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Posted by Jeevan SivasubramaniamBack to Conversations
By now everyone knows of the fiasco that was
Everybody Draw Muhammed Day
. It seems that people were polarized about this issue -- and not just along traditional party lines.
Yes, it was basically an act of provocation wearing the cloak of an exercise in free speech and democracy. After all, there was no real purpose behind this action except to agitate Muslims. Liberty was not at stake and this was not about uncovering fraud or deception perpetrated upon the people in any way. Let's not try and grant any nobility to this exercise by calling it anything other than, well, good old-fashioned trolling.
On the flip-side, there is a double-standard here. All religions appear to be fair game, but the moment you start getting into Islam, you run the risk of being killed for something as basic as a cartoon (and yes, I know that all Muslims don't think this way). Why should special consideration be given to one faith over another? I know that Islam is not the only religion with radical factions (visit any family planning clinic and you'll find a few demonstrating outside), but it demands an absolute respect for itself that it does not afford others.
Which side are you on? I have got to say, I hate religious bear-baiting but I still don't believe that any one faith be given special consideration. Am I wrong?
Like you, Jeevan, I have mixed feelings about this. I know that people advocate tolerance, but when tolerance includes tolerating religious beliefs that justify violence via sacred texts, that is really problematic to me. And most religions, if you read their texts carefully, can be used to justify all kinds of violence, including murder.
I hope other people join this conversation. As someone who is not religious, I am curious to hear from people who have strong religious convictions.
Not to try and dominate this conversation, but what you said about most religions being able to justify violence is so spot-on. I always thought that the person who created that whole "Islam is the religion of peace" slogan should be...oh wait, that's violent, never mind. But still, Islam is not the religion of peace any more than Christianity or Judaism or any other religion (I don't include Buddhism which I consider a philosophy more than anything else).