Firstly, I'm really puzzled. Because to me, why must one do something controversial if it doesn’t bring any true benefit to the doer? Were the caricatures so darn important that not publishing (and republishing) them would mean the end of mankind?
Granted, I respect that the press in the West firmly believe in and stand behind the notion of "freedom of speech," which means that they can practically put anything and everything in their publications. But it doesn’t take a genius to also realise that the media—all forms of it—has the power to spark serious damages both locally and globally. As such, they should take extreme measures in avoiding issues that could very well lead to acts of war!
Yes, we Muslims have no right to force others to abide by our ways and laws**. For serious, I can't stop your undying need to express yourself via drawings of the sacred people of my religion, but why the hell must you go and PUBLISH such a thing? The act is unruly, insensitive, and just plain stupid.
As this International Herald Tribune reader aptly put it:
"We are free to the extent that we don't abuse the freedom of others. That is why the excuse of freedom of the press is clearly not sensible to all Muslims and even some non-Muslims in the cartoon case.
It is not a matter of imposing Islamic laws on secular countries or any sort of intolerance; it is rather a matter of defending one's right against 'abuse of belief'." -- Amany Salem from Cairo
I mean, come on; publish a gory picture of a man cutting people up and/or the loose bloody pieces of his victim, and this will surely cause a huge racket. Why? Because it is a distasteful act which violates our moral beliefs and everyone should respect that.
So why should this issue be any different?
Okay, so some of the foreheads above eyes that are scanning through these words of mine are in danger of major wrinkles right now. You’re thinking: "It’s just a darn cartoon. If you don’t like it, turn the page and just plain ignore it. What’s the biggie?"
"The uproar concerns a caricature implying Muslims are violent. It is understandable the Muslim community would be upset; such caricatures are in poor taste. Hiding behind the freedom of the press is just plain cowardice." -- Daniel Dobbs from Annecy, France
However, the insult felt by Muslims the world over—thanks to a few idiotic Danes who’ve obviously got sh*t for brains—is no excuse for all the violence that have erupted. All I can say to these extremists is: OI! WHAT DO YOU MORONS THINK YOU’RE GONNA ACCOMPLISH WITH BRUTALITY? DO YOU SERIOUSLY THINK THAT ALLAH S.W.T. IS GONNA GRANT YOU WITH A PASSPORT TO HEAVEN BECAUSE YOU'VE "DEFENDED" YOUR RELIGION; THAT PROPHET MUHAMMAD S.A.W. WOULD’VE ACTED THE SAME WAY IF HE HIMSELF SAW THE CARICATURES?
Please. Your reckless actions are merely strengthening the negative perception of Muslims that were reflected in those damned caricatures in the first place.
If you are strongly obliged to not do nothing about this, there are other ways of showing your discontent. Join the many out there in boycotting anything and everything from Denmark. Heck, you can shun stuff that come from each and every country in Europe even!
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying that I agree with this solution, but at least it only causes monetary and not bodily injuries. And trust you me, this method can cause a pain so immense, it would most definitely result in public apologies to the Muslim world.
Perhaps some of you are like, "Public apology? How is that enough? Surely such insolence calls for a much harder punishment!" If that's the case, let me ask you: What exactly do you expect out of this? What is it exactly that can put your aggravation at ease?
I reckon what it all boils down to is respect. But remember that respect can only be gained if it is given. Plain and simple.
Now, one person pointed this out:
"I think the Muslim population in Europe has to realize that they are in a Western democracy. Newspapers routinely cartoon Jesus, Buddha, Moses and other religious figures." -- Nannette Orange from Paris
... and another, this:
"I find it striking that the very same month that Rolling Stone magazine puts Kanye West on its cover wearing a bloody crown of thorns, thousands of Muslims take to the streets over cartoons depicting their prophet in an equally 'offensive' manner.
Why aren't thousands of Christian taking to the streets and burning the offices of Rolling Stone? Where are the Christian death threats to Kanye? The answer is simple and it shows the vast gulf between our two cultures: We live in an open society that grants people the right to say offensive things but fosters individual thought and action based on conflicting view points. Muslims live in closed societies where religious leaders have tremendous power over the thoughts and actions of their followers.
While the Danish cartoons are tacky, the very fact that cartoons could provoke violence shows how far Muslims would have to come to join modern, open societies with all the messy unpleasant side effects that free speech entails." -- Kyle Drasky from Palmer, Alaska
Here’s enlightenment for you:
**Muslim laws forbid any form of depictions of any kind of its religious icons, which includes Allah swt (God), nabi (the prophets) and malaikat (the saints or angles). On the contrary, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Hindu gods, etc., are crafted into statues, paintings, movies, etc., and this is considered as a precious immortalisation of the said religious figures by their devout followers.
And to Mr Drasky. You can call us Muslims closed-minded and such, but at the same time non-Muslims should also be open-minded enough to understand and be sensitive towards other people's beliefs. Also... Uhm, hello? Likening the holy Prophet Muhammad S.W.T. to Kanye West is nothing short of lame, innit.
As for the journalists over in Sarawak who were responsible for publishing the damned caricatures, I deduce that you’re the worst of the lot. At least the rest of the papers were printed and read in the West. But you imbeciles did it in an Islamic country, less than a month after our DPM preached about how the press should be more responsible in reporting. SHAME ON YOU!
Note: All quotes were taken from International Herald Tribune (Europe)