Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Rioting over the Prophet Muhammad
Somehow, some when people will recognize that religions can be just as evil as any other undertakings of men. The only just reaction to the riotng and destruction in rsponse to the cartoons-is to criticize Islam itself for being intolernat and hate filled toward others. The intolerance towrd other criticism would be unacceptable in a government, a corporation or a Garden club. It is less acceptable in a religion that cliams to define the meaning of life for 1/3 of the world.
This is not a criticism of what Islam can be but of what it has become. My family benefited from the greatness of Islam. I am proud to call myself an Andalusian. We lived under Islamic rule in an era of Moslem/Christian/Jewish collaboration, under the flag of Islam. That era was one of the highest civilizations are species ever seen. But the Islam we see today is odious.
Islam suffers, along with Christianity, for an inability to be wrong. The cartoons accurately depict the teachings of the Prophet as read by millions today. The same Prophet who brought his followers and a very modern concept of equality also brought with him intolerance of those who were worship statues of deities. Others with partial truth, Jews and Christians, were to be tolerated as long as they lived modestly, and accepted Muslim rule. For in those whose ancestral homes were Arabia the Prophet had a worse message. In this way he was no better and no worse than his predecessors from more than a millennium before, the Jews described as conquering the odlaters of Cannan. So tdoes the Koran celebrate the Prophet's conquest of Medina, a Jewish city. For the crime of resisting the Prophet's claim to be a true prophet of the Jewish God, the citizens of Medina were killed or enslaved. Jews elsewhere were expelled from their homes in Arabia.
A tolerant person should see the story of Canaan as an artifact of the early days of Islam. One hopes that progress been made in the last 1400 years.
It is in this spirit and, with no disrespect to the Prophet, I'm including in this blog one of the supposedly hateful cartoons. This cartoon shows the Prophet dressed not in Arabic robes but in the rooms of Persia or Indian. Embedded in the Prophet's turban is a bomb. That's offensive if you believe that any image of the Prophet is forbidden. But why were images of the profit from mde taboo? As I understand, the intent was to prevent his followers from worshiping the man as if you were a god. The Prophet wished to avoid the mistake, made by Chrsitans when they deified the prohet Jesus.. The only intent of the Danish newspaper she is to criticize Mohammed, certainly not to deify the man.
Just to be sure that I balance this blog , I'm also including images of the covers of editions of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion published recently by Syria and Egypt. This odious book is not being published by some extreme newspaper in those countries. It is published and supported by most Muslim government. It is presented as truth to people among the Moslem world. Which is worse, the cartoon suggesting that the profit may be being misused or a book claiming that Jews are not human?
As an American, as a grateful recipient of the freedoms created by Jefferson and Madison, I claim my right to side with the Danish newspaper and criticize Islam just as I would claim the right to criticize General Motors, Enron, or... even Israel.
Posted by SM Schwartz at 10:28 PM