02 June 2008

Radical Islam is radical

It's been two years since the uproar over those Danish political cartoonists taking on radical Islam by drawing Muhammad.

Problem is that for Muslims, portraying Muhammad in any way, whether it be through paper, film, or even audio, is big-time offensive.

I'm taking a Middle East History class, and we watched a film on early Islam. Muhammad never appeared on screen. And if Muhammad said something in a particular situation, the camera viewpoint would switch to first-person for him and music would play while he "spoke."

So Muslims take this pretty seriously.

Seriously enough that some of the more hardcore followers of Islam decided that these Danish political cartoonists drawing Muhammad a few times was an offense deserving of a severe response.

And by "severe reponse," I mean "death threats and bombings."

Eventually the furor died down, I think there were some apologies, everyone forgot about the whole thing.

Now, I can understand why devout Muslims would be upset about these cartoons. The image of Muhammad is sacred to them, as there are certain aspects of my religion that are sacred to me. When these aspects of my faith become the object of mockery, I get upset.

And on another level, I can see how these cartoons blaming the prophet Muhammad for the violence in Islam is also offensive. While Muhammad did battle in his day, this was more a product of his environment and culture than anything that was part of what being a Muslim is, in my opinion. He would never condone suicide bombers targeting civilians or the actions taken by other terrorists today.

But enough is enough.

Apparently Muslim terrorists bombed the Danish embassy in Pakistan earlier today, killing at least eight people.

Killing innocent people in response to cartoons was ridiculous three years ago.

Killing innocent people in response to those same cartoons today? Insane.

Man, I know these guys aren't mainstream examples of Islam, but it would be nice to hear some outrage from those who are mainstream Muslims. And maybe some action? Maybe?

This could be happening, but I've done some digging and haven't found any evidence of disapproval from the Middle East.

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