Toons That Are Not Funny

The printing of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohamed, peace be upon him, in a Danish newspaper have definitely caused an up roar in the Muslim world. The situation is getting a little of of hand with the reported burning of the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Syria. I completely understand Islam’s point of view on idol worship, that is why mosques don’t have statues or portraits but instead are beautifully decorated with stylized calligraphy. With that same understanding, we must all realize that no religion has a monopoly on God and more importantly no religion can impose their beliefs onto others. If Americans would follow the example set forth in Syria this weekend, zealot protestants would burn down the Indian embassy because of Hindu beliefs. Fervent Christians don’t burn flags and protest in droves because another country expresses their constitutional rights. Why is it that embassies are always stormed and flags always burned in what was the ancient Fertile Crescent?

The French newspaper France Soir stated that they have a right to depict God but does the France Soir have the freedom to offend other’s religious beliefs? Anytime a freedom is granted such freedom can be abused. The freedom of speech does not protect someone from yelling fire in a crowded building. Freedom of speech does not hold up in court in a libel lawsuit. This is a complicated subject which requires at a minimum a college course in religious studies and political science, something that I doubt those protesters in Syria had. Well, maybe they did have some college background, it has been said that the Islamic Revolution in Iran was student led.

It might be that in a secular society nothing is sacred. This may be true but I would rather live in a secular society than in one blinded by religious dogma. The cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohamed, peace be upon him, are not funny but the reactions of their publications are a good example of man’s follies, or as Dante called it ‘Divine Comedy.’

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