Saturday, February 04, 2006

Muslim Protests Out of Hand - Burning Embassies

I understand Muslims can be offended by the cartoons which depict their prophet as a terrorist; I would certainly be offended if Jesus was depicted as a pedophile. I strongly believe in freedom of speech and the press, but there is a difference between "freedom" and "licentiousness". Depicting demeaning cartoons, movies, images, etc., about someone's religion is more the latter than the former. However, there is a double standard in all of this, since Muslims have before depicted demeaning cartoons about Jews. So in a way they are getting a taste of their own medicine, and they are discovering it doesn't feel that good to be on the receiving end.

I also believe everyone has the right to protest, but there is a difference between "protesting" and "criminal behavior". Unfortunately, the Muslims have decided to engage in the latter rather than the former. Earlier in the week there were calls for trade boycotts, that's protesting. However, threatening the lives and properties of foreign citizens, that's criminal behavior. And Syria decided to become criminal. Now we are left wondering, were the offending depictions "depictions" after all, or was the offense that they were right on target?

I want to believe that not all Muslims call for violence, death and destruction. As such, I want to believe there are Muslims out there who live "normally". In fact, I have Muslim friends that didn't give much thought to these cartoons. I wonder, how many responsible Muslims exist versus the radical criminal ones. But most of all I wonder if this conflict will not end dividing the Muslims, and pretty much placing Muslim against Muslim in a religious civil war as the responsible ones try to minimize the damage onto them by the actions of the radical ones.

The story from Reuters on the burning of the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Syria is here.