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Out of Proportion

Entry 280, on 2006-02-07 at 15:10:20 (Rating 4, News)

As I said previously, I have defended Islam in the past - especially from bigoted Christians who think all other religions are primitive and unworthy. But now I'm beginning to wonder whether I should have bothered. There is possible justification in using violence to defend your country and culture against invaders with superior military technology, but I can't see how the reaction to a few fairly inane cartoons featuring Mohammed can be acceptable.

OK, these cartoons might be offensive to some people - and they are clearly not acceptable according to the Koran. But I can't imagine other groups taking things this far if they were offended to a similar extent. Maybe it really is a sign that Islam is a primitive religion. I mean, would Allah really care about a few cartoons? Aren't there bigger issues to be concerned with? Islam is a strong religion, rapidly gaining in support. This sort of thing is not really going to significantly affect it.

And being offended by someone else's actions, even if they are somewhat clumsy and negative, isn't an excuse for violence. The whole reaction is out of proportion with the original event. Satire and humour have always been a major aspect of political and social commentary in the western world. I heard today that Hitler eliminated the cartoonists who portrayed him in a poor light. That's not a good example of the best way to behave, is it?

Of course, Muslims making such a fuss about this has ensured that the cartoons have been published widely, and are easily available on the Internet. If this news story hadn't been so prominent, I'm sure no one would have been interested in publishing them. Its the old story of making something you disagree with into a big issue guarantees it gains more prominence, the complete opposite of the original intent.

I know some newspapers and other media have not published the cartoons, even though they covered the story. In most cases this is because of fear of repercussions, so the fear if reprisals has had some effect. Other publishers have seen this as a genuine act of lack of respect, but the response of Muslims to this is likely to gain them less respect in future, not more.

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