Cartoon Response

I believe in freedom of speech, but like all freedoms the practice of which entails a certain amount of responsibility. Having said that, I do not believe the Danish cartoons have crossed the line.

I also believe in freedom of speech in response to provocation, but in this regard not just responsibility is required but also that the response is measured for the offense. I do not believe the violent protests in response to the cartoons have demonstrated responsible behavior. I also do not believe the level of violence demonstrated is commensurate with the acts of creating and publishing the cartoons.

I do not believe that Muslims are intrinsically violent. However, Islam is at risk of being hijacked by the fundamentalists who through these demonstrations, have proven themselves worse than their portrayal in the cartoons. The silence of the moderate/mainstream Muslim is truly deafening and disappointing. It does make me wonder whether who exactly represent Islam.

I do believe that all religions should en face be accorded a certain level of respect. But continued respect needs to be earned through words and deeds, not just mere existence. Those that have appropriated Islam in the name of spreading violence have only served to lessen the respect of many for Islam.

Finally, while respecting all religion, no religion has the right to enforce its belief onto others. While it is perfectly acceptable to forbid the depiction of Mohammed by Muslims (not specified by the Koran, and many examples have been commissioned and displayed by various Muslim rulers) it is absolutely unacceptable to forbid non-Muslim from depicting Mohammed.

I am ashamed of those who in seeking forgiveness in the name of harmony would so quickly drop to their knees in offering appeasements. Those who so willingly curtail their responsible act of freedom do not deserve it.

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