Monday, April 24, 2006

Reflections on the Mohammed crisis.

In the beginning of 2006, crisis struck Scandinavia, as the Muslim world launched a massive strike against Danish and Norwegian products as a response to the publishing of drawings picturing the prophet Mohammed in various situations.

The Muslim world demanded a formal apology from the Danish and Norwegian government and from the newspaper that printed the drawings. The attention was brought to the drawings by a coalition of imams in Denmark, who brought the drawings to the Muslim world with the intentions of bringing pressure to the Danish and Norwegian people and governments, making them abandon the principle of freedom of speech and submit to Islam.

Of course this created an impossible situation. Does the freedom of speech have boundaries? Can a government create laws against religious insults in the public media?

I do not think a government can or should do anything. The freedom of speech is a right we all have (or should have). But we should also use it with care and respect. What the Danish paper did was abusing the freedom of speech, using it to hurt peoples feelings and mocking their religious beliefs, and I hope it have been a lesson to anyone else not to play with religious feelings. Freedom of speech should be used to inform.. Not to insult.

All that aside, I think that the reaction from the Muslim world was childish and very disrespectful towards the various European countries that had their embassies burned and flags spit on.

A few weeks later it was found out that one of the Imams who started the whole crisis, had put forth bomb treats towards a Danish politician on hidden camera. When confronted with his own threats he simply replied the "He was just making fun" "He didn't mean any disrespect" .. Well "We were just making fun" "We didn't mean any disrespect".

This crisis does reveal that we need more dialogue between western countries and the Islamic world, and by dialogue I do not mean the kind that Bush is practicing in Iraq and soon to be Iran. I mean debating, and learning more about one another in order to prevent insults and misunderstanding one another.

Let’s see beyond the problems and fear that a few fanatics create, and let the majority prevail. Through dialogue we can build bridges that lead to a peace and understanding that no fanatics or warmongers can break down.


At 7:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

connectors yizhun theatreah robbery integrate mellitus blogeditor miss dynamic purposeful cennydd
servimundos melifermuly


Post a Comment

<< Home