Arabness I believe your assuption is not very acurate.

Your comment knocked me off my feet:"Your post (Ref: 36171)is the best proof possible that it is impossible to have a society where Muslims can live with non-Muslims in a harmonious manner." How on earth could you reach to such an outrageous conclusion? I'll try to correct you, I said Islam was a "distinctive" culture,but so is French Quebecois(Quebecan,if you will). I didn't say anything about being at odds or incompatible with western civilization. Those were your words. Islam is very adaptible and can accommodate all aspects of life. The question is not whether Islam was compatible with Western culture. The question was and is that Islam demands every and any culture to respect and consider Muslims as humans and thus with a fundamental right to decide for themselves and live according to their beliefs like any other on the planet! My supposed anger about the West was not because of their culture or traditions, but against their foreign policies directed against the Islamic world. I am against war of any kind.Still I uphold the right of every nation to defend herself against aggressors. Afghanistan did not invade USA.Terrorists attacked US,coming from Germany.Wouldn't logics dictate that if US wanted to retaliate then they should of bombed Germany?But US chose to attack 2 countries that didn't attack them. My conclusion,US fights Islam.
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YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
Sarah, the author appears to live in Japan. I suspect a resentment of Western culture isn't necessarily as much of a liability there.

Also, our community's beloved leader Muhammad was able to tell even the most, at least initially, objectionable people the truth about themselves in ways that made them feel good about having it finally explained to them. But alas most of us are torn between telling what we believe to be the truth and doing what we believe to be polite.
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HUDD FROM CANADA said:
Answer to Thomas' comment:"To Hudd, personally I would take offense to being called a "terrorist" even if it is just a joke. But whatever you are comfortable with. I'm assumuning you are Arab, but I would never call any Arab a terrorist (unless of course they were), that would be in my eyes much more unacceptable then the Danish cartoons."

Pay due attention to what I say now,perchance you will understand where Muslims are coming from. In other than friendly relationship, any 'white' person would take it very offensif if called 'pot-head' or 'trailer-trash'. Would you like to be called to your face that by somebody you resent or you don't know? I call my Italian colleague 'mafioso' and we exchange Italian recipes on how to cook superb pasta dishes. They call me 'terrorist' in an attempt to reconciliate with their own fear of the possibility of a Muslim being one and their denial of that fear based on the fact that we share together in a common work place and common struggles and ambitions that are so human and regular that the term terrorist applied to their Muslim colleague appears as a great joke. They do not see me that. We are pals, we go together places like sport events and family trips.

Now, calling the founder of Islam a 'terrorist' ,is calling all Muslims,'terrorists! And that is not a joke. My pals have my tacid approval to call me that and I have their incouragement to call them anything crosses my mind, and we all laugh together. Did any of the Muslims laugh when their prophet was equated to the founder of terrorism? No, because the Islamic world is not pals with the West. The Muslim lands are invaded by Western powers that humiliate the local population and reduce those areas to rumble and ruin. And this,my friend,ain't funny! So the Muslims are occupied, murdered in their own houses and when they retaliate they are called terrorists and more of them are killed. Not funny! Terrorism was used as the leit-motif rhetoric to begin the ongoing war.
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SAIF FROM CANADA said:
Brothe Philip arly

You are an American Muslim that doesn't mean you have all the knowledge of Islamic world. Lets take the example of Iraq, the civil war (thanks to US occupation) has nothing to do with racism, they are of same race, its actually the US and British solders (the so called civilized nations) actually are racist and treating Iraqis (Shia or Sunni) like sub humans. Alhumdulillah even at our worst time we are still the best among humans.
Don't believe, go to the country side and talk to native people go their reserved any where in north and see by yourself, or to aboriginals in Australia.
Brother when if comes to world affairs you poof you are American. Get some knowledge.

To Sarah,
We Muslims always welcome a debate, because its Islam which give us the right to have free speech. What we offended is with the provocative cartoons which have nothing to do with free speech. It is as if I am calling you a whore for your comments here, does it make sense to you ?
Regarding race, yes its wrong to judge people by their race and Alhumdulillah its more of an issue in west (the so called civilized people) then in Islamic nations.
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MAMLUK FROM AUSTRALIA said:
An absolute forthright article!When David Irving denied the holocaust whats the consequence? Three years jail.
For the ignoarant Danish cartoonists whats the consequence? Nothing not even a rebuke from the government.
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PHILIP ARLY said:
Brother, I am an American Muslim. If you are saying that Muslim world is not racist, you are more that stretching the true. Your article is convoluted distortion of facts. In Iraq, move Muslims are being killed by Muslims than the US. I am sick in tired of hearing the false claims about how most Muslims practice Islam. We are pathetic group when it comes to justice and race relations. We need to change our ways if we are ever to be an example for the world! Stop writing this type of misleading rethoric
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SARAH FROM USA said:
Very bias article.The person has a lot of hate for western culture and should probably not live where they hate the culture so much.
Its not wrong to judge ppl for following a religion. A religion is a belief. A collection of ideas and ways of life ppl follow. Some ideas ppl have and actions ppl commit are wrong and unethical. It is wrong, however, to judge based on race. Race is how we are born and there is good and bad in every race.
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D. THOMAS said:
Mr. Hudd, I found it very interesting to read your comment. Your post (Ref: 36171)is the best proof possible that it is impossible to have a society where Muslims can live with non-Muslims in a harmonious manner. Correct me if I'm wrong but you say that Islam is more then a religion but a culture. A culture distinct and at odds with Western civilization. In your past postings your anger about the West has come through in your writings. I understand, because I could no more live happily in a Muslim country then a Muslim can live happily in the West. This is due to the fact that things that are important to Muslim culture/religion are not to non-Muslims and vice-versa. The Danish cartoons are only one example of many. The question has to be asked why do Muslims move to non-Mulsim countries, and the answer is to have a better life economically even though they have to move into a society that is hostile to the Muslim culture, not on purpose, but due to its own secular ways.

Friction is created when Muslims, while at the same time rejecting Western culture, they try to change our Western culture to fit with the teachings of Islam. Which further creates friction. Two latest examples in Canada. The attempt to put Sharia law in Ontario, and the demand by Muslim orgs. to put in place blasphemy laws in Canada to protect Islam while no other religion has that protection. Two things that violently contradict the culture of Canada and The West.

I would imagine if a Muslim could have as good a life economically they would rather be in a Muslim country. Please read the alternative view showing Muslim attitude about Western culture. Thank-you.
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D.THOMAS said:
To Hudd, personally I would take offense to being called a "terrorist" even if it is just a joke. But whatever you are comfortable with. I'm assumuning you are Arab, but I would never call any Arab a terrorist (unless of course they were), that would be in my eyes much more unacceptable then the Danish cartoons.
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HUDD FROM CANADA said:
For all those that posted on "disagree". The author missed some specific differences in the terms of 'religion','race', and 'culture' when referred to Islam. Islam is a way of life. This way of life,i.d.,Islam, generated a culture above race and ethnicity. However, local traditions and beliefs creeped in Islam, but this is not the point. Religion as defined in the West does not apply to Islam. Religion in Arabic is 'milah', Islam is defined as 'deen'. Deen means manner of judgement/discernment which defines the individual socially and culturally. The mistake of the West is that considers Islam as a religion, the same but different as Catholicism, Judaism,etc. Islam is a way of life and defines a Muslim for the person he is. We could say, Islam is a culture, the Sunah(tradition) of Prophet Muhammad,pbuh. Islam is a belief in the oneness of God and a faith in the hereafter. If you attacked Islam(Prophet Muhammad,e.g.) you attacked the very spiritual fabric of the Muslim identy. Therefore, comparing the Danish cartoons with the anti-Zionist cartoons in the ME is a lame enterprise. The West could attack the Taliban,the Arabs,OBL,Saddam Hussein,Khomeini,mullahs,even Muslim scholars or Muslim practices or ideologies, this would be compareable to the anti-Zionist cartoons. To defame Islam it is like defaming the Jews in Nazi Germany, or the dehumanization of the Tutsis by the Hutus, without the genocide element to it, but all genocide started with a dehumanization and humiliation of the targeted ethnicity or nation. As such, make fun of whatever you want, but leave that which is the Holiest and defines a people out of your inane jokes. White colleagues of mine call me jokefully 'terrorist' and I call them in return 'pot-heads' and 'trailer trash'. It is all a time passing fun making a la 'white'. Nobody gets offended. I am not a 'terrorist' and my colleagues are neither 'pot-heads' nor 'trailer trash'. It's just a joke and it stays that way6 as long as nobody's hurt.
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BOHARI MASHLI FROM MALAYSIA said:
Not all are anti-Islam. Some can think logically and rationall like Mr. Greg. May ALLAH show them the right path. The truth will prevail.
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D. THOMAS said:
To Hina Q, ya right sure. I'm sure the Copts of Egypt would agree with you. Along with all the oher non-muslim people in Muslim countries would agree. Come on!
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HINA Q FROM USA said:
In reponse to Michele N:

You are so wrong when you say that Christians are persecuted in Muslim countries. I am an American Muslim who has spent half my life in the Middle East. Christians are given so much respect in the Middle East that at many time it is more respect than what is given to religous Christians in the US! They are at full and complete freedom to practice their religion and their way of life.

Michele N i urge you to visit a Muslim country and I promise you that you will be stunned to see what a cushioned and luxurious life many Christians lead in the Middle East and many Muslim countries.

Dont just spew your stereotypical views...step out and learn something about the world.

Peace be on you!
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ADIL FROM CANADA said:
Michele, look like the author shows you a Mirror, hurts ?
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ADIL FROM CANADA said:
I fully agree with the author.

To the critique, the author is trying to say is racism is long gone in Islam and among Muslims, its not an issue to be sensitive about, but religion is because religion make them civilized that include non existent of racism. But on the other hand for "WEST" racism is a bigger issue, because they only recently started to address this issue and still commit it in one form or the other (colour, origin, native people, religion).

To Jason: those cartoons were not mere pictures, they show the hatred of people towards Muslims, I don't mind if critique of Islam come forward and have a meaning full debate, but depicting the noble prophet in those forms is sheer hatred from deep inside against Muslims and Islam.
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MICHELE N. FROM ITALY said:
I think that a site powered/hosted by islamcity cannot be "above the parts". It is clear, whatever islamic site you surf, that muslims are right and all others not. Why we have to let them to practice their religion and christians are persecuted in islamic countries?
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KURT ZINKERNAGEL FROM DENMARK said:

Mr. Clark is right about Muslim sensitivity.You
can criticize Hinduism,Buddhism and Christianity,
and nothing will happen to you.If you criticize
Islam you will need a few bodyguards and a bul-litproof car.
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JOHN said:
Well some people with disagree with the author because the truth hurts.
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AZEEZ FROM INDIA said:
It is easy for some body to say that we defend the Freedom of speach. Mocking any body is their right according to their own mindset or their laws. But we saw that the freedom of speach was not applied in cases of mocking the Holocost which is only an event in doubt was happened in Germany before most the new generation humans were born. They the new generation was taught to beleive that it was that much a case to be defended and not questioned. Regarding the cartoons of the Danish news paper, when the over acting Muslims made the protests to riots and killings, again thsese pro cartoonists began to shout and say that all the Islam is made of a terrorist. We Muslims love our Prophet more than what ever we have. We love him more that we love our parents and children. The other relegious people can moke their own Gods? and prophets as they want. It is their right and at the same time those same people will not be that much tolerent when some body mokes their parents and say that your mother is prostitute and you are a illegal birth and not having a specific father, I wonder still they can be tolerant they same way as they insult themself or heared insulting by some others. So what I am saying is that insulting and moking is not a rightful thing to be defended in any case. In India it is a fight right inside the country and our politicians can solve it. Palestine is not in the samd catagory. It is a country attacked and grabbed by another people and they are forcibly made to live in tents for generations in their own country and the oppressor is trying to make a greater country based on a particular relegion. The Western people knows this very well. But they are always saying the palestinians to be calm and tolerant and to accept the country and people who killed and made them homless and wandering through out the world. If any body justifies this, then they will moke and insult anybody with that evilness which they are taught and made for. Sorry I can't accept this .
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ALBERT FROM US said:
I agree with Gregory Clark about the double standard being practicedby by the Europeans. Many of their leaders said on TV that they are for the free speech. To them it was OK to insult Muslim all over the world to defend free speech. This is a concocted logic. Does democracy allow you to insult your neighbors? If you agree, try it.
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AWAN FROM US said:
the writer has drawn a true and exact picture of the facts, the picture which will be never been seen by those whose minds are closed. the history always repeats itself but we still donot learn until the day of judgement will arrive.
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D. THOMAS said:
Mr. Clark states; "that it is OK to disparage people for their religion, but not for their politics or race?" Mr. Clark, are you serious about the West not having the right to disparage politics, get real. Some times a big lie is easier to believe then a small lie. Laws not being able to talk favorably of enemy terrorist organizations is quite correct, proof being the bombings on 7/7. Also incitement to violence is illegal, or does Mr. Clark want that to be ok to.

I find Mr. Clark's comments about the West being racist and not open to be the biggest lie I have heard in a long long time. If the West was as racist as he says, then people from all around the world would not want to come to North America and Europe. The West is not free of racism, but it is much less racist then other places in the world, including the Muslim world. To be anti-Islam is not racist, and should not be twisted as such. To not believe in a certain religion or to even openly criticize is not racist, and it is my right to do so. If a Muslim complains about Christianity, he is not racist either. In the West the right to Blasphemy is legal. However to treat people improperly due to religious beliefs is not correct and such behavior is unacceptable. I wonder where in the world today people are treated improperly due to their religion! To use the behavior of a few soldiers, shows signs of intellectual dishonesty, and a generality that can't be carried to the whole population of the countries of the mentioned soldiers.

In Mr. Clarks last paragraph, he is not clear in his statement in what way the use of the word "force", could get him in "trouble" in Australia. As he is a person from Academia I find such an ill crafted paragraph just shows the weakness of his general argument, and that in reality it is empty.
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JASON FROM USA said:
.. It's not about race! Printing a picture of the 'prophet' has NOTHING to do with race. You people are seriously trying, but failing, to convince the West that you ought to be taken seriously. For instance, you say, "Under no circumstances could we Westerners be expected to give up that important right simply because others objected to being criticized or insulted." Clearly, you have no clue what a RIGHT is! A right can not be taken away. I can say anything racist to anyone, and print it! However, this is not the case with these cartoons, as they simply printed a depiction of a person that existed! YES!!! That is protected by Free Speech! Look to Egypt for Racial cartoons! I never hear Muslims say how horrid the anti-Jewish cartoons are in the world of Islam. ..
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RAHMA FROM UNITED STATE said:
I Agee, i feel that there aren't that many people speaking the truth. we believe now days that we are smarter than other but everyone is as smart. i feel that many people are being treated unequal in many countries.
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DIAMND FROM CANADA said:
in order to keep islam stong we should all stick together and defend this pure religion...nowadays islam is made fun of and criticized becauze we muslim dont defend it as we should like the Prophet(PBUH) and his friends.
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FAHEEM FROM CANADA said:
Either Islam is a Religion, a Political ideology or both, if is a Religion only then it should be an individual right well below the rights of Free speech. If Islam is a Political ideology or both then I have the perfect right to criticise and make fun in Cartoons or what ever form I find suitable. It is fare game.
You can not offer your political opinion and expect to be unquestionable because your political view are the views of God, therefore unquestionable. .....!!
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BEN FROM USA said:
Gregory Clark's claim that religion trumps race for Muslims is technically true but actually false. Where is the Muslim rage at what is going on in Sudan? Why is there no anger at China for its persacution of Uigher Muslims but all anger when it comes to what goes on in Palestine? Why when 2000 Muslims are killed in Gujurat, India in 2002 there are no howls of protest, no Muslim country severing relations with India, but on the other hand, a wall that Israel builds in the West Bank is considered as nearly the crime of the century? Obviously the answer is, palestinians and iraqis are Arabs...Uigher Muslims, Black Muslims, Indian Muslims, are not! There is a double standard in the Ummah, one for Arabs the other for non-Arabs. Indian and Pakastani Muslims working in the Gulf are often treated like crap by their Arab Muslim brethren. Moreover, what is banned in the West in terms of free speach is "incitement" this applies to racial AS WELL AS religious hatred. When a publication promotes and urges violent action like "kill the Jews" or "kill the Muslims" this can be banned, its not simply a racial thing. The Danish cartoons were not fighting words, they mocked the Prophet, yes, but they did not incite violence.
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PAAGLE FROM USA said:
This semi-coherent article will, no doubt, be very popular with the Muslims on islamicity. It attempts to tightly intertwine two issues which are really only intertwined in Muslim minds. One issue is the difference between protections against racial invective vs. protections against religious invective. The other issue is the actions of Western powers-that-be in the Muslim world.

I'll start with the later and say that from my western perspective Muslims have some very legitimate complaints about western powers interfering in their countries. For example it is perfectly reasonable for an Iranian to be extremely angry over the 1956 CIA-sponsored coup of a democratic government and the subsequent 20+ yrs dictatorship of the Shaw. I suspect most Iranians are also angry at the west for creating the conditions where the mullahs could sieze control. The conduct of the current Iraq war is another highly legitmate source of middle eastern grievance against America. Personally I'd love to see the west just leave the Muslim world alone and vise-versa: we buy your oil, you buy our food and tech and we'll both wave every now and then from accross the border.

Protecting religion leads to barriers between peoples. Racism attacks the physical characteristics and cultural practices people were born with. I cannot reasonably blame somebody for a thing that they have no control over (nor do I want to). Furthermore, I can easily share in the good aspects of another person's culture, and others can partake of the good aspects of my culture. When it comes to religion, however, its an all-or-nothing game. The believer looks at the non-believer and can reasobably (from the basis of faith) conclude that it is only the non-believer's obstinacy and base nature that prevents them from being a believer. Once somebody has proven themselves to be obstinate and base they have earned lesser treatment. How am I to welcome you to my country if you see me so? (no room to go o
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AHMAD IBRAHIM FROM USA said:
Double standards reign supreme with issues such as freedom of speech and Israel. Education of our values as Muslims will hopefully inelighten westerners to our love of Muhammad and disdain for western treatment of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere.
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CARING FOR HUMAN RIGHTS FROM USA said:
Assalamo Alaykum

To sum up the wertern attitude they are not democratic but they are hypocratic. They prove themselves to be hypocryte of what they say n do. Dont worry Islam will change that soon insaallah.

Peace be upon those who love Allah and His prophet Mohammed SAW/PBUH.
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DR F.M.QURESHI FROM INDIA said:
May Allah bless you for speaking the truth
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ADAM IBRAHIM MUHAMMAD FROM NIGERIA said:
How hypocritical can you get? Indeed Greg! .

Greg also says:

"Now turn to Muslim societies. For them religion rather than race is more important for identity. One reason is that they have a powerful religion -- Islam -- that provides a seemingly coherent code of both spiritual and temporal conduct. The global spread of Islam is one result." That was a nice piece that is worth reading twice especially coming from Gregory Clark whom I presume is a non-muslim.

He equally adds:

"The remarkable way Muslims manage to sublimate racial differences for the sake of religion is one result. The sight of millions of Muslims from all nations, rich and poor, all clad in identical white robes, all living and praying together for days on end to complete their Hajj obligations at Mecca, is proof. Could any of our Western religions claim to overcome racial differences as easily?" The answer of course is NO. Let me add other statistics if u don't mind Greg,

Countries with more percentage muslim population have:

1. Less alcohol intake and its related crimes.

2. Also less drug usage.

3. Less, or no fornication/adultery.

4. Less free women cos' we marry them all(with the policy of polygamy)!.

e.t.c. The list is endless. I'm happy 'm a muslim. And I wish Greg to become one (ie if u aint a muslim already) also. May Allah guide us all to the truth , ameen.
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