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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Bruce Walker
Bio: Bruce Walker
Date:  February 10, 2006
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Topic category:  Other/General

What About Respectful Images of Mohammed?

The uproar over Danish cartoons of Mohammed is a phony issue.  Most Moslems would be upset about cartoons depicting Mohammed as a terrorists or a clown, as Christians would be offended by cartoons (and publicly sponsored art) mocking the Cross or Jesus.  Orthodox Jews do not believe it is appropriate to write the name of the Blessed Creator (so G-d is often present in text written by Orthodox Jews about the Holy One.)

The uproar over Danish cartoons of Mohammed is a phony issue.  Most Moslems would be upset about cartoons depicting Mohammed as a terrorists or a clown, as Christians would be offended by cartoons (and publicly sponsored art) mocking the Cross or Jesus.  Orthodox Jews do not believe it is appropriate to write the name of the Blessed Creator (so G-d is often present in text written by Orthodox Jews about the Holy One.)

The sensitivity to the sincere beliefs of others is good.  Public schools used to routinely serve fish on Friday, so that Catholics, if they chose, could eat what good Catholics were supposed to eat on Friday.  Likewise public schools should either allow Jewish and Moslem children to bring meals which adhere to the dietary laws of Judaism and Islam or should provide those meals as an alternative in the school cafeteria.  Every faith has rules which seem, to outsiders, silly, unwise or irrational. 

The accepted and common precepts of Islam, Christianity and Judaism also have many rules which it is good for society that believers follow.  All three monotheistic religions, for example, accept the Ten Commandments as divinely inspired commandments, and, although each have caveats and exceptions, the world would be a vastly better place if Jews, Christians and Moslems took those ten simple moral laws seriously.

Problems arise when one faith, or one branch of a faith, insists that the peculiar requirements of its faith be followed, even by non-believers.  No one is perfect in this area.  Blue laws or their equivalent exist in most states, which is a mild reflection of the Christian Sabbath.  Israel also has the equivalent of blue laws for the Jewish Sabbath.  Moslem nations in many cases specifically find that their fundamental laws are based upon Islam, and so certain things are prohibited. 

These are not, whatever secular Sinisterists might have us believe, proof of the dangers of imposing religious beliefs on others:  quite the contrary.  The fact that the overwhelmingly Christian majority in America has consciously chosen to have the mildest sort of limitations is proof that Christians can be trusted to be moderate, gentle and fair.  Although Israel has Judaism incorporated into much of Israeli law, it is the very rare fanatic who actually uses violence to protect the precepts of Judaism.

Moreover, in America and in Israel people are permitted to critique Christianity and Judaism not only without fear of violence but without much danger of social or legal repercussions.  The infamous federally supported anti-Christian art is simply one example of not only tolerance, but acceptance of criticism.  No one is asking Moslems to accept values in conflict with the traditions of Islam, even though acceptance of Islam and of Moslems is the norm in Christian and Jewish nations.  What is at issue – critically at issue – is whether or not Moslems will tolerate Christians and Jews acting in ways contrary to Islam.

What does this mean?  If there was a respectful children’s picture book which attempted to objectively explain the rise of Islam in the schools of Europe and America, and the drawings of Mohammed in these books portrayed him as sincere and intelligent, would Moslems call for the death of those artists who sketched him?

If the History Channel had a series which was respectful but also investigative about the life of Mohammed and the validity of the Koran?  Documentaries questioning the accuracy of translations of the Tanach or the New Testament and the lives of Jesus, Moses, David and the Patriarchs have long been common in Christian and Jewish nations. 

Note how little this demands of Moslems.  This does not ask that children’s books with pictures of Mohammed or that popular documentaries questioning Islam be produced and shown in Pakistan, Indonesia or Egypt, because the popular response to these modest deeds would be dangerous in those nations.  This is asking whether dhimmi, Jews and Christians, in their own nations may treat Mohammed, the Koran and Islam itself differently than Moslems would like, even as the dhimmi in their own lands tried not to be offensive.

Islam has a definite role for Jesus that is benign but utterly at odds with Christian theology.  Christians accept that without violence.  Jews also view Jesus very differently than Christians, and both Jews and Christians leave in peace with that difference.  Forget boorish cartoons: can Moslems tolerate a different view of Mohammed than they have?  Can they tolerate respectful disagreement? 

(No one, by the way, has yet correctly answered the question that Sinisterism has concealed:  why were Nazis called Fascists?) 

Bruce Walker

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Biography - Bruce Walker

Bruce Walker has been a published author in print and in electronic media since 1990. He is a regular contributor to WebCommentary, Conservative Truth, American Daily, Enter Stage Right, Intellectual Conservative, NewsByUs and Men’s News Daily. His first book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie by Outskirts Press was published in January 2006.


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Copyright © 2006 by Bruce Walker
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