Sigmund and I went off to visit our Aniki yesterday. We had a good time, listening to good music, talking.. Particularly about the reactions to these drawings of Muhammed, which has offended the a lot of muslims. Protesters burned flags (which I don't really care much about), and set fire to the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Syria. Death threats have been made. Over a dozen scribbles, sketches and drawings. No one has been forced to view them. They aren't printed out by the buttload and dropped from airplanes, or plastered on street corners. (Now that would have been in poor taste.)
They call for respect of their religion, but how do they expect us to respect a culture of violence? If you offend me, I don't go out and kill someone or set fire to your nation's embassy. I get angry, cry a little, maybe wonder if I had done something to make someone think I deserved this. The drawings are the impressions the cartoonists have of Islam. If they want us to have a better impression of them, then they had better stop the violence.
Nothing is so sacred that it is above criticism. Respect religion? Not until the religious people respect life and peace. No one should have to live in fear of inadvertently offending someone. (Not saying that's what happened here - some say that the drawings were printed just to see how much or little it would take to piss the muslims off - but I didn't know that Islam bans the depiction of Muhammed before this case.)
It does scare me. But I'm not letting fear shut me up. I'm not locking this entry.
Some groups are holding peaceful protests, but those seem to be in the minority (or they just don't get much media coverage). Peaceful protesters, I salute you for retaining your dignity and humanity when so many others degenerate into barbarians.
I've seen the drawings, and I don't find them offensive at all, but as a former staunchly religious person, I can see how they would offend. But violence, arson and death threats? That is what I call offensive.