“GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip: — Rage against caricatures of Islam's revered prophet poured out across the Muslim world Saturday, with aggrieved believers calling for executions, storming European buildings and setting European flags afire....".
It seems patently obvious that no one need belittle another person's religion. Having said that, it is also important to realize that most, if not many, newspaper editors believe that freedom of the press obligates them to print materials that lack sensitivity and are may well be offensive to large groups of people. Muslims do not have a monopoly on being insulted by the press. Many individuals and groups,including various religions, are insulted daily in the press around the world, often by Muslims.
Muslims are upset because the Prophet Muhammad was caricatured (last September by the way) in a number of European newspapers. So upset in fact that they are rioting throughout Europe, the Middle East and the Orient. It seems strange that a group of fanatics can whip up such strong emotions over such a seemingly trivial incident, an incident resulting from freedom of the press and freedom of expression. But, let’s face it, these cartoons were a perfect opportunity for Islamic fundamentalists to organize demonstrations whereby they tell the West that we are barbarians who have insulted their religious leader, and if all else fails people should die for this insult to Islam. They have been somewhat successful in this pursuit as a number of protesters have been killed.
Muslims are not innocent in the “insulting religion” business. They have impugned Christianity, as well as other religions for centuries. I somehow think that on the list of things to be concerned about, the killing of Jews by Muslim fundamentalist groups in Palestine ranks a bit higher than a cartoon depicting Muhammad. No one dies when a cartoon is drawn.
As usual protesting Muslim groups have decided to do what they always do – kill somebody. That seems to be the solution to everything in this group. Kill writers if their writing does not comport with Muslim doctrine, kill wives and daughters if sharia laws are not obeyed, kill prisoners who upset you, and in this case kill cartoonist. Why is that the only solution? It reminds me of the saying “When the only tool you have is a hammer, you see every thing as a nail”.
If the Muslims who have emigrated to various countries in Europe and the Americas want to become part of the larger society in the country to which they have emigrated, they need to make a few decisions. This does not mean giving up their native language, food customs, or certain dress customs, but it should mean that the language and customs of the country where one moves become the norm at work, public places or school. Moving to a free country from a repressed one, is exhilarating for some, and frightening to others. Freedom is a double edged sword. Freedom of speech means you can express an opinion, no matter how dumb or brilliant it may be. It also means that others can express their opinions about your opinions in whatever verbal or written fashion they deem appropriate regardless of how insulting one may think that is. There is no place in a free society where killing the messenger is appropriate behavior.
Finally, I wonder if the Prophet Muhammad would be as upset as his followers if he saw the aforementioned cartoons. I imagine that he is wise and dignified, and has seen much in his many, many years. I imagine that he would instruct his followers to “lighten up” relative to this cartoon thing, and if they must, they need to find an Islamic cartoonist who would level the playing field.
In the end, are these cartoons worth the troubles caused throughout the world by Islamic groups? The Danes who started all this say it best:
“…Danes Unrepentant Over Muhammad Cartoons
An editor with the Danish newspaper that ran cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad said the resultant furor was "worth it. Joern Mikkelsen, political editor of the conservative paper Jyllands-Posten, said the still-raging debate over who is or isn't entitled to criticize a religion only served to further legitimize the paper's decision to run the cartoons.
The cartoons, first published four months ago in Denmark, included one showing Muhammad wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a lit fuse. Islamic tradition bars any depiction of the prophet, favorable or otherwise.
The republication of the cartoons in a Norwegian publication on January 10 touched off a storm of protest in the Islamic world. Danish products were boycotted in Arab countries and protesters burned the Danish flag.
Jyllands-Posten's office in Aarhus, Denmark's second-largest city, received bomb threats and its employees were flooded with death threats by phone and mail.
But when the German magazine Der Spiegel asked Mikkelsen if publishing the cartoons was worth the controversy, he replied: "Yes, it was worth it."
Tage Clausen, a spokesman for the paper, said it did not intend to anger Muslims by running the cartoons. "Instead we wanted to show how deeply entrenched self-censorship has already become."
Other Danes who spoke with Der Spiegel in Aarhus supported the publication of the cartoons.
"I can't imagine living in a country where I am no longer allowed to voice my free opinion," said Eminie Ehlers. ….”NewsMax, February 2006
B.S. Degree: Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut - MAGNA CUM LAUDA Ph.D. Degree: Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa,National Institute of Health Fellow: Major,
Winemaker & Co-Owner - De Angelis Wines.
Responsible for winemaking, marketing, and organization along with my partner - my wife.
Winemaker and General Manager
The Crush @ Paso Robles, Paso Robles, CA. Responsible for overall design of winery, winemaking budgets, planning and overall organization.
Senior Winemaker Salisbury Vineyards
I was responsible for all winemaking activities. This included developing the winery sites, identifying and purchasing all supplies and equipment, as well as assistance in all financial and budgetary aspects of the winery.
Viticulturist and Winemaker - La Fattoria De Angelis
Planted the vineyard in 1999 and have maintained it ever since. The first wine from the vineyard was produced in 2002.
Health Care Delivery Services, Inc. (HCDS) San Luis Obispo, California
President, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board
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Other positions held in my career include:
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Westwood, California
Project Director - UCLA Drug Treatment Project - Faculty Member Department of Psychiatry - Neuropsychiatric Institute
The White House: Executive Office of the President,Washington, D.C.
The White Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention (SAODAP)
Associate Director, Technical Assistance then Director of Manpower Development