Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Let’s talk about it

So now the issue on my blog is the question of whether the cartoon publishing is impeding on the respect of other people.

To contend the last comment: Whoever said the thing about you not liking it if Muslims made fun of Jesus, well he should wake up and look around to see how much of a joke Jesus has become in the western world. Take Jesus Christ Superstar for example. It is a pure parody of the life of Christ and his image. Since some western societies, usually synonymous with Christianity, have found it reasonable to jest about Christ does not provide them the liberty to involve other religions. Frankly, I personally believe that no one has the right to impede on another and presume it is ok. I really think it would be reasonable to say that in any country, even Denmark, walking into someone else’s house, moving things around, sleeping in their bed, sharing their wife, using their shower, eating their food, driving their car and taking things they like without permission would be quite unacceptable and insulting, especially if it is someone you DO NOT know.

If that example is not vivid enough, let’s take African Americans, a race the Dutch know very well from past experience. If one was to draw images of them in shackles and publish them for the purposes of humor, it may seem funny to some but in reality it is quite humiliating and, well, rouses some buried sentiments that took many centuries to forgive, let alone forget. It is not about being able to do something; it is really about respecting others place alongside yours on this planet and not disrespecting them.

I believe it is one of the 10 commandments that say: Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself. Think about that and then think about what is ok and how you can group an insult to an entire religious group (the 2nd largest in the world) and say that it is in the name of Freedom of Speech, knowing full well that image depictions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) are strictly forbidden and punishable by death in Islamic Countries. There must be a good reason for that. This is not a social taboo one unearths by exposing in a public forum type fashion, hoping for a global catharsis. This is burning the principles of a belief because you have the physical ability to do so with complete disregard for the value it has to others.

I appreciate that a few Danish folks have taken the time to provide some insight on how religion is perceived in Denmark, and yes it certainly clears certain misconceptions about the intentions behind the publication. However, since they are now out in the open and the issue has obviously gone well out of hand, it is clear to presume that it was not a mistake, it was a miscalculation based on very unintelligent and careless judgment.

The question now is how to fix this. Since it is done, can the Muslim community forgive the Danes? I suppose the first step would require the Danes to be a little more ashamed of this, the government specifically, and plea for the Global Muslim leaders to engage in some conciliation, since it is obvious we cannot spend the next few generations burning down things. Or if you take the incidents in Pakistan and consider burning down your own house in protest (how effective that would be!), we would really be left with ashes and hatred. The thing that upsets me, other than the inexplicable act itself, is the sheer disregard and lack of common sense applied to this situation. By publishing it in a Danish newspaper, Christian Danes are not the only ones who will see the images. Are you so negligent of the fact that this is world is a global village now and that so many varieties of cultures and societies are integrated for the greater good, a common western belief and tolerance for others is in fact a necessity for a nations survival in today’s world. If it wasn’t, Hitler would have been the least of the world’s problems; he would have just been one of the many.

What is the next step; any insight, Denmark? You started this…it would only be fair to presume an extra effort from your part to remedy this. You know how they say, don't break what you can't fix...

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