Daniel Pipes on publishing Mohammed cartoons
Daniel Pipes has an interesting idea of dealing with the great offense taken by Muslims every time someone publishes some depiction of the Muslim prophet Mohammed.
…a Muhammad cartoon published each day, or Koranic desecrations on a quasi-regular basis, will make it harder for Islamists to mobilize Muslim mobs. Were that the case, Westerners could once again treat Islam as they do other religions – freely, to criticize without fear. That would demonstrate to Islamists that Westerners will not capitulate, that they reject Islamic law, that they are ready to stand up for their values.
So, this is my plea to all Western editors and producers: display the Muhammad cartoon daily until the Islamists get used to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.
We need not be deliberately obtuse or destructive in our free speech. However, being commanded to keep silent by the most sensitive and conservative members of a religious sect or group has always driven Americans to explore the limits of our rights and freedoms. Therefore, it is far past time for people who claim to be free-thinking and freedom loving to act like they believe their own claims once again. Cowering behind political correctness and self-censoring out of a fear of provoking threats and violent reprisal is not freedom and it is certainly not American.
If Muslim faith is truly as strong as Muslims claim, that faith should be able to easily withstand and rationally address open criticism and/or questions. Furthermore Muslims should welcome an open, frank, fair, and rational dialogue about their beliefs – the same type of discussion that we have daily about Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, atheist, animist, and other beliefs – as that discussion will only serve to improve Western understanding of their ostensibly peaceful and humanitarian aims.