The Cartoon War

Yes, Muslims have a right to be offended by the cartoons; yes they have a right to protest in the streets (peacefully); and yes they have a right to boycott anybody they want to! That is fine with me!
Having said that, I also have a right to be offended, to protest and to speak out about that which offends me. Is that not fair? So let me tell you what offends me!

I have been following the "Cartoon War" in Europe and the protests and outrage throughout the Muslims world. I do not like what I see, so I decided to write a page about it and even include a copy of the cartoons here.

Normally I would not put a political and cultural issue like this here on this site, particularly one that at first glance has very little to do with Arizona. I can not accept, however, that others dictate what I can think and say. The fact is that this 'Cartoon War' is good because the publishing of the drawings in the Danish newspaper brings out into the open fundamental issues that we must resolve - not that I think we can do it. Somehow I feel that we have a long road ahead of us and this whole 'issue' will end badly - a lot of innocent people are going to get hurt. Sad! Anyway, I have done my homework, so on to the infamous cartoons...

The Infidel Cartoons that insult Muslims

click for image Here are the 12 cartoons that caused the uproar (click on the thumbnail image). Kind of mild!

This is about freedom of speech and liberty. If the West gives in it will resolve nothing, because there will be more demands. This whole thing should be turned into a debate about the place of Islam in Western Society and the character and teachings of Islam's Prophet.

click for image As one Muslim said: "Islam only teaches love"
The fact is that this 'Cartoon War' is good because the publishing of the 12 drawings brings out into the open fundamental issues that we must resolve - not that I think we can do it. And if it is resolved, there will be another incident a week, or month later. This is not going to end soon or peacefully.

Islamic Cartoons that do NOT insult Muslims

click for imageInfidels drawing silly cartoons about the prophet, bad, Muslims publishing vile cartoons about Mohammad, good.
The most damming aspect of the whole thing is that to prove their point, the Muslims in Denmark, lead by a certain Imam Abu Laban, published a booklet with the 15 cartoons to show to their brethren abroad how offended they were and how oppressive things are for them in Denmark. Wait! 15 cartoons? I though there were only a dozen pictures! Well, it seems that the 12 published cartoons weren't offensive enough to generate the desired level of hate in Islamic countries, so Muslim leaders added 3 more much more vile cartoons of unknown origin - and blamed it on the Danes! I guess it is not blasphemy if Muslims insult Islam and their prophet Mohammad.

click for image Here are the extra three 'Muslim' cartoons - of Muslims, by Muslims and for Muslims, I guess. Let me quote from the Brussels Journal (http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/668): Meanwhile, the Danish tabloid Extra Bladet got hold of a 43-page report that Danish Muslim leaders and imams, on a tour of the Islamic world, are handing out to their contacts to “explain” how offensive the cartoons are. The report contains 15 pictures instead of 12. The first of the three additional pictures, which are of dismal quality, shows Muhammad as a pedophile demon, the second shows the prophet with a pigsnout and the third depicts a praying Muslim being raped by a dog. Apparently, the 12 original pictures were not deemed bad enough to convince other Muslims that Muslims in Denmark are the victims of a campaign of religious hatred. Akhmad Akkari, spokesman of the 21 Danish Muslim organizations which organized the tour, explained that the three drawings had been added to 'give an insight in how hateful the atmosphere in Denmark is towards Muslims.' Akkari claimed he does not know the origin of the three pictures. He said they had been sent anonymously to Danish Muslims. However, when Ekstra Bladet asked if it could talk to these Muslims, Akkari refused to reveal their identity.

Another journalist has been following the story. I quote from the German magazine Spiegel (http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,398624,00.html): Kaare Quist, a journalist at the Danish daily Ekstra Bladet, has been following the story and the impact of a group of Danish Muslims led by an imam named Ahmed Akkari, have had on the story. Akkari, a fellow imam named Abu Laban and a group went to Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt with their own version of the cartoons. Soon ,.. Quist says the dossier they shared in Egypt may have been far more damaging than the Jyllands-Posten episode -- and it may have further exacerbated misgivings between Denmark and the Arab world. In addition to the now notorious caricatures published by the newspaper which have now spread like wildfire in the blogosphere, it also included patently offensive anti-Muslim images that had been sent to the group by other Muslims living in Denmark. The origins or authenticity of the images haven't been confirmed, but their content was nevertheless damaging. Quist says the dossier included three obscene caricatures -- one showed Muhammad as a pedophile, another as a pig and the last depicted a praying Muslim being raped by a dog. 'The drawings in Jyllands-Posten were harmless compared to these,' he says... But Quist claims the group may also have perpetuated misunderstandings during its trip. The reporter says that Arabs who visited with the group later claimed Akkari's delegation had given them the impression that Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen somehow controlled or owned Jyllands-Posten. 'I believe that this misunderstanding was unintentional,' Quist said, reviewing his research. 'But I also think that they are also trying to profit from the agitation.'

click for image The offending cartoons, published in an Egyptian newspaper in October 2005: No riots! (from freedomforegyptians.blogspot.com)
So, let us examine the facts:
1. Infidels publishing cartoons about the Islam's prophet: bad, very bad.
2. Muslims publishing the same cartoons: so what, who cares!
3. Muslims publishing fake and even more offensive cartoons about their prophet to promote hate and anger: good, because they 'prove' European intolerance and racism.
Unbelievable!

A message to infidels from the "Religion of Peace"
No, the 'misunderstanding' was not unintentional. The fact is that this Muslim group introduced false evidence - a crime - to make their case. Since they could not or would not identify the origin of the three additional cartoons, it is logical that they were included and published by Muslims for the sole purpose of spreading hate and anger. If anyone is hurt, these Imams should be brought to trial and prosecuted. The fact is that, once again, Muslims are dishonest about their religion and their dear leader.

Disrespect and desecrations that also do not insult Muslims

click for image At left, the ancient, colossal Bamiyan Buddha statues, destroyed by Muslims of the Taliban
I guess it is really too much to expect that Muslims will follow the Golden Rule. You know, that "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" thing. That would be too much to ask. I won't even talk about how Muslims have limited religious freedom, and how Islam persecutes other faiths where it dominates. I would just like to remember the wanton destruction of the two giant Bamiyan Buddhist statues in Afghanistan by Muslims only a few years ago, and also the horrible desecration of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (2002) by Palestinian Muslims. Yes, they defecated and urinated all over the church, including on altars, and even used Bibles as toilet paper. There was also the destruction of the traditional Jewish 'Tomb of Joseph' by Muslims near that time. And these people talk about 'respect'. They wouldn't know respect if it bit them on the ass.

You are offended? Well, so am I!

I am offended by the lack of respect that Muslim have for others

I am offended by the hate and anger in the Quran against non-Muslims

I am offended by the respect attributed to Mohammed, a man that according to Islam's own writings (hadiths) did so many horrible deeds (murder, torture, slavery, permitting rape and even beating his own wife!). These things are in accounts written by his own followers and admirers, not his enemies.

I am offended that, for Muslims to feel good about their religion, they must restrict my freedom of speech and thought.

I am offended by the oppression and persecution of other religions in every country where Muslims dominate. I am offended by the severe restrictions against Non-Muslim religious activities in Muslim countries

I am offended by the hate preached in the mosques and written in Islamic books and pamphlets throughout the Islamic world.

I am offended by the naked malice in the media of so many Islamic nations, and their constant portrayal of non-Muslims as demons, including with images far worse then the Danish cartoons.

I am offended by the treatment of women in Islam and in the Muslim world. I am offended by the fact the so many Muslims consider women and girls second class citizens, denying them educational, political, professional and social rights. I am offended by honor killings, forced marriages, female genital mutilation - all common practices in many Islamic societies.

I am offended by the violence that follows Islam. I am offended by countless videos of Muslims shouting "Allahu Akbar " as they behead hostages, shoot innocents and bomb civilians.

I am offended that Muslims riot over silly cartoons, yet show no outrage over the multitudes of injustices in Islamic societies.

I am offended by the fact that Muslim must blame all their problems on others.

I am offended by the constant lies and distortions that Muslims tell about their religion and societies. I am offended by the constant excuses Muslims make (out of context, bad translations, you don't understand, etc.) to hide the harsh nature of the Quran.

I am offended by the constant denials that terrorism has anything to do with Islam when it enjoys so much support in the Muslim world.

I am offended when Muslim try to portray Islam as a 'religion of peace' when it is by far the bloodiest and most intolerant religion on the planet today.

I am offended by the little value given to human life in Islamic countries, where people are killed and beaten and there is no pity or recompense.

I am offended by Muslims' need to impose their morality, or better, lack of morality, on others.

I am offended by the lack of freedom, equality and opportunity in all Islamic societies.

And so on….


I got carried away there, but you get the idea. With very few exceptions, I believe that freedom of speech must be absolute. If they want to insult Bush, fine, say bad things about me, fine, condemn Christianity and Hindus, fine, deny the Holocaust, fine also. If I want to have the freedom to speak freely and follow my conscience, I have to accept that others too have a right to say things that I don't like and that offend me. So be it! If we restrict freedom of speech then we have no freedom of conscience. At that moment you can kiss your political and economic freedoms good-bye also, because these depend on the freedom to believe and to speak out, and to act accordingly.

This is fundamentally what is wrong with the Muslim world. If Western societies are intimidated by this issue, we might as well dig a hole and get into it, because it will be the beginning of the end. I know where I stand on this, so if the cartoons offend you, then consider those things that offend me. I am willing to match my "offended" against your "offended" any time, any place!

In Arizona...

click for image click for image On 2/12/2006, the Arizona Republic featured some articles on the "Cartoon War" in the Viewpoints Sunday editorial section. Gary Nelson wrote the lead piece, Cartoons unleash violence in the Muslim world, a somewhat weak analysis of the issue, contrasting the differences between Islamic and Western ideals. The correct title should be "Muslims unleash violence." At least he does point out that Western libertarianism and religious fascism are inimical to each other, saying "It is not the responsibility of the former to tolerate the latter. It is Islam itself that must rescue itself from its own destructive proclivities to accommodate freedom and the realities of a pluralistic global community." Phil Boas, wrote another article that expressed stronger opinions. He stated that American Muslims need to be more active (and honest?) in their condemnation of terror, as well as more introspective and self-critical of Islam. He cited the case of Muslim groups that objected to an editorial cartoons by Steve Benson (a local political cartoonist for the Republic) showing Muslim kids being taught to kill others. Even so, he believes that Muslims values and American values "can peacefully occupy the same space" and that we all can live in harmony. I think Boas is wrong. He obviously doesn't know his Islam.
      Then the sugar starts to flow. The Republic also features two guest columns by Muslims. Nazli Currim, a Muslim social worker and community activist living in Gilbert, declares that "Freedoms should guard sanctity of Islam, faiths" (that was the headline). May I quote a few statements written by her. She says that the "revered" prophet of Islam "preached that taking the life of one human being is like killing all of humanity." She states that the basic messages of Islam means "peace." She also says that Mohammad was the "epitome of the perfect human being" and "only the ignorant stoop low to demonize him."
      It would seem that this lady hasn't read her Quran or Hadiths lately. Would this be the same man that murdered, raped, tortured, took captives and enslaved them, slept with a 9 year old girl and even beat his favorite wife. Its all there. Perhaps Ms. Currim forgot it, but that statement about "killing one person is like killing all humanity" is incomplete. I think she forgot the first few words. Perhaps it really says something like this: "for the children of Israel to kill one person is like…." Bummer! The fact is that when talking to Muslims, Old Mohammad instead used words like "kill infidels wherever you found them" and so on. Maybe Ms was just confused. Maybe not. I wonder who is right here? Check it out for yourself. Oh yes, Islam does not mean "peace" - it means "surrender." Oops! It does have the same root, but the meaning is different. Saying it means "peace" does sound better than "surrender," I give you that.
      One statement by Ms Currim that I do accept as true is that Muslims consider him "a vibrant example to follow." Yes. So true. The terror, hate, anger, beatings, beheadings, persecution, oppression and so many other evils what we see today being done by Muslims is just Muslims following the example of their dear prophet. I cannot argue that point.
      Then there is another article by Dr. Seema Munir, a family physician that lives in Chandler. She is deeply troubled by current events and wants to see "responsible behavior" on both sides. She says that Muslims are not against free speech, only speech that hurts them and disrespects Allah, the Prophet Mohammed or the Quran. She says that Mohammad responded to all insults with forgiveness, patience and compassion, and that even when conquering cities, it was bloodless. Wow. After a lot of sweet words, Dr Munir says that this is not about a "clash of cultures" or about "freedom of speech vs religious sensitivities." Instead, according to her, this is about responsible behavior and people of wisdom vs irresponsible behavior and people with hidden agendas. She ends with a quote saying that the "noblest of you in the site of Allah is the one best in conduct. (Quran 49:13).
      I wonder if lies, deceit and distortion are also considered "noble" conduct by old Allah? I am surprised that, of the hundreds of men that were executed after Mohammed's conquest, none bled. Usually when a person is beheaded, he bleeds. Or maybe she means that because they were only killed after they surrendered, it doesn't count because the conquest was bloodless. Maybe. Maybe she is just lying. My questions is how can any person that is honest and has even a little bit of humanity say that "violence and destruction" have nothing to do with the way her "beloved prophet Mohammed led his life"? The facts are that Mohammed did many vile, evil deeds, and much of that we call terror is just Muslims doing that their dear leader and moral example did.
      Forgiveness? Patience? Compassion? Tell that to the men whose feet and hands were amputated on Mohammad's orders, then their eyes put out with hot nails, then who then were left to die a slow agonizing death of thirst. Nice guy. Sure they were thieves and murderers, but.. Compassion? How about Asma bint Maran? She criticized Mohammed and then was murdered with her baby on her breast. Patience? How about the lady that was split whose womb was split open so that the fetus fell out. Now that is a real man! I bet Dr Munir is so proud of her dear prophet. How about Sayifa? You know, the slave Mohammad took and married. Did I tell you that Mohammed had just butchered her husband the day before? Real nice guy! Oh yes, he had killed her father also. Maybe Old Mo was just too hot and she couldn't resist his charms. Did I mention that he had also killed her brother. I bet Dr Munir is so proud of her prophet and his wonderful example. Don't believe me? I could give you the references but I would prefer that you do your own research. Put some of the words and names into any search engine on the Internet and check this information yourself. I dare you!
      And so Muslims are not against free speech, except when you say things they do not like, even if true and even if they are based upon Islam own traditions. Let it be known that just as I want the right to criticize others (Bush, Hillary, Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, the Pope, Joseph Smith, whoever...) I want other's to have the same right to speak up and voice their opinions. If they want to say that Mohammed was a wonderful guy - that is their right. I insist that I have to right to say otherwise and to give my reasons for my opinions. That is fair!

click for image click for image       A few weeks after the Arizona Republic featured the cartoon issue - without showing them so as to not offend Muslims - the local "alternative media newspaper" known as Phoenix New Times published a story by Joe Watson on Muslims in the Valley of the Sun. The article was entitled "The Chosen One - Deedra Abboud is an enigma wrapped in a hijab." The article profiles Ms Abboud, an ex-Southern Baptist and the head of the Arizona Chapter of the Muslim American Society's Freedom Foundation, a Washington DC civil rights organization. The article notes that on one hand "she doesn't understand the fuss over the Danish cartoons" but that she has sent emails and press releases calling them "provocations." After a somewhat disturbed youth, she found Islam and moved to Arizona, where she became involved with the Tempe Islamic Cultural Center and MAS - The Muslim American Society. She has also worked for CAIR - The Council of American-Islamic Relations, but later distanced herself from that group. Because of her political savvy, strong communication skills and sweet demeanor she has become a spokesperson for Muslims in Arizona. The fact that she is white, a female and speaks fluent English may also be a factor in her popularity. The article comments on run-ins with Daniel Pipes, Ann Coulter, Bill Straus (Arizona chapter of the ADL - Anti-Defamation League, an important Jewish organization), and Zuhdi Jasser (chairman of the Phoenix-based American Islamic Forum for Democracy). Jasser is pro-American and very critical of Muslim attitudes in the War on Terror, and Ms Abboud criticizes him for that, saying he is a "man that is not representative of the community." That is the problem. Mr Jasser is pro-American and has organized a "Muslims against terror" rally in downtown Phoenix, and Abboud says he does not represent the community. Figure out, if you can, what that means.
      Anyway, the article gave the distinct impression that she was being all thing to all people, being very vague about her personal opinions. Oh yes, may I quote: "Deedra is very active with several community organizations - as a board member with Tempe Community Action Agency and the Arizona Coalition for Migrant Rights, as a member of the Phoenix Interfaith Network and the Phoenix Police Advisory Board, as well as the Tempe mosque." Oh yes, she is a friend of Aneesha Nadir, a professor at ASU.
      I have a feeling that this woman, like so many Muslims, is only against certain types of discrimination and oppression. I am sure she thinks Old Mohammed, her dear prophet, was a great guy. I am sure she has heard about the horrible, despicable things he has done. I don't know if she has researched them, or accepts those events as true, or even if she cares what he did. I have talked about this issue with many Muslims, and the answers are not encouraging. When you point out the hate and anger toward non-Muslims in the Koran, or when you give them specific examples from their own histories of the many vile, evil things that Mohammed did, the answers are usually the same: It is out of context, bad translation, you don't understand, that was then and things were different, and so on. The moral implications of what these things mean simply does not sink in. Muslims don't care! Only once in dozens of conversations have I had a Muslim admit that these things were "problematic". That is bad. That means trouble for all of us. If the Quran preaches hate - and it does - and if Islam's prophet killed, tortured, raped and enslaved - and the Islamic traditions (the Hadiths) say he did, many times in many different verses, and if he is considered a great moral example by Muslims everywhere - and he is - then the future is going to be ugly and violent.

These troubles are not our troubles...

      But Arizona is far away and free of these disgusting problems. Right? Wrong!
      Few people are aware of it but Arizona has the sad distinction of being the site of the first known international fatwa inspired murder. A fatwa is a religious decree by Muslim religious leaders, and it is often associated with a death sentence against blasphemers or apostates. The most famous fatwa was that issued by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against author Salman Rushdie in 1989, in response to the publication of The Satanic Verses.       Before that, however, there is the case of Rashad Khalifa, an Egyptian author who had immigrated to the United States in 1959. Khalifa's controversial writings included a biography of the Prophet Mohammed and the discovery of a 'secret' mathematical system in the Quran that excluded some verses but inserted own Rashad's name. For reasons I will not go into (including the complex numerology of the number 19 and allegations of sexual misconduct) a bunch of Aayatollahs, Imams, Mullahs, everyday vanilla Muslims did not like this and decided he deserved to die. In January 1990, Khalifa was murdered at the Masjid Tucson, Arizona -- allegedly by al-Fuqra, a Pakistan-based extremist group that has been linked by U.S. counterterrorism officials to the 1993 WTC World Trade Center bombing and al Qaeda.
      And don't forget that some of those 19 young men that murdered thousands on September 11 worshipped and plotted in the Mosque in Tempe, the place where Ms Abboud, Ms Currim, Ms Munir and Ms Nadir all go for spiritual guidance. Of course I cannot not say they worshipped next to the hijackers because they are women, and in the Tempe mosque women are segregated from men and must worship in a back area behind a partition.
      The fact is, like it or not, we in Arizona are on the front line of a war, as is the rest of America. This is not about Iraque, or any other place. This is about a group of people that follow an ideology filled with hate and anger. This is about a group of people who are either in denial or who willing follow a man that murdered, tortured, enslaved and raped. It only takes one side to have a war, and groups of Muslim radicals have declared war on the infidels. It only takes one side to have a war. Remember, radical Muslim kill, moderates make excuses.


Update!

From Yahoo News: At Least 15 Die in Nigeria Cartoon Protest (By NJADVARA MUSA, Associated Press Writer, 2/19/2006)

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria - Nigerian Muslims protesting caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad attacked Christians and burned churches on Saturday, killing at least 15 people in the deadliest confrontation yet in the whirlwind of Muslim anger over the drawings.

It was the first major protest to erupt over the issue in Africa's most populous nation. An Associated Press reporter saw mobs of Muslim protesters swarm through the city center with machetes, sticks and iron rods. One group threw a tire around a man, poured gas on him and set him ablaze.

...Thousands of rioters burned 15 churches in Maiduguri in a three-hour rampage before troops and police reinforcements restored order, Nigerian police spokesman Haz Iwendi said. Iwendi said security forces arrested dozens of people in the city about 1,000 miles northeast of the capital, Lagos.

Chima Ezeoke, a Christian Maiduguri resident, said protesters attacked and looted shops owned by minority Christians, most of them with origins in the country's south.

"Most of the dead were Christians beaten to death on the streets by the rioters," Ezeoke said. Witnesses said three children and a priest were among those killed.

And they wonder why some people consider Islam one big criminal enterprise! No more comments; none needed.

Son of Update!

      Now the Islamists want to kill some Afghan guy named Abdul Rahman for the crime of leaving Islam. Who cares! So what if he/she converts to Christianity, Buddhism, Scientology or even become a Mormon! It's his problem! The New York Times reports that the prosecutor, an Afghan government official, "called Mr. Rahman 'a microbe' who 'should be killed.'" Leading Afghan clerics and Imams are calling for him to be executed. Once again Muslims show their evil intolerant face. This is not a religion, but a gang of dirty minded, violent fanatics! The more I learn of Islam and watch events related to this religion, the less I like it. I was never much impressed by it before 2001 because of the persecution of women and minorities, now I absolutely despise it as a perverse ideology that lies, oppresses and kills. Am I islamophobic? No, I just don't like Islam.

      Of course, if anybody says what I just wrote, we will get the usual accusations of "islamophobia," "defamation," "religious intolerance," and "religious hatred." Yes, but it's them, not me! The ideals of tolerance and civil or religious harmony do not require silence about the dangers and evil of a belief system that has time after time shown to be incompatible with honesty and civilized behavior. We are wasting our time in both Afghanistan and Iraque. As far as I'm concerned Muslim countries are beyond hope (with a few exceptions). The ethnic, racial and religious hatred is too deep. They hate each other and they hate us. We are not going to stability to those nations - they are far more interested in hating and killing each other than in democracy and human rights.

Son of Update II, the Return!

      Back to the Danish cartoons. Imam Abu Laban, you know, the guy in Denmark who first criticized the cartoons as being disrespectful, a provocation and a form of violence, and then made up the pamphlet with the 12 and 3 cartoons, has been recorded making comments about an operation to murder an opponent. He had gone to a conference in Bahrain with other Danish imams, among them Ahmed Akkari, to participate in a congress on "respecting the prophet Mohammed". Upon returning he told reported in Danish that he works "day and night to keep Denmark safe from terror." After leaving the airport he entered a car where a conversation in Arabic was recorded by means of a hidden camera. Abu Laban talked about a man who is “He is willing to go into this and make it a martyr action now." Like I said, one big criminal organization.

Grandson of Update: Now it is a cat that offends

http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2007/09/18/bangladesh-yet-another-muhammed-cartoon-controversy/ The Daily Prothom Alo, a newspaper in Bangladesh, published a satirical cartoon about the use of religious names to show the superficial and false religiosity. It was about a cat. There was no picture of Mohammad.
Muslims immediately said the cartoon was offensive because it joked about naming a cat ‘Muhammed'. Clerics demanded not only an apology, but the death of everybody involved in this 'disgrace'. They said Muslims use Muhammed in their names to pay the respect to the prophet. Prothom Alo soon published an apology: We apologize and are extremely sorry …inadvertently an unedited, unapproved and unacceptable cartoon titled ‘name' was published…we are withdrawing the cartoon…and taking actions against the persons responsible for this. They even said they would destroy all copies and remove it from their files - just like in the book 1984.
To their credit, many Muslims said the whole issue was silly: "This is an innocent cartoon. It is evident that the target is not the prophet himself. The retarded ones should read the texts again."
click for image Here is a link to a few comments on another paper about the 'cat' cartoon: http://amardeshbd.com/detail_news_index.php?NewsID=133207&NewsType=bistarito&SectionID=home
One post pointed out that a similar cartoon was published in Bangladesh in November 1998 where Muhammad was compared with kodu (Lau) - and nothing happened. Here is the dialogue: (teacher) What is your father’s name? (boy) Sadek, (teacher) You impertinent boy! You should say Mohammed before a name. Later... (Teacher) What has your mother cooked at home for dinner today? (boy) Mohammed Kodu (Pumpkin)
I posted this comment at Global Voices Online.
Quote: I wont say it was an innocent cartoon. Cartoonist is well aware of the current world, where islam is the victims. In the western world, ppl are deliberately hurting the Prophet (PUB) in the name of freedom of expression. They are intentionally doing this to prove muslim are intolerant.
Perhaps this reader needs to watch TV or read the newspapers again. Perhaps he should take note of the censorship and repression in Muslims societies reported here at Global Voices. Perhaps he can explain why he thinks “Western World ppl” are making Muslims do what they do.
Muslims are intolerant. Period. It is Muslims that do these things. They are the ones that are attacking and killing. When will Muslims stop blaming others for their problems? In Islam it is always somebody elses fault, never Islam.
About “what prophet(PUB) means to a true muslim” is also a good topic for debate. I suggest that Muslims read their own traditions and see what their dear prophet really did. The traditions are very clear and it is not a nice story. Mohammad did not treat non-Muslims with “dignity and respect” except when it was convenient for him. The life of Islam’s prophet explains much of what we see in Islamic societies today.
Oh yes, about the cartoon. It is something called satire, aimed at the superficial religious attitudes among many Muslims. I doubt that Muslims can understand this simple message.
Also, Islamophobia is a stupid word. It is a term that Muslims love because it places the blame on others (again). It makes it easy for Muslims not to take a hard look at the hate and violence in their religion and the way Muslims treat others. Maybe, just maybe, who knows, quien sabe, what is called islamophhobia is a natual reaction to the hate and violence continually manisfest in Islam. This is the cycle: Muslims preach hate and do bombings. People in West condemn Islam and are suspicious of Muslims. Muslims cry ‘islamophobia’. Repeat cycle.
PS: The future will not be nice and I blame Islam. When Muslims start treating others with dignity and respecting the rights of non-Muslims then things will improve. Probably never.

A better statement of the problem

If I may, I would like to quote Dr Henry Mark Holzer on this issue. He wrote a small piece on the lack of moral integrity, the intellectual dishonesty and the downright cowardly attitude demonstrated by the American mainstream press on this freedom of speech issue. I found it at a great blog called "Atlas Shrugs" (http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs). It is far more eloquent that I can ever expire to.

THE PRESS DEFAULTS ON ITS DUTY

      Unfortunately, the recent spectacle of worldwide mindless Muslim riots—supposedly caused by a Danish newspaper’s publication of the Muhammad cartoons—has obscured a phenomenon even more dangerous to this nation than the rampages themselves: the capitulation of America’s free press, which almost universally has declined to publish any of the drawings.
      The issue is not that the press has a right to publish the cartoons. That’s undeniable. It’s Constitutional Law 101.
      No, the issue is the duty of the American press to publish the Muhammad cartoons. It’s not a social or political duty, but rather a moral duty, rooted in the legacy of the Founders and the self-generated principle the press has wrapped itself in for over two hundred years: “the public’s right to know”— about such stories as the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, looting of Iraq’s museums, Abu Ghraib, NSA surveillance, alleged torture of terrorists, secret CIA prisons, and much more.
      Indeed, it was the perceived moral duty of the press in service of the public’s right to know that brought us editorial cartoons like Joe McCarthy climbing out of a sewer carrying a bucket overflowing with slime, and of Richard Nixon dressed like a plumber.
      Now, in the matter of the Muhammad cartoons, virtually all of the American press has suddenly done an about face — in the name of “restraint,” “sensitivity,” “respect,” “tolerance,” and other out-of-context bromides. Yet there was none of this, or any reluctance to “offend,” when the media showed a South Vietnamese policeman shooting a Vietcong killer in the head, or allowed Jews to be caricatured by making them look like Shylock, or depicted Christ immersed in urine, or in publishing other stories that were, certainly as to some members of the public, unrestrained, insensitive, disrespectful, intolerant, and, yes, even offensive.
      But then, the press had no reason to fear the South Vietnamese, the Jews, or the Catholics. And therein lies the explanation of what has happened to the media in the United States.
      The American press that has ignored the Muhammad cartoons — cognizant of the fatwas against Rushdie and others, the murder of van Gogh, the burning of diplomatic enclaves, and the rash of death threats—has cut and run for at least two reasons.
      One, much less important than the second, is that most journalists in America today believe, or at least purport to believe, in the “multiculturalism” gobbledygook that all cultures are equal, that they all deserve respect, etc. ad nauseam.
      The more important reason is because they are cowards. In capitulating to the irrational mob, the American press has done much worse than expose their hypocrisy, betray their European and domestic colleagues, and default on their moral duty as custodians of the First Amendment. Much worse.
      The compliant American press has shamefully, and dangerously, reinforced the belief of Osama bin Laden and his minions that — like Nixon’s pullout from Vietnam, Reagan’s retreat from Beruit, Clinton’s flight from Somalia, and Bush 41’s failure of will in the Gulf War — Americans can’t take casualties.
      Now, despite the sagacity of the Founders and the many First Amendment battles to keep America’s press free, the guardians of that legacy have left the field—not because of atual harm to them (which, had it occurred, they should have proudly accepted and soldiered on), but because of the mere risk of danger. They have capitulated to mere threats from political zealots who worship nihilism, and who in millennia have contributed little to the civilized world but hatred, destruction, and death.
      Throughout American history, the principal enemy of a free press has been government. Now, sadly, it is the press itself.

To be honest, I am not sure which has shown greater cowardice on this: the media, the educational establishment or our politicians at all levels. The average American must make a stand on this, because none of these can be counted upon to say and do what is right. Sad but true.